Emotional Support Cat Breeds

Emotional support animals are becoming increasingly popular today as more and more people take note of the comforting and supportive benefits that animals can provide to humans. One of the most popular choices for an emotional support animal, besides dogs, is the cat.

Despite their somewhat prickly reputation, most cats are highly affectionate to their owners and provide a fantastic way to relieve the symptoms of certain mental health conditions.

While all cats are good cats to have when it comes to a furry feline companion, certain breeds of cats tend to be more affectionate. So if you are looking for a cuddly emotional support cat that sticks by your side, you may be more interested in adopting one of these breeds. Our article gives you an overview of the best emotional support cat breeds out there.

What Are Emotional Support Cats?

Emotional support cats are those that have been adopted to provide comfort and relief for certain mental health symptoms. Unlike service animals, emotional support animals have not been trained to perform a specific task for an individual, nor are they granted the same public access rights as service animals.

However, emotional support cats are entitled to certain privileges when it comes to living and traveling. You can read more about these differences here.

Who Can Benefit From Adopting an Emotional Support Cat?

A wide range of people can benefit from adopting an emotional support cat. Individuals who are suffering from mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or OCD can all benefit from the comforting presence and routine a cat provides. Emotional support cats may also be suitable for those with autism, stress disorders, or eating disorders.

Additionally, several scientific studies back up the benefits that cats can have on physical and mental well-being.

Best Emotional Support Cat Breeds

Even though any cat breed can serve as an effective comforting companion, certain breeds are more disposed to show lots of love, affection, and cuddly nature. Below, we list some of the best cat breeds to adopt if you want to add an emotional support cat to your life.

1. Ragdoll

Ragdoll cat sitting on a pillow in front of a window

Often referred to as ‘puppy dog cats,’ ragdolls are loving, affectionate, and attached to their owners. These cats grow quite a bit larger than the average feline and range between 10 and 20 pounds once fully grown. Ragdolls are calm and are often able to learn tricks or even play “fetch” with you. This breed earns its name by its trait of going limp like a ragdoll when they are picked up or held.

If you do choose to add a ragdoll to your family, don’t be surprised when this friendly cat follows you from room to room and tries to be involved in everything you do around the home.

2. American Shorthair

Silver and grey tabby American shorthair cat sitting

The American shorthair is one of the most common breeds found around homes today. This breed is friendly, affectionate, and playful, and they will enjoy spending time by your side either indoors or outdoors. American shorthair cats may be harness trained and enjoy monitored adventures outside, depending on their personalities.

This breed is a great choice if you want an affectionate, friendly companion that isn’t too needy and by your side twenty-four hours a day.

3. Persian

Persian cat being cuddled in owner’s arms

Relaxed and easy-going, Persian cats prefer calm environments and tend to thrive in small spaces. They are a great choice for individuals who live in apartments or other smaller areas. Persian cats may be shy at first, but they easily warm up to their owners and then spend their days enjoying all of the cuddles and affection that you have to offer them.

It’s important to note that because of their long hair, Persian cats will need regular brushing to prevent mats and ensure they stay comfortable.

4. Manx

Black and white Manx cat on perch

Manx cats are unique in appearance because they don’t have tails. They tend to have friendly, playful, and sweet dispositions and love interacting with their owners. Manx cats are quite vocal, and you may find that this cat loves to chat with you throughout the day.

This breed is highly loyal to their families but may play favorites and follow one specific person around all day.

5. Maine Coon

Grey and white Maine coon with tongue out sitting outside

One of the largest breeds of felines, Maine coon cats can grow up to the size of a medium-sized dog, standing between 30 and 40 inches and weighing up to twenty pounds. They are very sociable and friendly and have a distinct fluffy look, complete with a regal face. Keep in mind that you’ll need to regularly brush and play with your Maine coon to ensure they stay healthy and happy.

6. Russian Blue

Russian blue cat with bright green eyes

Quiet, loving, and introverted, the Russian blue is an affectionate breed that loves to be near their owner but won’t seek out constant attention. And while Russian blues can be loving and friendly, they don’t particularly enjoy loud households or lots of comings and goings. A quiet home or apartment where they can provide constant companionship to their owner is the best for this breed.

7. Siamese

Siamese cat laying down on cat tree perch

Siamese cats are known for their chattiness, big personality, and playful nature. This breed is very vocal and loves to follow their owner around and talk to them. Your Siamese cat will be happy to join you outside on a harness for a monitored adventure or spend their time cuddling up with you indoors.

Siamese cats are also known for their highly social natures and almost goofy personalities, and you can expect to spend a lot of time entertaining your cat’s wants for affection and play.

8. Exotic Shorthair

White and orange exotic shorthair cat

Easily recognized by their large eyes, fluffy fur, and quiet demeanor, exotic shorthairs are distantly related to Persian cats. This breed thrives on human attention and affection, and they need to spend a lot of time with their owners in order to be happy.

Exotic shorthairs love to cuddle, hate being alone, and are the happiest when spending all day long by your side napping, cuddling, or playing.

9. American Bobtail

Red American bobtail kitten standing

A newly recognized breed, the American bobtail is characterized by its fluffy fur, bobbed tail, and friendly nature. This breed is playful and outgoing, and they are eager to show all types of affection to their owners. American bobtails are also quite gentle and less vocal than other cat breeds, so they may be a good choice if you want a sociable, affectionate, and quiet companion for your home or apartment.

You should note that American bobtail cats can be quite active, so regular playtime is needed if you want to ensure this cat stays happy and healthy.

10. Sphynx

Sphynx cat sitting in a relaxed position

Sphynxes are distinct due to their hairless nature, and some people may shy away from this breed due to their lack of fur. However, the sphynx is quite affectionate and loving, and this breed enjoys cuddling with their owners as much as possible. They can be a good choice for a support companion for those individuals with mild cat allergies, and they make for fun, loyal, and loving companions to those needing comfort and support.

Make sure that if you adopt a sphynx, you are prepared to keep up with their care needs; this breed is slightly more high maintenance due to their lack of fur, skincare needs, and need to stay warm.

How to Adopt an Emotional Support Cat

If you’re interested in adopting an emotional support cat, a local shelter or rescue is the first place you can start looking. Finding a cat you bond with in one of these places will give a loving cat a home and provide you with an emotional support companion that provides comfort and relief in your daily life.

If you are interested in adopting one of the breeds on this list, keep in mind that you may end up paying more than you would if you rescued a cat. To start this process, search for reputable breeders in your area and reach out to discuss purchasing a cat. Prices of the breeds on our list range from a few hundred to several thousand, so make sure you are prepared for all of these costs and the caretaking costs of your new cat.

Read this article for more information on the benefits of adding an emotional support cat to your family and any registration documents you might need.

Adopt an Emotional Support Cat Today

As you consider adding an emotional support cat to your life, there are a few things to consider. First of all, you don’t necessarily need to adopt one of the breeds on this list to find a loving, affectionate, and supportive companion.

Any cat could lighten your life with their comfort and cuddles; it’s simply a matter of finding one that perfectly matches your lifestyle needs and personality requirements. Older cats may be easier to adopt if you want a cat with a fully developed personality.

Additionally, cats are relatively low maintenance, but this doesn’t mean you can ignore them or leave them alone for long hours. Most cats, especially the breeds on our list, thrive on human companionship and affection, and ignoring them for long periods might be detrimental to their happiness.

You should also be prepared for all the costs associated with cat ownership, including food, veterinary care, and any grooming needs. Taking the best care of your cat enables you to spend a long and happy life with them and gain the best benefits from your emotional support animal possible.