What It's Like to Have a Pet in College

 

At the end of my sophomore year of college, I made a big decision: to adopt a pet. Hazel, the cat I adopted as a kitten, is a brown and white tabby cat who is playful, energetic, loving, and adorable. You can tell she belongs to an Illinois student because she has two different Fighting Illini collars!

Not a lot of college students adopt pets because this can be an unstable, busy time of life. While there are a few challenges presented by having a pet, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me. Here are a few of the pros and cons I’ve experienced as a pet owner and a college student.

PRO: I get the best welcome every time I get home

Every time I get home after a long, busy day of classes, work, and meetings, Hazel comes trotting up to the door to welcome me home. She always purrs and meows to let me know how much she missed me. This is one of the best parts of having a pet!

CON: It can be expensive

Pets are definitely not cheap, especially in college when money is tight. I have to buy kitty litter, cat food, toys, and flea medicine as well as pay for annual vet appointments. These expenses can add up fast, so sometimes it means sacrificing other things that cost money.

 

PRO: It’s a great stress reliever

Between things on my never-ending to-do list, it’s a huge relief to have a furry friend to burn some stress. Playing with Hazel, petting her, snuggling with her, and taking care of her is actually really relaxing and comforting.

CON: It can be difficult to make sure she gets enough attention

Hazel is a particularly energetic cat - she needs a lot of playtime to burn all her energy! If I don’t pay enough attention to her (which happens when I’m especially busy) she can be a little troublemaker, getting into things she’s not supposed to and being extra hyper. That’s why it’s so important that I set aside enough playtime to wear her out and keep her out of trouble!

PRO: I get the best snuggles every night

This one’s just a given. Who doesn’t love snuggling with their pet? Hazel lays at my feet every night when I go to bed. Such a sweetie!

CON: It takes a lot of responsibility

Having a pet takes love, patience, and devotion. Cats aren’t particularly time-consuming pets, but there are still a lot of things to do. I have to make sure she gets fed, brushed, played with, and that her litter box gets changed. Considering how busy college is, it takes extra responsibility to juggle a pet along with everything else going on.

PRO: Having an adorable, loving pet is the best!

Having a cat during my time in college is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. She’s so cute, cuddly, and is the best companion ever!

Cover Photo | Photo 2

All other photos are originals of the author.