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Cats as Emotional Support Animals

Cats as Emotional Support Animals

Cats make great emotional support animals too!

When you hear someone talk about emotional support animals and therapy animals, you usually just assume they’re talking about dogs. This isn’t always true. While emotional support animals are predominantly dogs, it is possible to have a cat as your emotional support animal.

What Are Emotional Support Animals?

Emotional support animals are defined as any animal or species that brings comfort to someone. These animals are not just pets. They are there to help someone who is suffering from a mental or emotional disability cope and live a normal life. Emotional support animals are not considered service animals. Service animals have had extensive training in order to learn how to help their individual owners. That said, emotional support animals are still recognized by the Fair Housing Act, so with proper documentation you can still have your ESA with you even in a “pet free” community.

Requirements for an Emotional Support Cat

If you suffer from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or any other mental illness, it’s easy to qualify your cat an emotional support animal.
  1. If you have a cat, great! If not, you will need to get one. Contact your local ASPCA or Humane Society for availability.
  2. Be sure your cat actually supports you emotionally. Not all cats are well-suited to be emotional support animals.
  3. Get an emotional support animal letter from a licensed therapist.
  4. Provide your emotional support letter to your landlord.

Specific Breeds

Not all breeds of cat make good emotional support animals. If your therapist or other mental health professional has prescribed an emotional support animal for you, you should find a cat that is very friendly in nature. Usually, Scottish Fold, Tonkinese, and Ragdoll cats make some of the best emotional support animals, but there are others that will do just as well. Pay close attention to the personality of the cat you’re considering.

Indoors Only

Cats that are kept indoors are generally more personable than cats who go outside because they don’t experience “the call of the wild”. They are more content to stay inside all the time if they’ve never really experienced the outside world. It is also healthier for your cat if you keep them indoors. This way, your cat is far less likely to be injured, pick up parasites, or go missing.

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Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps Maryland residents across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse, and provides interpretation for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more about cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilitiesvisit here. Do you “Follow” and “Like?” Be sure to stay active on our official pages on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest today!