Will my cat be okay when I go off to college?

catluvr415

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Hi everyone!

I'll be a freshman in college this fall, and I'm worried about leaving my cat. I've never been away from home for more than a couple of days. My cat sleeps with me every night, and I'm always the one who feeds and plays with him. When I leave, my mom will take over, but she works Monday-Friday 9-7, and my cat isn't at all as bonded to her as he is to me, so I'm wondering what that change will be like for my cat. Has anyone gone through a similar experience?

I've considered adopting another cat, but he's extremely shy, and I'm not sure how that'll work out. Again, though, he's really affectionate and sweet, and maybe a companion would be good for him. Are some cats better off independent?

Thanks in advance.
 

ArtNJ

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How old is your cat? Age matters. It gets harder for cats to accept newcomers as they get older.

Cats are pretty adaptable. Sometimes they do appear to grieve when a person or cat that is a big part of their life disappears, but they usually get over it. Likely to mope around, but could have other behavioral shifts like adjusting to your mom's schedule and becoming much closer to her (not all changes are necessarily bad). You aren't wrong to think about another cat, but kittens can be in short supply these days and adult cats are generally harder to integrate.
 
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catluvr415

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How old is your cat? Age matters. It gets harder for cats to accept newcomers as they get older.

Cats are pretty adaptable. Sometimes they do appear to grieve when a person or cat that is a big part of their life disappears, but they usually get over it. Likely to mope around, but could have other behavioral shifts like adjusting to your mom's schedule and becoming much closer to her (not all changes are necessarily bad). You aren't wrong to think about another cat, but kittens can be in short supply these days and adult cats are generally harder to integrate.
Thank you for your response. What you said makes total sense. He is 3.
 

LTS3

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Your cat will adapt and be fine :) My cat was a little over a year old went I went off to college. I came back home for breaks. My cat didn't act any differently towards me.
 

ArtNJ

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Three is an in between age. Still excellent chances to become legit friends with a kitten and play several times daily, but also old enough that sometimes they have trouble adjusting to a kitten and don't become friends. Your cat being shy probably doesn't help, but its activity level also matters. If the cat is very energetic, that helps adjust to and become friends with a kitten. If inactive, that makes things harder.

Talk to your mom about it. She might not be willing to even consider it. And that is ok. Cats are adaptable and tend to do well as solo pets.
 

Talien

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3? Yeah, try fostering a Kitten or younger Cat now while you're still home and see if they get along. If it works out then you can adopt and he'll have a friend while you're away.
 

susanm9006

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Your cat will be fine and I would most definitely NOT adopt another cat. This will increase his stress as well as your mothers. As she feeds him and cares for him he will warm up to her and of course he will love your return home visits. One of my cats was totally bonded to my son for the first ten years of her life and did not allow me to come anywhere near her. If I did she would do a claws out hard slap with a threat to bite if I didn’t move away immediately. So we had zero relationship. But after he moved out she became a total sweetheart to me and happy to cuddle with me. They know who is feeding them.
 

sweetblackpaws

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I agree with Susan. I would not get another cat. Maybe in time, but not right away. Let him first get used to life with you mom and you being away.
 

Tik cat's mum

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I'm sure your cat will be fine with your mum. I agree with susanm9006 and sweetblackpaws he will be fine it's probably better not to stress him bringing another cat in. Enjoy college without worrying.
 

MonaLyssa33

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When I went to college in 2004 my late cat Willie was 4. She was VERY attached to me (she would not let anyone but me hold her) and did not like other cats. She handled it fairly well though. She sought affection from my parents when I was gone and then when I'd come home she'd give me the cold shoulder for a few hours before forgiving me. I moved back home in 2007 and I had another 10 years with her. She didn't hold my leaving for college against me. If you feel it might be hard, maybe your second year of college you'd be able to get an apartment that would allow cats.
 

mizzely

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I went to college when my cat was about 3 also and she did just fine at home with my mom :) she also did fine when I moved with her 600 miles away when she was 6, and again when we moved back home when she was 12. She went through a lot in her 17 years! :)
 
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