Student Life

5 university pets you need to know about

By Nicole Wootton-Cane• Last updated: Nov 8, 2023
5 university pets you need to know about
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that everybody loves pets. 

Whether you’re a cat person, a dog person, or even a hamster or bird person, everyone knows that a little fluffy face can help brighten up any day. 

Whilst there are not many colleges that accept pets in student accommodation, some universities have adopted their own little friends to help keep students smiling. 

These pet friendly universities know the value that a furry friend can bring to your life, and how much they can benefit student wellbeing!

So if you’re an animal loving prospective student, or if you just want to hear about some adorable pets on college campuses, this is the place for you. 

5 university pets you need to know about 

  1. Aristurtle - St Peters’ College, Oxford
  2. Archie - NYU
  3. Badger - Durham University
  4. Emmeline Squeakhurst, Virguinea Woolf, Ruth Bader Guineasburg and Oreo - Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge
  5. Pebbles - University of Essex

1. Aristurtle - St Peters’ College, Oxford

Despite his name, Aristurtle is actually a tortoise who resides at St Peters’ College, Oxford. Aristurtle has a strong social media presence, and regularly parktakes in the University’s famous tortoise race alongside other college tortoises. 

2. Archie - New York University 

Archie is New York University’s very own therapy dog. In 2019, NYU said he was still in training - so he may well be a fully qualified comfort pooch by now! 

Meet our own Archie*, NYU's therapy animal in training. He's still studying for his exams, but after he passes them and...

Posted by New York University on Thursday, 9 May 2019

An adorable Maltese-Yorkie mix, Archie assists the Assistant Vice President of Field Operations in the NYU Department of Public Safety Karen Ortman, who said that he is there to “provide comfort to people”. Puppies for college students is a well-known stress relief tactic, and if you’re at NYU, Archie is there to help!

He is named after the famous arch in Washington Square Park, which sits next to the University’s Greenwich Village-based campus. 

3. Badger - Durham University

Okay, not strictly a university pet, but still very cute and worth including. Badger is Durham Cathedral’s cat, but enjoys being stroked and comforting Durham University students as he wanders about the campus. 

Durham Cathedral and Durham University are closely connected - Durham students matriculate and graduate in the cathedral - so it’s no surprise that students end up getting close to the adorable ginger cat!

4. Emmeline Squeakhurst, Virguinea Woolf, Ruth Bader Guineasburg and Oreo - Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge

Just like Oxford, Cambridge’s colleges have their fair share of pets. But perhaps one of the more unusual ones is the guinea pigs that live at Lucy Cavendish!

They are (mainly) named after famous inspirational women - and everybody’s favourite biscuit. LC is believed to be the only college in Cambridge history which has adopted guinea pigs, with the first ones arriving in 1972. 

It is said that the college chose guinea pigs because of their Latin name - cavia porcellus - which shares the ‘cav’ in Cavendish. It’s a bit of a reach, but hey - nobody’s complaining when there’s guinea pigs involved!

5. Pebbles - University of Essex

Rounding off our list is the adorable black and white cat Pebbles, who resides on the University of Essex' Colchester Campus. 

Pebbles is another social media savvy pet, who often takes to twitter to share information from the University and Students’ Union, and (every so often), pictures of himself.

Pebbles started coming onto campus about nine years ago, and was officially adopted by the SU 12 months later when he simply wouldn’t stop coming back. Perhaps he wanted to get his degree - or maybe he just loves bringing smiles to students’ faces. Either way, he’s a treasured part of Essex SU!

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