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!