We’ve heard quite a bit regarding certified emotional support animals in the news as of late. One major airline carry over 24,000 ESAs in 2015, allowing these creature companions play a vital role in the health and well-being of their owners. Aside from the strange sort of ESA that makes headlines every so often, most certified emotional support animals we see are dogs. But many people wonder whether another popular pet would make a good ESA. In today’s post, we’re answering the question: can cats become emotional support animals?
Do Cats Make Good ESAs?
Absolutely! Just because dogs rule the realm of service animals doesn’t mean that other creatures can’t become amazing ESAs. Any animal that helps to mitigate the negative effects of a psychological or emotional condition (e.g., stress reduction, improved calm, or alleviation of emotional or physical symptoms) can potentially qualify to become an ESA.
In fact, cats can often make for ideal ESAs due to their docile and affectionate nature. They tend to be quite calm, especially in adulthood, and their presence has been shown to have a positive effect on the well-being of humans around them. A cat’s purr can actually have healing powers, while petting a cat can reduce stress and lower blood pressure levels. That said, cats can also provide ample entertainment when showing off their unique personalities and flair for fun.
Due to their smaller size and their ability to form attachments to their caregivers, they can make for good traveling companions. Although not every cat enjoys the frequent changes in environment that can come with the responsibilities of an ESA, there are certain cat breeds that are well-known for their friendly dispositions and trainable personalities. It’s important to note that almost any breed of cat can help someone with a social anxiety disorder or a depressive condition; it really depends on the individual cat and the individual owner. But if you assumed there would be no possibility of finding a therapy cat for depression or a trauma condition, you can rest assured that having a cat as an ESA is incredibly common. What’s more, because ESA training is actually not required as part of this certification, you won’t have to worry that your cat doesn’t follow directions as easily as a dog might.
How Can I Register My Cat as an Emotional Support Animal?
Now that you know that cats can make great ESAs, you might be wondering how to qualify for an emotional support animal. In order to qualify for an ESA, you’ll need to obtain a letter from a licensed mental health professional which affirms your condition and your need for an emotional support animal. You can either certify your existing cat as an ESA or later adopt a cat that provides you with emotional support. Because certified emotional support animals are protected under housing and travel laws, you won’t ever have to be denied an apartment or barred from a flight without your furry companion.
Even better, the process is simple and straightforward, allowing you to reap all the benefits an ESA can provide without having to jump through a lot of hoops. To learn more about how to register your cat or other pet as a certified emotional support animal, please get in touch with us today.