Emotional support animals are special animals that help people with various illnesses and conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, phobias and fears by providing comfort and stress relief. The animals can range from dogs to cats to rabbits and even snakes. If you think you could benefit from an emotional support animal, then you should make an appointment to see a medical health professional who will evaluate your illness and decide if an ESA cat or dog is right for you.
There are many advantages to having an emotional support animal. For instance, studies have shown that it can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol as well as help to improve mental health. Furthermore, under the Fair Housing Act, your emotional support animal qualifies for housing at no additional costs, and it can also fly with you under the Air Carrier Access Act if you have a valid letter from a qualified medical professional.
As the main purpose of having an emotional support animal is for it to help alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses, it can be easy to forget that it has needs. It is a living, breathing beings, too!
The type of emotional support animal you decide on is completely dependent on your individual preference. Cats are a common option as they are affectionate, intelligent and calm animals that can provide a comforting and soothing presence. Moreover, they can be docile animals and, at times, can also have bright and unique personalities, which make them perfect for individuals in need of an emotional support animal.
Below we have gathered some useful tips to ensure that your furry friend is happy and healthy, which means that, in turn, it will be in the best shape possible to help you with your needs.
Keep Your ESA Cat Groomed
Cats are neat animals by nature, but you can always ensure that their fur is well-groomed and healthy. This will help prevent any health issues, such as digestive problems caused by hairballs, and will also help to improve the health of your cat’s coat.
It is a good idea to make sure your ESA cat is accustomed to the grooming process. The best time to do this is when it is relaxed, perhaps after eating. Also, brush its hair in the natural direction and never against the grain. Make sure you are extra gentle around the chest and belly.
Take Your ESA Cat to the Dentist
Get your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned. Dental health is important for your cat, too, and a dental clean will allow your cat’s mouth to be fully examined and cleaned. You can also brush your cat’s teeth at home. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and work the bristles along the gum line.
Give Your Emotional Support Animal a Space of Its Own
Provide a nurturing environment for your ESA cat by making sure it has a space of its own with soft blankets or pillows. This way, it can relax and sleep when it feels tired or overwhelmed. Also, don’t forget to wash your cat’s blankets and pillows on a regular basis.
Give It Some Room to Roam
Allowing your cat to go outside to engage in hunting activity will not only stimulate its mind but also release endorphins. It is in its nature to hunt and play, and keeping it amused will ensure it is happy. Exercise wheels, a cat house scratcher, feathers and rod teasers are good ideas. Just a few games of two minutes a day with your ESA cat will keep it content.
Feed It Healthy Food for a Healthy Body
Just like humans, a healthy balanced diet will equal a healthy body. Cats should be fed complete, good quality meat-based foods. It is important to note that they cannot be vegetarians. There are many different cat food brands out there, but they are two main types to choose from: wet and dry. You can always ask your veterinarian for advice and suggestions on a quality brand. Wet food should be replaced twice daily and dry food once daily. Also, some cats are lactose-intolerant, so avoid giving them milk and just stick to water.
Visit the Vet
Visiting the vet for annual checkups can prevent any medical problems before they occur. Getting your ESA cat neutered, vaccinated against disease, regularly treated against parasites and microchipped has many benefits. Neutering can help prevent illnesses and the risk of testicular cancer in males and uterus infections and cancers in females. Vaccination can help protect your cat from life-threatening diseases. It is quick and effective and will not only give you peace of mind but also will ensure that it is healthy. Microchipping will help identify your cat if it ever gets lost. It’s safe and simple and helps to trace it if it strays.
Know when to get special treatment for your emotional support animal. Paying attention and being aware of your cat’s behavior and body means that it will feel loved and cared for and it will be in a healthy and happy state to help you deal with any emotional or mental problems you may be having yourself.