An Ohio woman woke up one day with the sight in her left eye completely gone. For about a month, doctors were unable to diagnose Janese Walters’ sudden vision problem. It wasn’t until she mentioned she had a cat that they figured out what was wrong. Walters had acquired a bacterial infection called cat-scratch disease, also known as the old-timey sounding, “cat-scratch fever.” It’s not just the name of a Ted Nugent song, it’s real.

The bacteria can be passed along by cats and kittens through their saliva and fur. 40% of felines carry it. While the bacteria is not at all harmful to the cats, it can cause serious health problems for us humans, such as liver issues and even meningitis, Dr. Kris Brickman of University of Toledo told WTOL. People with weak immune systems have a higher risk of getting the disease. If you’re worried about getting cat-scratch fever, luckily you don’t have to give your furry friend the boot. Wash your hands after playing with your kitty, try not to get bit and don’t let your cat lick your...open wounds.

“I’m just lucky it didn’t transfer to my other eye,” Walters said.

Image via Shutterstock.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.