Emotional support animals (ESA) are dogs or other pets who provide companionship and comfort to their owners. They are trained to assist people with disabilities and mental health conditions.
ESA programs are now offered at airports, hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and even prisons.
Cats are often considered to be non-emotional creatures, but they can be very sensitive and affectionate. You may want to consider whether your cat qualifies as an emotional support animal.
In this article, we will be discussing whether a cat can be an emotional support animal for you.
What Is An Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal is any pet that provides comfort and companionship to its owner. These pets include dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, and horses. The most common types of emotional support animals are dogs and cats.
Emotional support animals may help people with anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, autistic spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, and many more.
A person with a disability who needs an emotional support animal must have a letter from the doctor stating that the animal would benefit them emotionally. This letter is called a certification. It states what type of disability the person has and how the animal will benefit them.
How Can I Know Whether My Cat Qualifies As An Emotional Support Animal For Me?
You can learn a lot about your cat by observing him. Does he like to cuddle up next to you when you watch TV together? Does he enjoy going outside and exploring new places? Do you notice that he likes to sleep in your bed?
You might also talk to your vet about whether your cat could qualify as an emotional support animal for someone else. Your veterinarian can tell you if your cat has certain characteristics that indicate he or she would benefit from being an emotional support animal. These traits include:
- A calm demeanor
- Being friendly towards strangers
- Having no aggressive tendencies
- Enjoying attention
- Not having a history of biting or scratching
- Being easy to handle
- Liking to be held
- Feeling comfortable around other animals
- Showing signs such as licking, purring, or rubbing against things
For a lot of people, the presence of a cat is really calming and helps to reduce their anxiety. Also, just by having an animal to look after and care for can add a lot of meaning to certain people’s lives.
This is why cats make such great emotional support animals, due to their really calming personality.
Sometimes dogs can be too excitable and can cause certain stress, so instead a cat can be a better alternative.
Benefits Of Having An Emotional Support Cat
Cats are very social creatures, and they love human interaction. They get along well with children and adults alike. Because of this, they are often used as therapy animals. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, then a cat can provide you with much-needed comfort.
Thus, not only can they reduce anxiety, stress, loneliness or depressive symptoms. Yet they can also improve your quality of sleep as they make you feel a lot more relaxed.
For some people, a cat can provide them with a comforting and warm presence at night, which helps them to fall asleep much quicker.
Even though cats themselves don’t require much exercise. You will need to go out to pick up supplies, which will give certain people the exercise that they are craving. Even just playing with your cat will give you some exercise and enjoyment that you may be missing.
As a result, there are various benefits to having an emotional support cat. With the main benefit providing you with a calmer, and happier life.
Where Can You Go With Your Emotional Support Cat?
Technically emotional support cats are allowed to go anywhere with you in public, but they don’t always have legal protection in certain places.
Your emotional support cat is required by law to be allowed in any residence, no matter whether the place allows pets or not. However, you must submit your ESA letter to your landlord.
Due to some policy changes, only some airlines will now allow emotional support animals to be brought onto flights. If your ESA must travel with you, then they will have to fly as any normal pet would.
It is up to each airline to decide whether to allow emotional support animals. Some airlines allow emotional support animals under certain conditions. In order to qualify for boarding, the animal must meet certain requirements.
Hotels don’t normally allow ESA in their premises. However, it is always worth asking when booking if they will accommodate your needs.
Otherwise, we would suggest booking in at a pet friendly hotel instead. Alongside that, some stores, restaurants, and places of work don’t have to allow your ESA to enter. Yet it’s always worth asking.
How To Get An Animal Registered For Emotional Support
If you want to register your cat as an emotional support animal, then you will first need to apply for a license. The process of applying for an ESA license is simple.
All you need to do is fill out an application form and send it off to your local licensing authority. Once the authorities have received your application, they will contact you to let you know whether you have been approved.
Once you have had your license, you will need to take your ESA to the vet to get them registered. The vet will ask you a few questions about your ESA and what they need to do to help you. After this, your ESA will receive a certificate showing that they are licensed.
Emotional support animals can provide many benefits to their owners. They can help to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and even improve your mood. Cats are known to be a fantastic emotional support animal, due to their calming nature.
This article has provided information on how an emotional support cat can benefit your life. We hope that you found it useful!