You may already have given some thought to getting – or may indeed already have – an emotional support animal. But is it the right animal for you? Are you getting a lot of benefit from your pet, or is it perhaps causing you more stress? This, of course, would be counter-productive and something you’d want to avoid at all costs.
A lot of people think that only dogs can be classified and registered as an emotional support animal, but of course dogs – as wonderful as they are – don’t suit everyone! So if you have a dog and you’re finding it difficult to care for, or you’d like to get an ESA but don’t want a dog, then turn your thoughts to that amazing creature – the cat!
Cats making awesome ESAs, and with so many breeds to choose from, there’s bound to be one out there with your name on it.
The Ragdoll Cat
This emotional support cat is simply beautiful and perfect in every way if you’re looking for a low-maintenance ESA. Ragdolls have a placid, laid-back personality and are very trusting and affectionate. With their distinctive blue eyes and beautiful soft fur, they will always be a pleasure to look at too.
They like to be petted and handled and will respond well to your love and attention. They may even follow you around a bit, just like a dog! In fact, they’re sometimes referred to as ‘puppy-cats’ on account of their dog-like behavior.
The only slight down-side to be aware of with these cats is that, as they have long hair, they do require some grooming. Depending on how you feel about that though, it could actually be a plus!
The American Burmese Cat
(This ESA cat is not to be confused with the European Burmese – they are two separate breeds). The American Burmese is a very popular cat that originated in Thailand. Available in 4 different colors and with large, attractive round eyes, it’s a very aesthetically-appealing animal. Their coat is short and silky-soft to the touch, so no grooming is required, and they’re just a real pleasure to stroke and pet.
Like the Ragdoll, American Burmese make excellent ESAs because of their temperament. They like people and affection, will form attachments easily and prefer company to being left on their own. The fun thing about the American Burmese is that they retain their kitten-like energy and behavior in adulthood.
They’re also very clever little things; it’s possible to teach your American Burmese simple tricks such as ‘fetch’ and ‘tag’ games! How awesome is that? A possible negative is that they are fairly vocal – but then they do have such a sweet meow!
The Bengal Cat
Don’t be put off by the name – it won’t kill you! The Bengal cat breed originated as the result of a human-initiated match between the Asian leopard cat and the domestic cat. If you’re looking for a bit more of an outgoing personality in your emotional support animal, then the Bengal cat could be the breed for you.
It’s as friendly, sweet and affectionate as the other two breeds we’ve looked at, but it probably has a bit more energy, intelligence and a little more of that famous cat curiosity. The cool thing about the Bengal is that, unlike most cats, it doesn’t mind water! So if you’re looking for a swimming companion you may have found one.
The cat has to be in charge of when, where and if it goes in the water though; you can’t just chuck it in a pool and expect it to happily swim away alongside you!
The American Bobtail Cat
If you do a bit of traveling and want to take your ESA cat with you, then this could be the breed for you. The American Bobtail is very adaptable, so she’s a good traveler and a good companion. As she’s so adaptable she’s also a good breed to choose if you have a rowdy household or lots of visitors.
The American Bobtail has a sweet and affectionate personality and is very clever. She loves to play and will be open to learning tricks. These emotional support cats are best kept as indoor pets, as to protect them from diseases spread by other cats and also because they are sometimes targets for thieves (as they’re quite unusual looking).
The Russian Blue Cat
This ESA cat is simply majestic. You will never tire of looking at this beautiful creature with its long, slender body, its bright blue, thick, silky coat and its captivating green eyes. They say a thing of beauty is a joy forever, so this particular ESA will certainly make you happy every day.
The Russian Blue Cat is a little more independent than the other breeds we’ve looked at (worth bearing in mind if you want an emotional support cat but will need to leave it on its own sometimes). This cat won’t mind that – but it will still be overjoyed to see you when you return! He may follow you around, can be trained to learn simple games and, although he will get on with everyone – including children – he will often choose to bond with one person over others.
Make sure that person is you and you will reap the benefits from this affectionate pet. Oh, and one more thing to love – this cat’s mouth turns up at the edges so he looks like he’s permanently smiling!
Other things to note: this is a breed that can be shy or nervous – particularly around new people or in new situations and it doesn’t like change. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, you can probably empathize with this, so you will make good companions.
One thing to be aware of: the Russian Blue sure likes his food. He will happily over-eat if you let him … so don’t!
Now all you have to do now is select the breed you want, choose your ESA cat, apply for emotional animal support registration and start bringing some furry joy into your life!