Adopting A Pet As A Student

Hello, Radar… cute kitten pics incoming!

So, a few months ago, I adopted a cat! A lot of my other friends at ERAU who live off campus also have pets, and I’ve been wanting a cat for awhile. As a kid, I always had at least one cat, and going to college was my first time without one. My roommate last year had a kitten, so I got to experience the student life with a pet in the apartment, and this year, I finally decided to get my own!

I adopted my cat, Radar, from the local humane society in September. The adoption process was relatively simple. I found a cat I liked, filled out the paperwork, got approved, and then paid the adoption fee. They do ensure that every cat that passes through is spayed/neutered, so I had to wait a few days before I could take him home. Once he was ready, then I simply went back to the humane society and picked him up.

Radar the cat!

Thankfully, cats are relatively low-maintenance pets, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t additional considerations. I’ve made plans or chosen to stay over school breaks so I can take care of him, and added his food, litter, and other supplies to my budget. My apartment complex also requires pets to be registered and for me to pay pet rent, which isn’t too much of a big deal. I have three roommates, and all of them were happy to have a new addition to our apartment.

As I mentioned previously, I had cats as a kid, but I didn’t have responsibility for them. Ultimately, they were my parents’ pets. Now, as a full-time cat owner, I’ve had to do all the not-so-fun parts too, like scooping the litter box. To help me, I bought an automatic feeder (around $50) and a water fountain (about $20) so that my kitty could be on a regular schedule. My class schedules differ throughout the day, so I wanted to establish a constant schedule for my new furry friend.

I’ve also had to consider what I want to do with him when I’m gone, like for break or Women’s Ambassadors travel. That’s part of the reason I got an automatic feeder and waterer. If the trip is really long, I’ll pay one of my roommates to shovel his litter box. It requires a little bit of planning ahead, especially for long breaks like winter break, but I’ve been able to make it work.

I’ve also added a bunch of cat things to my apartment for him- my roommates have gotten used to having random cat toys on the floor. I also bought a cat hammock to put in my window that is held up with suction cups. He enjoys sitting there and watching things run around outside. The hammock is also right next to my desk, which is very nice when I need a study break.

Radar in his hammock!

Since it’s winter in Florida, it’s quite nice outside- nice enough to keep the window open. It’s not very humid anymore and the temperatures are comfortable for both people and their pets. I like to keep my window open on days when it’s nice out so Radar can get fresh air. My apartment complex also has a balcony, so when I’m in the common area I’ll open the door and let him sit out there, too.

He’s also a great support to have when studying. Radar loves to cuddle, so when I study, he will sometimes sit on my lap while I’m at my desk. Of course, he’s still a kitten and will frequently leave to go run around my apartment, but it’s nice to have a study buddy at home. He also likes to sleep at the foot of my bed, and when I’m ready to sleep I sometimes feel badly about disturbing him.

It’s definitely been an adjustment to have a pet, but it’s a welcome one. I’ve already been looking at pet-friendly apartment complexes for when I move to my full-time job, since Radar is now part of my family. I’m so glad I got him. It’s been fun to watch him grow over the past few months. His birthday is in late April, so I may be throwing a birthday party for him later this year. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and I’ll see you in the next one- and hopefully at Riddle!

This entry was posted in 2023 - 2024 and tagged , , , by Carly. Bookmark the permalink.

About Carly

Major: Aerospace Engineering
Hometown:Berea, Kentucky
Campus Involvement: Honors Program mentor, Women's Ambassador, Society of Women Engineers, Aerospace Engineering Student Advisory Board
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I chose Embry-Riddle because I fell in love with the campus the moment I saw it through a plane window. The campus tour was amazing, and the campus seemed like a place I'd want to call home for the next few years.

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