Many universities have mascots - but only a select few have their own campus cats. Check our list to learn more about your feline fellow students:
Students at the University of Essex have enjoyed a furry companion for years now: Pebbles, also known as the Essex Campus Cat.
Pebbles on his favourite “throne”. Photo: Adam Woodhouse
The cuddly black-and-white tomcat first began roaming the campus around 2010 and quickly got used to the attention by students and staff, being fed and being pet. Although university staff scanned his chip and returned him to his owner, Pebbles felt he had found a new home on campus. He was finally formally adopted by the Students’ Union and even received an official student card.
Pebbles taking a nap. Photo: Grace Hill
Craig Stephens, Head of the Essex Student Union, told us that Pebbles just completed his undergraduate degree and will now start a Master’s degree, although his commitments as a local celebrity force him to scale back to part-time studies. And of course, Pebbles needs to follow a strict athletic regimen: “He keeps fit and healthy by chasing the rabbits and ducks on campus,” Stephens told us.
Pebbles has amassed quite a fan base on social media, with thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and is regularly featured in the news.
Pebbles enjoying an on-campus snack. Photo: Peter East
Jordan, the original Library Cat of the University of Edinburgh. Photo: Fr. Lawrence Lew OP
Edinburgh’s Library Cat 2.0. Photo: Ah Wen
Dennis was a stray in the streets of London when rescued at the age of just three months. He now lives next door to the University of Buckingham with his owners, Sophie and Neil Barlow. Apparently Dennis got excited about university life, because he quickly decided to spend a lot of time there with staff and students.
Dennis showing off his puffy cheeks. Photo: Jack Deering
And Dennis is all about socialising (and being fed): “He never has time to play with toys – he’s usually too busy sleeping, eating or visiting! He usually has a tin of meat and biscuits at 8.00 a.m. at the Reception, and then leaves to go and visit any other department that may have food for him,” says Julie Cakebread, Administrator at the University of Buckingham.
Dennis “assisting” the university admin staff. Photo: Julie Cakebread
Dennis has become so popular that even the BBC reported on him. Following the footsteps of the Edinburgh Library Cat, he is currently in the process of writing a book. In his Facebook group, you can follow his day-to-day adventures.
Dennis the cat practising his graduation speech. Photo: Dee Bunker
Augsburg’s popular campus cat with friends. Photo: Amelie Damm
Known as CampusCat, Campus-Kater (in German), or Prof. Dr. Miau (“meow”), this cuddly ginger has been roaming the campus of the University of Augsburg in South Germany, some 50 kilometers from Munich. He has been “attending” university for more than 9 years now, and has shown no intention of graduating any time soon. In the on-campus university store, you can even get a cat-themed keychain. With a Facebook following of roughly 30,000 - nearly 3 times as much as the University itself! -, the Augsburg CampusCat is also the most popular cat in our list.
The Augsburg Campus Cat bathing in the sun. Photo: Tanja Olena
Buttons: Victim of Russian election meddling? Photo: Joe Johnston
The University of Aberdeen is where you’ll find snow-white tomcat Buttons, a real celebrity for local students. He is known to spend time near the Philosophy department, where he satisfies his “unquenchable passion for knowledge”, according to the University’s Joe Johnston.
Inspired by other celebrities breaking into government - think Schwarzenegger or Trump - Buttons ran for the election of the Rector’s office in early 2018. His campaign, with slogans like “The purr-fect candidate” and “Cats not bureaucrats”, even made national headlines.
But while he enjoyed the majority support from students, Buttons’ candidacy was discounted for a technicality. Insiders claim there were other reasons behind the disqualification: A university representative (who asked to remain anonymous) says there were rumours of Russian interference in the election.
Yet Buttons has recovered well from this defeat: “He spends a lot of his time on campus, trying to get food and attention from anyone who passes him,” says History student and Buttons’ former campaign manager Alex Kither.
Buttons at graduation, sitting on a graduate’s grandmother. Photo: Malcolm Combe, University of Aberdeen School of Law