Can you take cats to university?

Cats have been a part of many families’ personal lives as far back as 7500 BC. These small furry creatures have provided many benefits to society and individuals alike. From getting rid of mice infestations to providing emotional services to their owners, cats have left a deep impression on the hearts of people everywhere. Contrary to many beliefs and assumptions, they are also very playful and loving animals. Even the hardest of hearts tend to melt over time by the innocence of these feline friends. In this article we shall see Can you take cats to university?

Unfortunately, most college campuses do not allow students to have animals on campus, let alone cats, even if there is pet-friendly off-campus accommodation nearby. However, several colleges and universities around the country are bucking the trend and integrating student and pet life for a more pleasant college experience. More than a dozen colleges and universities allow dogs and cats on their campuses, whether they are service/emotional support animals or normal pets. Students at other colleges are limited to fish, amphibians, lizards, and other small, confined creatures.

Can you take cats to university?

The Difference between Service Animals and ESA:

Emotional Support Animals (ESA):

They are animals/pets that provide comfort to persons suffering from “psychiatric disabilities.” An ESA, unlike a service animal, does not need to undergo any coaching to fulfill a specific role or function. An ESA, for example, may help with anxiety attacks.

Service Animals:

These are working animals that are taught to aid the visually impaired and handicapped. Service animals such as dogs and small horses have been taught to provide aid related to a person’s handicap.

How can I take my cats to university?

Check with the University’s Pet Policy:

In 2020, about 4% of colleges allowed cats and other pets on campus and in dormitories, in the U.S. That’s about 40 colleges and universities. So, if you’ve been lucky enough to get accepted into any of these 40 institutes, it would be best to go and check with your university about their pet policies.

Some institutions have quite tight rules about what sort of pet you may bring. So, be sure to get yourself informed on whether you’re allowed to bring your cat.

Emotional Support/Service Animals:

What colleges may and cannot do is governed by federal legislation. Two statutes require universities to allow service and/or emotional support animals on campus if the following requirements are met:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a constitutional provision that forbids handicap discrimination.
  • Colleges must authorize students to bring service animals onto their premises and into their dormitories under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • If the services offered by the service animal are not immediately apparent, the institution may inquire if the pet is a service animal and what responsibilities it is prepared to undergo. The college, on the other hand, is not permitted to enquire about the nature of the impairment, demand a demonstration, or obtain disability documents.
  • You might not have to register your service animal with the institution, and you might not even have to pay any fees to bring them on campus.
  • Colleges may request that the service animal be removed off campus if it is not house-trained or has lost control. The request to remove the animal should be based on the animal’s actual conduct, not on supposition about its possible behavior or the behavior of previous animals in the past.

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) and its provisions are as follows:

This statute requires colleges and universities to allow students to bring service/emotional support animals to on-campus accommodation. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) makes no restrictions on the breed of service and support animals. This covers feline creatures as well.

If the resident’s handicap isn’t immediately apparent, the institution may require documentation, such as a letter from a doctor or a social worker. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) prohibits this technique in the case of service animals; hence it only applies to non-service animals.

Colleges may not impose a charge for a service/support animal.

Cat-Friendly Universities and Colleges:

Eckerd College – Florida:

Eckerd College is one of the first and leading colleges to embrace pets and animals to provide a healthy college experience for students. All domesticated animals, if they fit in a cage, are allowed on campus, according to its pet policy. Small animals are even permitted in resident halls, although larger animals are restricted to specific housing.

Stephen’s College – Missouri:

In terms of maintaining on-campus pets, Stephen’s College is another game-changing institution. Students are not only permitted to bring their pets to school, but the institution also offers a foster program in collaboration with a local animal shelter for those who wish to have a furry buddy for a few days or weeks.

The students must, however, pay a fee to keep the animals from the shelter secure until they are ready to be adopted.

Washington and Jefferson College – Pennsylvania:

Students can bring a pet from home to live with them throughout their college years. However, students are not authorized to bring a new pet, whether acquired or stray, during their time as a student. Pets that can live on campus with students include cats, dogs under 40 pounds, little birds, hamsters, fish, and other small animals.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Massachusetts:

Another cat-friendly college that deserves a mention is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They are typically much stricter when it comes to keeping pets in dorms, but they seem to have a soft spot for these small feline creatures. MIT only permits the keeping of cats in their dorms. Regrettably, since the global COVID-19 pandemic, this policy has been temporarily put on a halt.

Lees-McRae College – North Carolina:

Lees-McRae College allows pets in their on-campus housing, but with an additional factor. You can bring your pets to class. Professors and students are all encouraged to bring them during lectures. This includes bringing your adorable little cat friend.


Humans need animals more than they think, according to research on the effects animals and pets have on the human mind. With time, institutions are beginning to see the significance of allowing students to bring their cats and other pets to class. Granted, many institutions still have a ban against dogs and cats, but some are taking steps to amend this regulation, making it easier for students to navigate college life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which pets are suitable for dorm living?

In college, small animals have shown to be simple and inexpensive pets to keep. They’re also easy to nurture and raise, with very little maintenance.

  • Dogs that are small
  • Cats
  • Birds
  • Turtles
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Fish

How do college students benefit from having cats?

Burnout, stress, and depression are all symptoms of the work overload that must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Many college students have found that having a cat helps to alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life. They give company and relaxation, as well as a variety of emotional support qualities that are ideal for students who are struggling.