LIFESTYLE
01/06/2015 12:33 BST | Updated 01/06/2015 12:59 BST

Cat Owner Goes Blind In One Eye After Pet Passes On 'Cat Scratch' Infection

A woman, who woke up one morning to find she'd lost the sight in one eye, has revealed that her sudden blindness was due to an infection passed on by her cat.

Janese Walters underwent tests for about a month, with doctors eventually confirming that her loss of sight had been caused by a condition called 'cat scratch' disease.

"I woke up one day and I couldn't see out of my left eye," Walter told WPXI. "I looked in the mirror and I thought I had pink eye or something."

janese walter

Doctors were left baffled about her eye condition up until she told them that she owned a cat, at which point they deduced she had cat scratch disease.

The infection is prevalent in 40% of felines and is caused by bacteria which is passed along through their saliva or fur.

According to Dr Kris Brickman, anything that's exposed to a cat's mouth can transfer the disease, which is why it's so important to wash your hands after stroking your pet.

SEE ALSO:

Meet Merlin The Cat: He's Broken The World Record With His 67.8 Decibel Purr

Dutch Man Builds Special Cat Bike In Amsterdam-London Cycle Ride

High-Pitched Sounds Could Make Your Cat Experience Seizures, Warn Scientists

"Don't let them lick any open wounds and try not to get bit by any cat," added Dr Brickman.

According to Patient, other symptoms of 'cat scratch' include confusion, prolonged fever, respiratory problems, joint pain, back pain and loss of vision.

Walters had no knowledge of the disease before her diagnosis and now hopes to raise awareness of it among cat owners.

She added: "I'm just lucky it didn't transfer to my other eye."

Photo gallery21 Rare Diseases See Gallery

[H/T WPXI]