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Letting cats indoors can harm those with allergies

I’m not taking a stance on what to do about the feral cat problem, or where the flea (if they are flea) bites are coming from – but I did want to address the statement that there would be no harm from letting the cats into indoor spaces on campus.

You obviously were not thinking about people with severe allergies. I bring it up because I am one of those people. It may be hard to believe for someone who doesn’t have allergies, but even taking daily medications, cats could literally be deadly to me. Not instantly, of course, but symptoms start showing within a half hour of entering a home where cats live (even if the cats are outside and the hostess has helpfully vacuumed AND I make sure to sit on a wooden chair where I won’t come in direct contact with dander!). Within one hour, my throat starts to close. That’s usually when I leave, return home, shower to remove dander remnants and wait to recover (usually about four to six hours).

I’ve often been tempted to stay longer than what I know my limit is (along with many close friends, my sister-in-law has cats!). It’s a bad idea. It just keeps getting worse, and after several really scary times, I’ve learned my limits. I have an epi-pen, just in case. I’ve been getting allergy shots every week for the last three months – they won’t make it go away, but it could get more manageable.

So yes, for some of us, there could be harm.