4 Benefits of Choosing a Cat as Your Emotional Support Animal

Moosh - ginger cat

If you suffer from an emotional or a psychological disability – such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, or autism – then you may have already decided that owning an emotional support animal is going to make your life easier and more enjoyable. Medication for such disorders is an option, of course, but finding the right ESA for you might be far more palatable and also more effective than getting hooked on meds. An ESA will provide you with the emotional support you need; it will help to relieve the stress and anxiety that you’re experiencing in a most natural and loving way.

There are many different animals you can choose from, of course, but an ESA cat comes highly recommended as your pet of choice! Here are a few benefits of choosing a cat as your emotional support animal.

Cats are low-maintenance

Cats are, by nature, more independent than dogs, so they need less of your time and attention. This is a positive if you’re maybe not used to looking after pets but want one in your life; or maybe you’re away from the house a lot and might be concerned about leaving a dog on its own. An ESA cat would be a good balance because it will need more care than a caged animal, for example, and it will respond well to your love and attention. A dog can get lonely and therefore would demand more of your time and company, but a cat is happy to be by itself for long spells. Sleeping, mainly – or up to mischief if it’s a kitten! So if you’re having a bad day, you don’t have the problem of a dog wondering when you’re going to take it out for a walk. You can just curl up on the sofa with your ESA cat on your lap and he/she will be very content with that. The more love and affection you give your emotional support cat, the more you will get in return. It’s a proven fact that stroking a cat can reduce your blood pressure and your anxiety level. Cats often have great personalities too and, as they are curious by nature, your ESA cat will keep you amused and entertained.

Moosh - kitten

A cat is a low-maintenance yet playful and affectionate emotional support animal.

It’s easier to travel with cats

Cats are much more portable than dogs – except for the toy dog breeds, which are often actually smaller than cats! So if you travel often and want your emotional support animal with you at all times, then a cat is a good choice. Their carrier can easily go in a car or on a train, and you can even take your ESA cat on airlines these days. The Air Carrier Access Act states that, provided you have an ESA letter, your pet can travel in the cabin of the airplane with you. Obviously certain animals would be exempt from this, but a cat is quite acceptable. You do need to register your ESA cat ahead of traveling and make sure it will behave during the flight and not be a problem to other travelers, but providing that’s all OK, then you’re good to go! What’s more, your little furry friend travels for free in the cabin with you.

Cats are good pets for rented accommodation

If you’re renting accommodation, regular pets are often not permitted by landlords. However, thanks to the Fair Housing Act, being in possession of a companion pet certification will ensure that you are not discriminated against for having a pet, and you will not be charged extra for him/her. Obviously you have to make sure your chosen emotional support animal behaves itself in relation to the property and other tenants, so an emotional support cat is a very good choice again as they are clean and (generally!) quiet animals. The Housing Amendments Act requires that landlords make “reasonable accommodations” for tenants so that they can live as they want with their chosen ESA. Good to know – this might come in handy!

Moosh - ESA cat and owner

Cats are the perfect indoor house pets.

Cats make a great indoor house pet

If you want a house pet but are not too keen on having a dog, then an ESA cat could be the perfect answer. Some breeds of cat are particularly well suited to being indoors. They are the more chilled-out and affectionate breeds – such as the beautiful Ragdoll cat and the American Burmese. These both have equable temperaments and respond well to love and attention. They will always be there to greet you when you return home, and they’re always there if you’re home a lot and need them for comfort and reassurance. Indoor emotional support cats make great companions during the day and will be only too happy to sleep on your bed at night if you let them!

Where to get an ESA cat is not an issue – you don’t have to get them from a special place. Any cat you choose can become your emotional support cat, providing it specifically helps you with your disability. You simply have to apply for an ESA letter. A licensed mental health specialist will determine whether or not you’re suitable for emotional support animal registration, via a stress-free online conversation with you. If approved, your ESA letter will arrive in the post and you will then be entitled to ESA benefits.

It’s a very easy process, so why not start it today? Find your perfect emotional support cat or, if you already own a cat, then apply for that ESA letter! You won’t regret it.

The 6 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds For ESA Ownership

Moosh - stretching cat

The benefits of owning an emotional support animal are well documented. Anecdotal evidence and research results show us that if you suffer from an emotional or a psychological disorder, owning an ESA can help relieve your symptoms and make life a little easier to navigate. Emotional support animals – be they dogs, cats, or any pet of your choice – can, among other things, calm you, reduce your anxiety, help you in social situations, and just be there as a companion for you.

The most popular ESAs are dogs and cats, for obvious reasons. But what if you’re allergic to animals? Many people are. Well, fear not, because there are several hypoallergenic emotional support cats out there to choose from! Below we’ll take a look at some of the best hypoallergenic cat breeds and which ones might be good for your own particular condition.

Why hypoallergenic cats don’t trigger allergies

There are many benefits of choosing a cat as your ESA. But what if you have allergies? Well, you may be surprised to learn that there are actually two things that make some people allergic to cats. Most of us tend to assume it’s the fur that causes allergy problems, which indeed it can be, but more people are allergic to proteins that are secreted by the skin and are also present in a cat’s saliva. They are two different proteins: Fel d1 from the skin and Fel d4 in the saliva.

Here are our recommendations for the best hypoallergenic ESA cats that are less likely to cause either of these reactions in humans.

Sphynx

If you are very sensitive to cat fur, then the Sphynx cat might be the answer for you. They are hairless, so obviously there’s no fur allergy issue. The cat’s saliva can’t get trapped in its fur, because it has none! So it’s a double whammy, making the Sphynx a great ESA cat for allergy problems. As they’re fairly unique, they do require some special care, so be sure to check out their needs if you’re thinking of getting one.

Moosh - hypoallergenic Sphynx cat
Image by Nosferata_Morbosa from Pixabay: The Sphynx is probably the best ESA cat for allergies.

Oriental

Oriental cats have a very short and fine coat that hardly sheds at all, so you won’t have the worry of loose hairs around the home. Plus, the short coat means it’s less likely to trap saliva. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to give your Oriental cat a regular brush to further reduce the risk of loose hairs. They are beautiful cats, and with the smooth coat making them very pleasing to stroke, they are one of the best hypoallergenic cats to help ease anxiety.

Russian Blue

You may be surprised to see the wonderful Russian Blue on a list of best hypoallergenic ESA cats. Their lovely coat doesn’t have any special hypoallergenic qualities, but their trump card is that they produce less Fel d1 – the protein secreted from their skin. So if you’re more allergic to this than cat fur, the Russian Blue might be the ESA of choice for you. They make very good house cats and, being a little more independent than other potential house cat breeds, they can be left on their own for a period of time. They like to bond with one person over others, and they don’t particularly like change of any sort. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or agoraphobia, or you just want a more reliable constant companion, then the Russian Blue could be one of the best hypoallergenic emotional support cats for you.

Balinese

Balinese cats have the same benefits as Russian Blues, in that their skin produces less Fel d1. They are very friendly, affectionate, and playful cats, making them a good choice for a family or for a particular child to bond with. They do need more attention than a Russian Blue, so are not ideal if you need to leave them on their own for too long. They are in fact a Siamese cat with a longer coat, meaning they’re also very beautiful creatures.

Cornish Rex

Perhaps one of the less well-known cat breeds, the Cornish Rex has an unusual trait that makes it a perfect choice if you want an ESA cat but are allergic to fur. The majority of cats have three layers of fur: a top “guard” hair, a middle “awn” hair, and a bottom “down” hair. The Cornish Rex’s little secret is that it only has the bottom down hair. This makes them very soft to stroke but also means that they have a lot less fur than most cats. Less fur means less shedding, thus making this one of the top hypoallergenic emotional support cats.

Moosh - Cornish Rex cat
Image by duodenum82 from Pixabay: The unusual Cornish Rex is one of the best hypoallergenic cat breeds.

Devon Rex

You won’t be surprised to learn that the Devon Rex is akin to the Cornish Rex! The Devon Rex has the same type of coat as its counterpart: just the soft down hair. But where Devon has one over on Cornwall is that the Devon Rex has even less fur and hardly sheds at all. Certainly a contender for the best ESA cat for allergies!

Having an allergy to animals need not be a barrier to getting an ESA. Hypoallergenic cats make a good choice and, as you can see, there are several suitable breeds to choose from – so go and find your companion cat and apply with us online for a stress-free, relaxed assessment.

Featured image by Jonathan Sautter from Pixabay

Do Sphynx Cats Make Good Emotional Support Animals?

Moosh - Sphynx cat ESA

Choosing an emotional support animal is an important decision. By far the most popular types of animals people choose are dogs and cats. While it may be dogs that get all the glory for specific breeds and their talents, there are a lot of cat breeds out there that are just as special. One such breed is the Sphynx cat. They may sound mysterious, but there’s nothing shady about these affectionate cats. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a Sphynx cat ESA.

All About The Sphynx

A Sphynx may sound like it originated in ancient Egypt, but the truth is that this breed has only been around since about the 1960s, and is the result of a genetic mutation. These unique, hairless cats are loved by many and continue to be a popular choice for cat lovers everywhere.

Sphynx cats are known for their large personalities. This is a social cat that will often run to greet you when you arrive back home or settle in for a snuggle on your lap. They even like to cuddle under the covers at night with you, perhaps due to the fact that they have no hair and want to soak up some of your body heat.

This breed of cat is also very vocal. If they have an opinion about something, they’ll let you know! So don’t even think about skipping treat time or trying to close them out of a room you’re in, because this cat will tell it like it is – which can be quite entertaining!

Moosh - Sphynx cat
Image by Dan Wayman on Unsplash: An emotional support Sphynx cat will snuggle up with you under a blanket to steal your body heat in the sweetest possible way!

Caring For A Sphynx ESA

One of the best things about having an emotional support Sphynx cat is that because they’re hairless, they won’t trigger your allergies if you’re sensitive to cat hair. (Note that if you are very allergic to cats, a Sphynx ESA may still not be the best choice, as the oils in their skin can trigger allergies as well.) Of course, one of the best things about a Sphynx is that they don’t shed because they don’t have any hair, so you won’t have to make a hobby out of crafting with cat hair when you live with a Sphynx ESA.

But just because a Sphynx is hairless doesn’t mean it’s maintenance-free. You must feed them a proper diet to help them maintain healthy skin, so high-quality cat food is a must for this breed.

Sphynx cats may also leave grease spots in the areas they like to linger. They have oily skin and the oil can get left behind on couch cushions if you don’t take precautions to protect your furniture.

Cats are widely known as clean animals and a Sphynx is no different, but they will need occasional baths to help wash away greasy buildup. If you choose a gentle shampoo, you can easily clean them with a damp cloth and a little bit of soap. They don’t have to be fully submerged in water to get the job done.

Should I Get A Sphynx Cat ESA?

Are Sphynx cats good ESAs? The answer is yes! If you’re looking for an emotional support animal, then the Sphynx may work for you, especially if you need an ESA due to issues with anxiety, depression, or other conditions that impact mood. For those who struggle some days to go through the motions of daily life, a Sphynx can be a happy and bright presence in their day.

Remember, cats are intelligent, calm, and affectionate companions, providing their owners with a comforting and soothing presence when they need it. That makes an emotional support Sphynx cat a perfect choice.

Moosh - Sphynx ESA
Image by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash: A Sphynx ESA is a curious partner that can accompany you on all your adventures!

How Can I Get An ESA Sphynx Cat?

If you’ve got your sights set on a Sphynx cat ESA, be sure to seek out a registered breeder rather than buying from a pet store. If you already have a Sphynx and want to make it your official ESA, all you need to do is consult with your mental health professional to have them prescribe your cat as your ESA. A letter on their letterhead with all the required information is all you need.

Making your Sphynx your ESA entitles you to certain legal rights. The first is that under the Fair Housing Act, any animal that is officially deemed an ESA can live with you, even if you live in housing that doesn’t allow pets. Second, most ESAs can fly with you if you have an official letter under the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986. The airlines require advance notice of this, and your ESA must be well-behaved and able to stay calm on the plane.

When it’s time to renew your ESA letter, don’t forget that Moosh can make it super simple!

Are You Ready?

Bringing a pet into your life is a joyful process and one that can help those with unique needs. Of course, finding the right type of cat for you is the most important thing. But if you love social, loyal, lovable, and playful animals, then a Sphynx cat ESA is one to definitely consider.

If you have questions about the ESA process, then Moosh is always here to help. Hopefully, you’ll soon welcome an emotional support Sphynx cat into your home as your loyal companion to brighten your days!

Featured image by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash

Is a Cat the Right ESA for You?

therapy cat for depression

Emotional support animals provide undeniable benefits for owners struggling with mental illness. Approximately one in four (26%) of Americans live with a diagnosable mental illness in a given year, and 74% of those surveyed reported that companion animals brought them mental health improvements.

 

However, choosing the right emotional support animal can be challenging. Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, or other conditions commonly choose support dogs for emotional companionship. Though dogs make great ESAs, for the right person, a therapy cat for depression or anxiety might be an even better choice.

 

Having trouble choosing between an ESA cat or ESA dog? Read on to determine if a therapy cat for depression or other mental health conditions is right for you:

The Many Benefits of Emotional Support Cats

 

Unmatched Affection: Though cats are known for being aloof and unpredictable, each animal has its own unique personality. Many cats demonstrate just as much affection, goofiness, and intelligence as a dog. With proper toys, treats, and love from her owner, almost any feline friend will want to spend time with you.

 

Longevity: Unlike smaller pets, such as hamsters or gerbils, cats can live for well over a decade. Cats often outlive even dogs. Adopting a therapy cat for depression means adopting a friend who will brighten your home for 10 or even 20 years.

 

Independence: Cats love human company, but many pet owners and ESA owners note that cats require less undivided attention than dogs. Cats can happily spend hours snoozing or watching birds through the window, while a dog may need to be walked outside every few hours. If you don’t feel up to the challenge of ESA dog training, a cat might be the right choice.

 

Quiet: Some breed of cat vocalize often, but in general, cats are much quieter companions than dogs. If you prefer a calm home environment, a cat will probably never burst your eardrums with excessive barking!

 

Adorableness: We have to say it. Cats are downright cute. Equal parts playful and snuggly, a cat will entertain you with silly antics in one moment, then curl on your lap for a warm nap the next. Plus, few things are more soothing than a contented cat’s purr.

 

Potential Challenges of Cat Ownership

 

Though cats make some of the best ESAs for depression, there are still difficulties that associated with choosing an ESA cat. For example, cats sometimes dislike living with other animals. They are also a bit more difficult to take in public than dogs, since walking on a leash comes less naturally to them. Be sure to do thorough research about the complications that come with caring for a cat, so that you can give your new kitty the home she needs to thrive.

 

Ultimately, the decision is yours. If the above benefits appeal to you, ESA cat ownership might be the therapy you’ve been looking for. For more information about how to adopt an emotional support dog or cat, visit Mooshme.com today!

 

Dog or Cat? Which Emotional Support Animal Is Best for You?

MoosheMe - animals

An emotional support animal doesn’t need to be a dog or a cat, but these are the most common animals people choose when getting their first ESA pet. Although you might find a variety of ESA companions ranging from birds, turtles and hedgehogs to snakes, rabbits and ferrets, most chose an emotional support animal that is of the mammal variety, typically a dog or a cat. In this article, we’re going to help you decide between the two so you can find the perfect emotional support animal to suit your particular needs.

Why People Get An Emotional Support Animal

MoosheMe - dog

An emotional support animal is a pet that’s been prescribed as a form of treatment by a licensed mental health professional.

An emotional support animal is just like a normal pet. The main difference is that they have been prescribed as a form of treatment by a licensed mental health professional. This means that the animal, unlike a normal pet, is allowed certain privileges that are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The two most important are laws affect your ability to live with your animal regardless of any property rules and your ability to fly with the animal in the cabin of a commercial airline. These rights are protected by laws, but most people get an ESA animal for the many social, emotional and physical benefits. These benefits vary between cats and dogs, and each has a case for why they might be the right choice for you.

The Case for an ESA Dog

MooshMe - dog

Man’s best friend is the most common choice for an ESA animal.

Dogs are the most common choice for an ESA animal. The benefits of having an emotional support dog can be broken into three main categories: physical, social and emotional.

Physical Benefits

First and foremost, having an ESA dog means you’ll increase your physical activity. A dog needs to be walked, and you will need to play with it. As a result, you will be healthier. Studies have shown that dogs can give you a healthier heart and reduce the risk of heart attacks. For ESA owners who have suffered a heart attack, ESA dogs are reported to improve their recovery rate by more than 70 percent compared to those who don’t own dogs. Dogs can also help you lower your cholesterol, partly through exercise and partly through stress relief, and dogs can help you reduce blood pressure.

Social Benefits

Dogs create a sense of companionship and well-being. Whether you live alone or in a family, ESA dog ownership has been proven to increase happiness. They promote interaction and are always a topic of conversation. Every ESA dog owner knows that dog ownership can lead to more social interactions.

Emotional Benefits

Dogs help their owners feel safer and less anxious in both social situations and when they’re on their own with their pets. Dogs help people cope with death and other serious illnesses and act as compassionate companions that can understand an owner’s pain. Dogs provide stress relief as well as physical contact for someone who is lonely. ESA dogs help to lift someone’s mood and fight depression for those suffering from acute forms of it. ESA dogs provide companionship and something to care for. They help you to schedule your life and provide a consistency and unconditional love for their owners.

The Case for an ESA Cat

MooshMe - cat

ESA cats offer a number of benefits, too.

Cats are the second most common choice as an emotional support animal. Just like dogs, the benefits of ESA cat ownership can be broken down into physical, emotional and social categories.

Physical Benefits

Cats need exercise, too, they just need less of it, and play typically takes place in the home. This doesn’t mean that the exercise can’t be vigorous and fun and that you won’t be reaping the benefits as well. Cats are a great choice for people who suffer immobility issues to keep active through low strain activities. Additionally, cats can help to lower your chances of suffering from heart disease. Studies have shown that throughout a 10-year period, cat owners were 30 percent less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than those who didn’t own a cat. Cats lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and studies have shown that sharing a bed with a cat can help you sleep better.

Emotional Benefits

Cats are considered aloof, but they are especially effective in helping you cope with the loss of a loved one and acting as a form of social support when you need it most. Like dogs, cats fulfill your need for companionship. In fact, studies have shown that having a cat in the house is the equivalent of having a significant other. Cats require nurturing, and this helps their owners to develop their empathy skills. Cats also help to fight feelings of loneliness, structure your life and can help you cope with and fight depression.

Social Benefits

Unlike dogs, ESA cats don’t need to be walked. They may, of course, need to be taken to the vet, and they’re always open to being a topic of conversation. Another big benefit of ESA cat ownership is that they don’t require the excessive attention that dogs do and can be left in a house for hours alone, perfectly capable of entertaining themselves. This is important for those with busy and active lives or for those who live in large cities.

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter

Choosing an emotional support animal is completely up to you! Of course, if you can’t decide, you could always get both and have the best of both worlds. Most important, in order to get the legal benefits of having an ESA-registered pet, you’ll need an emotional support animal letter. This letter is issued to you on behalf of a licensed mental health professional and states that they recommend the treatment of an ESA for an emotional or mental issue for which you are being treated. With that letter, you’ll be open to the wide range of legal benefits ESA ownership ensures. All you have to do is make that hard choice: Dog or cat?

What Is a Companion Dog Certification, and How Do I Get It?

MoosheMe - dog

If you suffer from a debilitating mental or emotional affliction, registering your furry friend for a companion dog certification is a positive way to live a better life. If you don’t already have a dog, the option of welcoming one into your home is becoming more popular as people see the benefits of their comfort, affection, and emotional support.

Why do dogs make such awesome emotional support animals? Well, dogs are naturally empathetic to humans. They’re intelligent and social. They can be trained, which makes it easier when you’re out in public with them. There’s a reason why they are known as man’s best friend: They just love us!

The difference between an ESA and a normal household pet is that an ESA dog is officially registered as an emotional support animal and you get companion dog certification. This allows an ESA dog to have a greater range of mobility out in public. By fulfilling companion dog requirements for certification, your ESA can accompany you on a flight, live with you, or go with you in public places where dogs may not usually be allowed.

What Afflictions Lead to Needing an ESA Dog?

Sadly, mental illness is a fact of life. In the U.S., one in four adults has some form of affliction or disorder that they must cope with daily, from mild forms of anxiety and depression to more incapacitating illnesses, such as phobias, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. An ESA dog can mean the difference between needing to take medication to cope with an affliction or living a relatively normal life medication free. Caring for an ESA dog is sometimes all that is needed to put people on the path to happiness. They can alleviate loneliness in a way that no other animal can. Visit our FAQ page to find out more about how to get a companion dog certification.

Does an ESA Dog Need Special Training?

MooshMe - dog

Profession training isn’t necessarily, but it certainly helps.

Unlike service dogs, such as guide dogs, a companion dogs’ requirements for certification don’t involve performing specific tasks or undergoing professional training; your dog just has to be there to provide emotional stability. However, in the case of traveling by plane with an ESA dog, it helps if it is well-trained and able to sit quietly on the seat beside you or on your lap. A well-behaved ESA dog is also an asset if you want to go to a cafe, shopping and or meet other dog owners in the park.

What Do I Need to Prove My Dog Is an ESA?

You may already have a dog that provides you with emotional support or be seriously considering buying one from a pet store or adopting one from the local animal shelter. But identifying your need of an ESA dog is just the first step. You’ll need to also have a letter from a doctor or mental health professional to show as your companion dog certification. This ESA letter is something you need to have on hand to present to airline staff, a landlord when renting or anyone who questions why your dog needs to be with you.

It helps that ESA dogs are protected by the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), but to avoid constant questioning, it may be easier to have your dog wear a vest or tag to identify it as an ESA because the majority of the public is still unaware of what exactly an emotional support animal is and does.

Which Dogs Make Good ESAs?

MooshMe - dog

Choosing the right breed for your companion dog certification is important.

Any dog can be an emotional support dog, but getting the right one for companion dog certification is important, especially if you want to travel with it or frequent public places on a regular basis. Look for an ESA dog that has the following qualities: an affectionate temperament, eager to please, responds instantly to a command, respects other people. This will make life a lot easier for you. You need them to calm your stress, not add to it.

Some dog breeds that make good ESAs are Labradors, German Shepherds, Greyhounds, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Pugs and Bichon Frises. But there are much more. In addition to considering your personal affinity to a type of dog, it depends on how much room you have to accommodate a larger breed, how much shedding you mind and how much time you have to exercise your ESA dog.

How Do I Take Care of My ESA Dog?

Caring for an ESA dog is just like caring for any other pet. It will need food and water, a comfy bed to sleep in, and daily exercise. Dogs are social creatures, so taking your ESA to a dog-friendly park is a great way for it to interact with other canines. It’s also good for you to meet other dog owners and build up confidence via socializing. Smaller ESA dogs won’t need as much exercise as a larger breed, which is something to keep in mind if you do live in the city and don’t have easy access to a green urban space.

Choosing An Emotional Support Animal: What You Need to Know

MooshMe - Puppies

For anyone seeking the companionship of an emotional support animal, adopting the right pet can be as difficult of a decision as it is important. From cats and dogs, to rabbits, and even pigs, the choices available are varied and plentiful. Not only does each animal come with their own needs and benefits, but individual breeds within each animal type are just as diverse, hosting a range of energy levels, temperaments, and attention requirements.

Emotional support animals can provide a plethora of benefits, besides that of companionship. The positive impacts they have on their owner’s life through lessening possible feelings of isolation or loneliness, encouraging them to become more active members of society, or simply calming feelings of anxiety in specific situation, cannot be understated. However, it’s essential to establish which kind of pet is right for you, and the responsibilities that go along with it.

MooshMe - Puppies

Don’t you just want to take them home with you?!

Variables such as lifestyle, household size, children, age, and funds are all vital and meaningful questions someone should ask themselves before making the decision to adopt a pet. Every animal is different, so finding the one that’s right for you is central to determine, for the wellbeing of both the owner and their four-legged friend.

The average lifespan of most household pets is 12-15 years – like the old saying goes, a dog isn’t just for Christmas. Therefore the most imperative question for someone seeking immediate comfort from an emotional support animal, is are you willing to care for a pet year after year. A factor of this also comes down to the breed; researching differences between dogs or cats will assure the animal will fit into your lifestyle – there’s nothing worse than bringing a new pet home then finding it isn’t working out.

Additional things to consider are if there is a garden available, is that garden secure, and if renting a property, do you have permission from the landlord. Property agencies have been known to allow cats but not dogs for example. Making a home pet friendly before adopting, such as removing toxic plants from a garden, or moving chemicals from low storage, should be considered for the animal’s safety.

There are of course many differences when it comes to an emotional support animal; however, requiring a certain level of attention is a constant. For those with a hectic work life, busy social life, and love to do a bit of travel on the side, adopting a pet isn’t always a wise choice, as not giving them enough attention can have a serious detriment on their wellbeing. But for those with the time, a cute fluffball is the perfect way to brighten up a home.

MooshMe - Rabbits

A rabbit can make for an excellent emotional support animal for those who stay around the house.

Upon considering which emotional support animal is right for you, you may find yourself hitting a wall of pros and cons. These pros and cons will ultimately lend themselves to instructing the compatibility between an animal and their owner, so they are important to determine.

For those whose calendar is more often than not overflowing with appointments, adopting a dog may not be the best choice. Dogs have far more energy than most other household pets, in-turn requiring significant attention and exercise. Furthermore, dogs require training as well as frequent trips outside to use the bathroom, especially when they’re still a puppy.

Puppies often cry at night when they’re first brought home, and can have numerous accidents until they’re fully bathroom-trained; so for someone who is desiring a dog but has either a lack of time or patience, consider adopting one who is fully grown to help mitigate these issues. Dog owners almost always wish to get their puppy neutered, due to the decrease in aggression and sexual behavior it provides. With any trip to the vets though, having a dog can be pricey – significantly more than with other animals.

Cats, on the other hand, are an ideal choice for anyone seeking an emotional support animal with a little less reliance on their owner. Cats are incredibly self-sufficient; they bathe themselves, play with toys all by themselves, and are more easily able to cope with extended periods of time on their own. Cats can be just as loving as dogs too, with some – the Manx cat for example – which can even be training to walk on a leash.

It’s not just limited to cats and dogs either. Rabbits and even pigs can make for effective emotional support animals. Like with cats, rabbits can use a litterbox, play with toys, are extremely curious, and are also relatively laid-back. They are known to nibble though, so keeping all important document out of reach is advised. Rabbits also require the companionship from their own kind, as well as their owner, so it’s never recommended to just get the one.

You may be surprised to hear that pigs make for excellent emotional support animals, and contrary to popular belief, are in fact especially clean creatures. Of course, they require a certain amount of outdoor space, but they’re easily trained due to their high intelligence, and are inexpensive to feed. For those considering multiple pets, pigs are known to get on much better with cats than they do with dogs – something to keep in mind in terms of living space.

Emotional support animals come in all shapes and sizes. Researching differences among them, as well as their breeds, should be any future pet owner’s first step; proper nutritional information, attention requirements, and lifestyle considerations are equally as vital. But while this process may seem daunting at first, you can rest assured that’s there’s an emotional support animal out there for everyone.

Cats vs. Dogs: Do We Really Have To Choose When It Comes To An Emotional Support Animal?

ESA cat & ESA dog

It’s an age-old issue that has been discussed by the public, pet owners, scientists and anthropologists alike: which are better, cats or dogs? While there’s no rational reason why you have to like one more than the other, if you’re in the market for an emotional support animal then you will have to choose between the two and this will depend entirely on your personal taste.

The differences between cats and dogs have been well-documented by Disney, humorists, children’s book writers and pretty much any street cartoonist that you’ll find on Santa Monica Boulevard.  However, we’re looking for differences between the two in specific relation to their roles as emotional support animals.  The relative pros and cons may affect your decision to fill out an ESA dog letter or an ESA cat letter, so read on and let us know if you have any comments on the matter.

Emotional Support Dogs

Dogs are a popular choice for ESAs and the reasons are plentiful; however, there are a few downsides to having a canine companion, depending on your disposition.

Pros of Dogs As Emotional Support Animals

They’re loyal – The old adage of dogs as man’s best friend has been proved correct time and time again and if dependency and regularity are important to your emotional support development then look no further than a perfect pooch.

Fun to be around – Throw a Frisbee or a squeaky toy around the yard and watch as Fido retrieves it, drops it at your feet and looks up at you adoringly as you prepare to throw it again.  Then try to be miserable – it’s impossible!

Get you out of the house – Your emotional support dog can not only increase your emotional wellbeing, it can provide you with exercise and a reason to socialize with other dog owners via its daily walkies.

Cons of Dogs As Emotional Support Animals

They’re loud – If early morning alarm clocks in the form of barks and yelps aren’t your thing, either think twice about getting a dog or get ready to train it to respect the peacefulness and tranquility of morning.

They need daily exercise – This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your personal situation; if you’re housebound then getting a dog that needs regular walks is not a good idea unless you can be sure that someone else is going to fulfil that duty.

Many breeds aren’t appropriate for city living – If you live in a small apartment in a major city and own a Great Dane or a Mastiff, prepare for some (fairly justified) dirty looks. There’s little chance of them getting the exercise and enjoying the space that they need without living near the countryside, so either go for a Chihuahua or consider the cat option.

ESA dog

Choosing your emotional support animal: Can’t we all just get along?

Emotional Support Cats

The plethora of YouTube videos focusing on cute kittens is testament enough to how much cat owners adore their pets.  But should you choose a register a cat as your emotional support animal?  Here are the costs and benefits.

Pros of Cats As Emotional Support Animals

Keep in the house – If your affliction means that you have to stay in the house, then cats are the go-to emotional support animal for you as they require minimal exercise and can be left to their own devices.

Can be left alone – Building on this point, if you do want to take a short trip away then you can leave the cat alone in your house and it is able to feed itself. It can do this via an automatic pet feeder or a particularly well-trained cat will even just ration out its required food each day from a stash that you leave it. Try doing that with a dog and you will return to one ruined kitchen.

Can travel easily – Cats are a great emotional support animal as they are small and can curl up into a ball on your lap or fit in a small cage that means that you can take your ESA with you with the minimum amount of fuss.

Cons of Cats As Emotional Support Animals

They can be cold – As opposed to the instant loyalty of a dog, it can take quite a while to earn a cat’s affection; if you don’t think that you’re ready for that level of dedication then perhaps a cat isn’t for you.

Allergies – While there are plenty of people who are allergic to dogs, cat allergies are twice as common; even if you are not allergic, you might want to consider friends and family before you decide on an ESA cat.

Housebound – While cats are great emotional support pets for people who have to stay in the house, for those who want to get out into the world and use their pet to socialize, they can become a bit of an anchor.

So, do we really have to choose between whether we prefer dogs or cats? In general terms, no.  If Homeward Bound taught us anything it’s that inter-species friendships can lead to great adventures! But if you are in the market to register and emotional support animal then you should think carefully about the type of pet that you want to bring into your life. If you have any questions, leave us a comment or send us a tweet.

Is It Safe For Your ESA To Follow Your Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet?

Moosh - vegetarian vegan

Lots of vegan and vegetarian people own an emotional support animal. ESAs provide people with vital, life-affirming companionship, love, and support. A growing awareness of animal rights within society has potentially played a part in the big rise in ESA ownership. It has also played a role in the recent increase in the number of people choosing a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.

People opt to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet for different reasons. Some choose to go meat-free for the health benefits, others because they feel it is more moral and better for the environment. Emotional support animal ownership and veganism are compatible lifestyles, and many animal-lovers chose to own an ESA while choosing not to eat animals.

Vegetarians and vegan ESA-owners love their ESA best friend and want the best for their emotional pet. “Can my ESA be vegetarian?” or “Can my ESA be vegan?” are questions more and more people are now asking. An emotional support animal vegetarian diet can be a very healthy option. But it is not necessarily optimal for all species of ESA. Nor is it necessarily ideal during every period of an ESA’s life. Emotional support animal vegan nutrition is not a black-and-white topic.

With many emotional support animals, a largely vegan or vegetarian diet will work well. But with certain species, a plant-only diet will not be optimal. Different types of ESAs have different dietary requirements. So let’s look into whether your ESA can follow your vegan or vegetarian diet.

Moosh - vegan diet
Image by JillWellington on Pixabay: Many emotional support animals might wonder, “Can my ESA be vegan?”

Vegan and Vegetarian Diets Are Becoming More Popular

Between 2014 and 2017, the number of vegans in America grew by 600%, from 1% to 6%. This is a huge increase. Vegan and vegetarian eating has become mainstream, especially in the bigger urban areas and among millennials. Plant-based diets can be healthier and more sustainable than diets that are heavy on animal products. With this steep rise in the number of people living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, many ESA owners are wondering “Can my ESA be vegetarian or vegan?”

Many Vegans and Vegetarians Want Their Emotional Support Animal to Follow Suit

People who live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle report numerous health benefits and a marked increase in feelings of psychological and physical wellbeing. Often, moving to a plant-based diet leads to immediate weight-loss, increases in energy levels, better sleep, and improved mental clarity. With all of these benefits, it is no wonder that many vegan ESA owners are keen to explore the possibilities of an emotional support animal vegan diet for their emotional pet.

Is It Safe For an Emotional Support Pet to Be Vegan or Vegetarian?

Before you implement an emotional support animal vegetarian diet (or vegan diet) for your pet, it is crucial that you establish whether or not it will be suitable for your particular type of ESA. Emotional support animal vegan nutrition is great for certain species, but it is not optimal for all species. Some species of ESA will be deprived of vital nutrients if they do not eat meat. Not all animals can get all the nutrients they need from plants.

Different Emotional Support Pets Have Different Dietary Needs

Many of the most popular ESA species have their own specific dietary requirements. Some can do well on a vegan or vegetarian diet; others will not.

Dogs

Dogs are omnivores, so they can survive on emotional support animal vegan nutrition. But it is difficult to get your dog all of the nutrients it requires through plant-based food only. Dogs need a lot of protein, and many dogs fed mainly on leftovers or commercial dog food have been found to be deficient in protein. Chewing on bones and tough hide is very psychologically and physically satisfying for a dog. All in all, while your ESA dog will survive on a vegan diet, it is unlikely to thrive without meat.

Moosh - dog with bone
Image by User2014 on Pixabay: An emotional support animal vegan diet is not suitable for all ESA types.

Cats

Cats are obligate carnivores and therefore meat is an essential mainstay in their diet. Your ESA cat cannot get all of the nutrients that it needs to be healthy and happy from a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Pot-Bellied Pigs

Pigs are omnivores and survive in the wild by foraging for plants, fruits, vegetables, fish, and insects. On farms, pigs are mainly fed meat-free diets of corn and soybean meal. A pig can be healthy on a well-chosen, nutritious emotional support animal vegan diet.

What If a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet Is Not Ideal For Your ESA?

For animals that do better eating a meat-based diet, such as dogs and cats, it is important that you provide them with what they need. If a vegan or vegetarian diet isn’t safe, it’s more important for them to be healthy and happy so they can enjoy their life and offer you the emotional support that you need.

Living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is a great choice for animal-loving ESA owners. But many of the most popular ESA types, including dogs and cats, will not thrive if they are forced to eat a meat-free diet along with their owners.

Featured image by Silviarita on Pixabay

How to Get an ESA Letter in New York

Moosh - New York

As a New Yorker, you may be wondering if owning an emotional support animal (ESA) is right for you. These animals (ranging from traditional dogs and cats to more exotic fare like hedgehogs or birds) can help alleviate symptoms for a variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Anyone who has been diagnosed with one of these conditions can obtain an ESA to act as a close companion. There are some special privileges for folks with emotional support animals (including being able to fly with your ESA and avoiding housing discrimination). So, if you’re asking yourself, “Can I have an emotional support animal in New York?” the answer is yes! To get started, you’ll need to get an ESA letter in New York to certify your pet. Keep reading for everything you need to know about ESA ownership in the Empire State.

First off, it’s critical to understand that the state of New York does not recognize ESAs as service animals, because they do not provide people with aid in completing specific tasks. Therefore, you are not permitted to bring your pet into all public places. There might be some stores or businesses that will be lenient if you show your New York ESA letter, but they’re not required to allow you to bring your pet inside. However, there is a big difference when it comes to housing. If you have an emotional or mental disability, you have the right to own an ESA in rental accommodation, even if the apartment building or co-op has a no pets policy. Your landlord must allow your ESA to live with you if you meet the requirements for a disability (such as income and credit history), if you are reasonable with your choice of ESA (no extremely large or loud animals), and if the ESA assists you with your mental illness symptoms. Don’t forget, though: your landlord can deny you housing in the state of New York if your emotional support animal causes damage to the property, is noisy, or harms other tenants.

Moosh - documents
The process of applying for an ESA letter in New York is quite straightforward.

If you wish to apply for an ESA letter in New York, there are a few simple steps to take. You can meet with a mental health professional (therapist, psychiatrist, etc.) to assess whether you could benefit from owning an ESA. If they think you could, they should write a letter stating this, while also including basic information about your diagnosis and symptoms. If you don’t have a professional like this in your life, or if it’s difficult for you to make it in person to an appointment, you can consider using a service like Moosh. They can connect you to a licensed medical professional, who can assess your need for an ESA and then write a certified letter for you. You can also purchase ID cards and vests for your ESA to wear when they’re out and about.

When going about getting your New York ESA letter, keep in mind that there are many scam websites out there that try to trick people into purchasing fraudulent letters. For example, for an ESA letter to be authentic, it must have the mental health professional’s name, specialty, type of medical license, license registration number, and both the issue date and expiration date of the license. The letter must also contain correct contact information for the provider, the type of animal and name of animal being registered, and an ESA certificate ID number. Legitimate letters will also always have an expiration date on the letter for no later than one year from the issue date, so that you’ll need to get a renewed certification from them every year in order for your ESA’s certification to remain valid.

Living in New York with an ESA can be a tad challenging if your pet is on the larger size. That’s because dogs are permitted on New York subways, but only as long as they can fit in a container or in your backpack or purse. Again, because emotional support animals are not classified as service animals, you can’t typically take them on any form of transportation without having a problem. Smaller animals might be permitted in New York taxis or in an Uber ride, but you always have to clear it with your driver first. Otherwise, if you plan on just walking with your ESA or driving yourself, you’ll be okay. There are some restaurants and stores that are fine with animals, so you can seek these out ahead of time to know where your emotional support animal will be permitted to go.

Moosh - boxer dog
It’s important to decide on an appropriate type of pet to live with you as an ESA in New York.

As far as city living, it’s important for you to evaluate what kind of pet would be the best for your particular circumstances. If you’re living in a cramped NYC apartment, chances are you don’t want a large dog or a miniature horse as an ESA. Likewise, if you’re in close quarters with your neighbors, they most likely won’t appreciate an ESA that makes a lot of loud noises (a la birds). Unless you live upstate on a large property with a yard, it’s best for you to think about what would be ideal for you (and your ESA) considering your current housing situation. Thinking this through can even help you determine which dog breed would be best for you. If your dog will be locked up in the apartment all day, you don’t want a breed that is super active and needs lots of exercise. Luckily, NYC does have plenty of dog parks you can take advantage of with your ESA if you find that these types of breeds will probably still work for you. As for the climate, you might not always want to take your pet outdoors during snowy weather or extreme humidity in the summer. Just factor all of these aspects in when choosing your emotional support animal, and you’ll be able to come up with a great option for NYC living.

There can be countless benefits to owning an ESA in New York, including a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety and a close connection with another being. Having an ESA can mean you isolate less and become more involved in the world around you. New York is an incredible state to explore, so you should consider getting an emotional support animal to help you feel more comfortable while you’re out on your adventures. Just follow these tips to see which ESA to get and how to obtain your New York ESA letter now!

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