Yay!!! I wish I had adopted a cat when I was in college. I didn't know what I was missing
I didn't get one until my last year of law school, and then a month later I adopted a second. I think college is the perfect time to bring a furry friend home...you are home more often during the day (I studied at home more than I ever did in the library). The only issue would be figuring out what you are going to do with the cat when you go home, if you have to travel, over vacations. (Not a big deal, just something to think about....there are cat boarding places, pet sitters, friends, etc.)
Adoption is totally the way to go. It is much cheaper than getting a "free" cat (like from the newspaper, craigslist, etc.) because the shelter or rescue group will have already spayed/neutered the cat and it will be up to date on all of its shots and probably micro-chipped already too. Some even throw in a free first vet visit. Paying for all that stuff can be well over $200 but most shelters will have all of that taken care of for a mere adoption fee of $50-ish.
My favorite website ever for pet-searching is http://www.petfinder.com
. Nearly all shelters and rescue groups use this website and it really lets you see all the cats you can choose from! Start there and then go see cats in person. The shelter workers will know the cats' personalities the best so tell them what type of cat you want and they'll point you in the right direction.
If you don't want a wild and crazy cat, definitely do NOT adopt a kitten. Look for cats that are over 2 years old. Kittens are crazy little things and also generally do best when adopted with another kitten the same age to keep them entertained.
Also think about your other expectations....do you want a long-haired or short-haired cat? How do you feel about claws? Long-haired cats are grooming intensive and will require an excellent vacuum too
De-clawing is definitely not advised, but if you aren't ready to deal with a cat that doesn't use a scratching post, look for one that is already de-clawed as there are many that need homes.
Hmm....what else. Whatever food the shelter is feeding, you'll want to make sure they give you a little bit or at least find out what it is so you can buy a tiny bag. Then gradually switch the food over to a higher quality food (dry food switches have to be done gradually over about a week). Pick up some wet food too because it's super important to feed cats at least a little wet food if you can't feed them all-wet. Also, when you bring your kitty home, give it time to adjust. Keep it confined to a small area, like a bathroom, for the first night or two. Then let it out to explore a little more.
Wow I'm definitely rambling! lol
I am very excited for you! Welcome to TCS. Be sure to post pictures of who you end up with