Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Beware the iPhone Light


I have something kind of fun and also scary to share today. First, I am sure everybody already knows about the things to beware if they use the light iPhones offer for flash and for videos, but Mom L was clearly not a recipient of that email.

The fun part is getting to watch me in action using my our newest cat tower, It really and truly is just my size. I don’t go up high and the top of this one is right at the windowsill level. Heck, I haven’t even climbed up to the top yet!

But I totally have a blast jumping into the tunnel part and then playing with anything that comes near where my paws and claws are!


I'm waiting patiently...

I’m waiting patiently…

You can see that I like to appear as though I am not interested in whatever Mom L is bringing over. But then I get a bit curious and so have to take a better peek.

Eyes openning wider for a better assessment of play potential

Eyes openning wider for a better assessment of play potential

Finally, I get a good full on look at whatever she is about to use to entice me to play.  Notice my whonky eye color? Yeah, we tried to photo edit them to make them look better, but we are pretty poor at that kind of photo editing. Just notice the size of my pupils in this next photo. We were doing this photo shoot in a darkened living room at night, so the flashy thing was in use.

What'cha have there Mom L? Are we going to play?

What’cha have there Mom L? Are we going to play?

And play we did. I was a crazepants cat for sure! I can even whip around inside the tunnel to get the feather if it shows up behind me…I am very fast. But, Mom L couldn’t get a good video because it was to dark in the living room. So she used the iPhone light for this video.

Mom L noticed after just a few seconds that I stopped playing and just sat really still.

I don't feel very well

I don’t feel very well

Then she noticed I retreated inside the tunnel and would not come out. So she put the peacock feather up to my face and I could not see it! I was blind!!!

She yelled for Dad P, he came running. Mom L is a basket case when we cats are hurt and she was already holding back sobs trying not to frighten me. Dad P got close to me and also saw that I was bobbing my head, and not able to see. When he or Mom held their fingers close to me I could smell them, but I didn’t know what that was so I recoiled back into the safety of the dark tunnel.

Dad checked my pupils and he could almost see NO color in my eyes. Mom L called our friend, my retired cat DVM, before grabbing me to rush to emergency. Mom L just knew she had blinded me, her precious Savannah.

By the time Mom L got Dr Josie, I was starting to look around a bit as though I could see some things. While they talked, I finally jumped down from the tower and walked slowly toward the kitchen. I was fine after that.

Dr. Josie said my pupils were already dilated a lot to be able to see in the darkened living room. And the iPhone light, while NOT a laser, it is terrifically bright…too bright for my already dilated pupils and when I looked toward the peacock feather, I looked straight into that blazing light and it temporarily blinded me.

I am sure most of you already knew to be careful with use of an iPhone light around an animal at night or in a darkened room. But, Mom L did not. I am just fine, we even played a lot today, Sunday, in my new tower.

But Mom L won’t ever forget! So beware of the iPhone light when you want to video your animals in a darkened room…just sayin’…

Paw Pats, Savannah

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51 thoughts on “Beware the iPhone Light

  1. Wow that was really scary , Savvy !!
    My mom-person never uses the flashylight on her phone and she doesn´t use it very often on the camera either , thank COD 🙂


  2. That goodness you are ok Savvy! That is soooo scary! Thank you so very much for sharing!
    Marty and Mom

  3. Judy & C.A.T.S on said:

    Wow that was really scary. We are so glad that your eyes are O.K now! Hugs to you Savannah and also to Mom Linda. Mom’s feel terrible when they accidently hurt us. Thanks for sharing this information we didn’t know about it either. Love, Cali, Andy, Tater and Shelly (C.A.T.S.)

  4. Thanks for the warning!

  5. How scary for your parents! Flashes on all camera are very bright, especially if you’re close to kitty. I either take photos without flash, or tilt the camera flash up to bounce it off the ceiling. I use a real camera, not a cell phone. Sure I miss lots of spontaneous photos, and may not have the best lighting, but it saves Raven’s eyes from that horribly intense flash.

  6. meowmeowmans on said:

    OMC! That is so scary, Savvy, Mom Linda and Dad Peter! We are so glad everything is okay now. Our dad always keeps the flash off when filming/photographing us, but this is a great reminder.

  7. How very frightening for you and your folks. We don’t h ave an iPhone, but I know I don’t like that orange light on the camera that is used for the focus, I think. I try not to look at the camera too much.

  8. Katie Isabella on said:

    Oh Honey, I had NO idea. Luckily if I want a quality picture which usually I don’t I get my DSLR out and set it for no flash. I have used the phone for the pictures on the blog sometimes. If they aren’t very good that is me trying to hold the iPhone still so it can focus. I never make it. xoxoxox Thank you for this information. I will always remember it.
    Mom of Katie

  9. Sweet Jesus my hear t went to my throat Savannah…I thought you had gone blind….I am so relieved this was just temporary. I am sorry; I am a bit over sensitive 😉
    You KNOW Mom L would never do anything to hurt you…
    Love you sweet girl ❤
    Sherri-Ellen x0x0

  10. Thanks for sharing the findings about that bright light and I am so happy that you are OK now!

    Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs, Spike William

  11. That was very scary for you and your peeps Savvy! I am glad it was only temporary and you are okay again now.

  12. Oh my gosh, Savvy! That must have been terrifyin’!!! Both for you and your peeps. I’m so glad that you’re okay now and back to playin’ and that your eyes are fine. So very, very glad. My peeps didn’t know ’bout that light thingy, either. MOUSES!


  13. how scary….mom uses her phone (and the damn camera) on us a lot but tries to avoid night and the flash since it fires up our lazers. glad you are ok

  14. The Swiss Cats on said:

    Thanks for sharing that scary experience ! We’re glad you’re OK ! Mum is an Apple addict, she’ll be careful with her phone ! Purrs

  15. Phew..we are realieved to hear that you’re okay, dear Savvy. We don’t have an iphone, but maybe all the light of other phones are as bad as this one. Granny never will take pictures of me in the evening again, no matter what type of camera it is. We were just thinking about car lights. Maybe that’s why cats run over the streets when a car is driving nearby, they must be blinded by the head lights. This was a great eye-opener post, Savvy. Now let’s play with the peacock 😀 Pawkisses for a Happy Evening 🙂 ❤

  16. Have no iphone – nothing from the evil fruit empire enters my realm – and I knew those red-dots are dangerous. Sometimes teenage boys use Laserpointers to blind train drivers here – don’t know why THEY think it’s fun – and they use the stronger ones, those are very, very dangerous and could indeed lead to more severe damage! Glad this light did not!

  17. manxmnews2014 on said:

    We did not know this either. But honestly we didn’t know there was a flash on the iPad. Thank you for sharing and we are so glad Savannah is alright.

  18. savvy…furst off meowloz ta sage…thurd….be jezuz….whatz with de burd skin toy…9) we troo le dinna even noe de fone hada lite…. L) happee ewe iz aye oh kay, that wood bee scaree… 14) de food servis gurl who haz been round sinz dino dayz said thiz ree minds her oh flash… BULBS .. !!

  19. Scary for your mom and you but the main thing is you’re ok,xx Speedy

  20. Yikes! How scary! I guess it’s a lucky thing Mom is afraid of the dark. She never uses the phone light. But thanks for the heads up. I’m happy that story had a happy ending!

    Love and licks,

  21. Two Frwnch Bulldogs on said:

    Holy catnip that was nutty. Glad you are ok. 9 lives come in handy
    Lily & Edward

  22. Yikes! Hey, I was watching this Van Damm movie the other day. He got blinded by sand and then he fought blind and did a pretty good job. I’d like to think I could do that, too. Still, this is a good piece of information that I’ll be sure to share with the FODs. -Crepes.

  23. Really, really good advice. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be very careful with my iPhone light. (I did’t get that email either.)

    Purrs (and wags) from Life with Dogs and Cats.

  24. Wow, Savvy. Thanks for letting us know about this. How scary…for you and your peeps! We’re glad you’re okay now.

    The mom has never used the iphone light when taking a video or picture of us; she never thought about it. Guess it’s a good thing she’s dumb like that.

    We bet the same thing could happen if your peeps used a camera flash too. The mom rarely tries to take pictures of us if it’s too dark and if she does, she always waits until we’re looking away from the camera.

    • the camera flash is different light somehow. It is fine, just gives us laser eyes MOL. But that light that comes on when you click the ‘light’ button for taking video is the same light used for a flashlight. It was all about the circumstances that colluded to make this happen, but it could happen to someone else so we thought we ought to share.

  25. OMC! I’m glad you’re OK! That must have been terrifying to you as well as your peeps. We don’t have a smart phone or ipawd with a camera but TW always puts her hand between me and the camera when that red light shines before the flashy goes off. It makes the pics slightly grainy but it’s better than blinding me.

  26. OMC, how scary! We never thought about that from the iPhone light. It’s an LED, like the light used for a laser pointer, so it totally makes sense. We are glad you’re OK. Thank you for the warning. We’ll remember it!

  27. Oh wow! Mom Paula had no idea this would happen either and she was just using the iPhone light this morning. She’ll be more careful in the future. Glad to hear you’re okay, Savannah.

  28. Whew, close call – glad to hear you’re ok!

  29. That is SO scary. I’m glad everything turned out ok. I don’t have an iPhone but I know the flash on my tablet is horribly bright and Truffles hates it. Ever since I tried it on myself I stopped coaxing her to look up at me when I’m trying to take her picture with it.

  30. So sorry! It must have been frightening to your mom. I know our mum would have been scared! So glad you are okay. P.s. You have cute paws!! Hugs, Bo and Kobi

  31. Oh how very scary Savvy. I’m glad all is okay once again.

  32. Oh my dog! That must have been so scary!!!!!
    I have to tell you, I always use the light on my cell phone when I take a video at night 😦 I didn’t think much of it!! I will now!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  33. hannahandlucy on said:

    We hadn’t thought about that and are relieved your sight is back to normal . Your Mom must have been so worried.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  34. Great Cats, Savvy! I can’t believe you got temporarily blinded by the iPhone light. Yikes! We should all be careful with such things. I am glad you are all right now.
    Cairn cuddles

  35. WOW! That was frightening, for everyone!! The Staff has an iPhone, so she knows now not to use it with the light on when she’s filming me!!

  36. pilch92 on said:

    That was a scary thing to happen, I am glad you are OK. I have a dumb phone that doesn’t even do photos so I guess my cats are safe. Do you have a naughty story to share for a chance to win catnip coal- if you do, please visit us- if you don’t you can visit us too 🙂

  37. mistletoeandhitch on said:

    Our HuMom thanks you for sharing this info. She would of been freaking out if that had happen to us. And she’s a heck of a freaker outer. Of course, we have flameless candles all over the house so dark is hard to find around here.

    • Dorothy, I was sobbing hysterically to me honest. I was sure I had permanently blinded my beloved Nana. It was horrible. Thank goodness I was able to get my friend, a retired DVM, on the phone immediately and then Nana finally jumped off the tower.

  38. Oh Savvy I’m so glad you were OK but really we had no idea about that light causing temporary blindness so this post is a great warning for those who have these devices…….my parents don’t have the phones so it’s not an issue for us but SO many do and may not have heard about this warning! THANK YOU FOR TELLING EVERYBODY DEAR GIRL………

    Hugs, sammy

  39. Good warning Miss Savvy – delighted it was a very temporary thing!

  40. Wow, that was scary for both you and your humans! My human does not like the look of the light the iPhone gives off so she rarely uses it except as supplemental light. Like, when she was out with her boyfriend this evening and he wanted to photograph dessert, it was dark in the restaurant, so she used the light from her iPhone to back light it while he took the photo with his own iPhone. Of course, apple crumble a la mode could not be blinded!

  41. We’re so glad you’re okay, dear Savannah! We had absolutely no idea such a thing could happen, so thanks for sharing your experience with us. xx Roxy & Tigerlino ❤

  42. Wow Savannah so glad yous okay. Weez didn’t know dat. Course weez not hav a iPhone or a fone dat has a light and will take videos. Weez fur sure wuldn’t hav known to be careful ’bout dat. Just glad all is well.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

  43. kittiesblue on said:

    Our mom had absolutely no idea such a thing could happen, but she is also probably too stupid to even use the light from her iPhone. That never crossed her mind to use it in a dark room when trying to film or take our photos. But now she knows she shouldn’t so this was a very important post for us. Thanks, Savvy. We are so happy that you are now okay. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  44. Mags Corner on said:

    Whew!! We are sure happy to hear that your sight came back sweet Savannah. We don’t have one of those phones so we had not heard about that. It is good you posted this so other people who don’t know about the phone light will know about it. Mumsy still has a plain ole cell phone she has not gotten brave enough to try any of the new ones yet. She is not all that good with bells and whistles. lol We loved the video and you look great in the new tower. We are happy that you are liking it and will look forward to hearing when you check it out on the top. Hugs and nose kisses

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