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Hi everyone, I am new to the forum but I have a question... So I am going into my junior year of College, and I have found like most college students that College is very stressful, and I often times find myself feeling overwhelmed and wishing I had my fur baby with me rather than her being 6 hrs away from me.

So I have been given the opportunity to speak to a mental health professional who may or may not certify me to have an ESA (emotional support animal) if they do certify me, I would like to bring her with me, but I am hesitant to do so because we have a total of 5 cats at the house (that includes my baby) and I am concerned that if I take her to college and then bring her home with me that when I bring her back it will be like she is a stranger to the other cats and cause lots of hissing, upsets, etc.. until they have adjusted back to her. Now I'm not sure if this would actually happen but this is my major concern.
Just to clear this up really quick, my cat is the 2nd oldest cat. She is still young ( I don't remember her exact age off the top of my head), but all of this to say is that she has been around the other cats for several years.

I would really love some advice on this situation. I don't know if anyone has done this sort of thing before but I would really love to have yalls feedback on this.
 

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Well, I don't know your cats, so my opinion may not be accurate. But if your main concern is that she won't be accepted when you bring her back, I would set that aside. Cats have very long memories and assuming that they all get along well now, it seems to me unlikely that the resident cats in your family home will forget her and think she is a stranger. I would, in fact, be shocked if that happened.

My family of origin had a dog and a cat and due to various circumstances the dog went to a new home. A year later the dog came for a visit, and within 5 seconds the cat recognized him and the dog and cat were touching noses and greeting each other.

So take her to college with you and enjoy her, and the other cats will probably be happy to see her and want her to tell them all her adventures when she comes back!
 

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Hey Rose. First of all, congratulations on your new adventure! College can certainly be stressful and it may take a while to get used to a new routine, so just do your best because that's all any of us can do.

As far as taking your cat with you goes, my concern is that she may be stressed out in her new surroundings while you're in class during the day and studying at night, and she won't have her cat-family to keep herself occupied. There may be other ways for her to support you, like making a poster board of pictures of you with her to put up in your room, and some people Skype or have Zoom meetings with their pets when they can't be together. It's just something to consider and may be a good thing to discuss with the health care professional. Whatever you decide, I wish you the very best of luck!
 

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I understand the comfort a cat can be and a remover of stress. Even if you had your cat registered as ESA (emotional support animal), my fear would be losing the cat at college. Even if you have a single room, doors can get left open, or especially if you were sharing with room mates. The cat could get out of the building get stressed, panic and get lost, and that could be very stressful and devastating to you. You could get as much loving and satisfaction from a smaller pet that you could keep caged and only let out under your direction. You could investigate these smaller pets, such as Brown Rats (very intelligent, cuddly and loving, love to crawl on their owner), or some Rabbit breeds (soft, cuddly, amusing, and quiet). Hope you'll update us what you decide to do. All the best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know if this would change anything I forgot to include it in the original post, but I will not be staying on campus. I will be staying at a nice apartment. I'm sorry I forgot to put that on there.

Also, thank yall for all the advice it really has given me something to think about. I don't think I will be doing rodents though... I would like something that will lay in bed with me and that I can cuddle. That is the beauty of my cat jessy that I have had for the past 7 years. She is like a dog comes when I whistle for her stays by my side when I am at home, sleeps with me at night, stays in the bathroom with me when I am showering etc... She is really good about knowing when I am in a "bad" state or just need some good lovings so if yall have some other ideas I would be glad to hear them.
 

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I agree with the other posters who said taking your cat to college with you may be a major stressor for her.
 
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I don't know if this would change anything I forgot to include it in the original post, but I will not be staying on campus. I will be staying at a nice apartment. I'm sorry I forgot to put that on there.

Also, thank yall for all the advice it really has given me something to think about. I don't think I will be doing rodents though... I would like something that will lay in bed with me and that I can cuddle. That is the beauty of my cat jessy that I have had for the past 7 years. She is like a dog comes when I whistle for her stays by my side when I am at home, sleeps with me at night, stays in the bathroom with me when I am showering etc... She is really good about knowing when I am in a "bad" state or just need some good lovings so if yall have some other ideas I would be glad to hear them.
It seems that there are only two choices here... whether you take Jessy with you or not. Some of us think it's a good idea and others do not. You've read our concerns (stressed out in new environment, possibility of getting out and lost), and we've also acknowledged the need for you to have emotional support (it's one of the benefits of having a pet). Once you've weighed the pros and cons, it's up to you to decide what's best for you and your cat. Have you talked to your health care professional about it?
 

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I would say it’s a hard decision only because she will be living with other cats she is unfamiliar with. Can you not just borrow one of the other cats that stays there for some cat loves and hugs? If you do take her there don’t forget all animals will need time to be introduced safely. I would be concerned about the cat getting out so make sure she is chipped and has a collar with a phone no on it. Our daughter took her cat to college but she had her own apartment so other animals were not an issue. The problem she had was the cat missed the other animals he was used to being around. So she ended up taking our dog for a week to see if his mood and behavior improved and it did immediately. So she then gave us the dog back and took his other cat buddie up to stay with him. They had been best buds since they met so made sense they were happier being together. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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I have to admit I was really wondering why people here were assuming you were going to live in a dorm! Many students live off campus these days. I was about to comment on that when you made this post. :)

I had animals when I was in college, and it was fine.

As for the cat being stressed out by being moved, it's all about the relationship between you and the cat. If the cat is tightly bonded to you and trusts you it won't be the end of the world for her to be in a new environment because you will be there. I have had cats and have moved a great deal, and have always found this to be true. It sounds to me as if in this case you should bring the cat with you and it will be fine.

One more thing. Sharon2665 mentions in the post above other cats staying there, and introductions........but I don't see anything in your posts that indicate you will have room mates with cats. Will the apartment be yours alone? If so, there's really no problem with your taking her and making a home with her there..
 
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