Cats have been with us since early civilization. It is one of the few animals that people throughout history have kept purely for affection and love. Unlike dogs, which were used for hunting or guarding, cats were merely pets to be pampered around the house.
Cats are generally clean animals, and they are very loyal. On a cold and lonely evening, nothing is more cheerful than the purr of a happy cat curled up on your lap. It is no wonder that cats are used for emotional support.
Whenever you sit on the sofa or lie down on the bed, cats curl up beside you to keep you company. Since cats don’t make a lot of noise, you won’t get into any trouble with your friends or neighbors.
If you have heard of an emotional support animal (ESA), you would be forgiven for thinking that it only applies to dogs. When you consider the gentle nature of cats or the fact that not everyone is a dog person, cats become an excellent alternative.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
Emotional support animals are any type of animal that provides emotional assistance to the owner. The most common of these are dogs, but cats are a popular choice, especially when someone does not like dogs.
ESAs are protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), allowing the animals into any no-pet policy building.
While rabbits, pigs, horses, and many other animals are used as an ESA, the most common are cats and dogs. These two species are widely accepted because of their mobility. It’s easier to get into a restaurant with a cat than with a horse or pig.
ESAs are excellent support when it comes to managing chronic pain, especially as a result of loss, mental illness, or loneliness.
Cats are vastly intelligent and don’t get in your way. They are also friendly and mostly independent. When you need a comforting presence, a cat is unmatched by other animals.
Emotional Support Cats
Dogs are excellent emotional support animals. They are energetic and work hard to put a smile on your face. If you are ready for lots of time spent in play and activity, then dogs can help you keep fit in the park or on morning walks along the street. Not everyone is capable of handling the energy and enthusiasm of dogs all the time, though.
Dogs are also needier compared to other pets. You will need to take the dog for walks or playtime regularly. It is one of the reasons cats are a better choice for people who are looking for an emotional support animal.
Cats need you to feed them, but they are quite capable of taking care of themselves on every other level—you won’t need to take your cat out for a walk.
Friendly felines are also generally calmer than dogs, which makes it great company when you are feeling low or exhausted from work. Cats will help you bounce back from depression or anxiety episodes faster and keep stress away.
Registering your cat as an emotional support animal is only a few clicks away. If you have a mental illness or condition that needs an emotional support animal, you are in excellent hands. Start the simple process with USSA today!
Who Is Eligible for an ESA Cat?
The great news about ESA cats is that anyone with a relevant diagnosis is eligible! As long as you have a mental health condition that’s verified by a licensed mental health professional, getting an ESA cat is as easy as providing some information about yourself and your cat.
Make sure you also speak with a mental health professional to have them approve and write your ESA letter. An ESA letter isn’t legitimate unless it’s written by a mental healthcare professional licensed in your state of residence.
Certain states may have laws about establishing a relationship with a professional before they can write your letter, so be sure to check that out.
Benefits of Emotional Support Cats
Emotional support cats enjoy certain privileges over other pets. Under the FHA, for example, you can have your emotional support cat in buildings that don’t support pets – subject to fair use.
You have a right to live with your emotional support regardless of where you are or where you stay. All you have to do is get a valid ESA letter.
There are a myriad of conditions that emotional support animals, and more specifically, cats, can help you to overcome. They can do this by:
- Controlling attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Presenting a depression coping mechanism
- Relieving anxiety
- Managing post-traumatic stress syndrome
Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent conditions, and sufferers undergo different phases of these disorders. When stress or depression weighs you down, you need a constant companion to keep you occupied. It’s a good thing cats are never in a rush to go anywhere.
Soft, loyal cats are great company when you are too low for the playfulness of a dog. The same applies to veterans coming back from a war or victims of domestic violence who suffer post-traumatic stress.
Registering Your Cat as an Emotional Support Animal
Registering your cat as an emotional support animal is straightforward.
The first step is understanding the role of an emotional support animal. Emotional support cats are meant only for people suffering from mental complications, for example. These conditions include depression, anxiety, and many others.
Once you have established that your condition benefits from an emotional support animal, give us a call. We will arrange for a professional assessment from a mental health professional, as well as help to get you an emotional support cat letter.
An emotional support cat letter is the key to proving your need for a cat at your no-pets apartment. It helps differentiate people who have a real condition from those who want a shortcut to living with their pets more economically.
Acquiring your emotional support cat letter is not a long process. There aren’t any special requirements that your cat has to have to be granted the letter. Once you have proof of your mental health condition, and your cat has been prescribed as a remedy, you can get your emotional support animal letter easily.
Some people go the extra mile by making their emotional support cats visible, but it is not necessary. The step required for this includes certificates, emotional support vests, and tags. These are not requirements for your emotional support cat letter, but they can help you get through lots of places without too many questions.
How Much Does an ESA Cat Letter Cost?
The cost of an ESA cat letter comes down to the type of cat and the process you follow to get an emotional support animal. Typically, cats don’t cost as much as dogs and it’s rare to find one for over $1,000 unless you’re looking for a rare breed. Furthermore, most ESA letters cost about $100 to $200 and this includes speaking with mental health professionals.
Overall, getting an ESA letter is a simple process once you get the ball rolling.
Why You Should Get an Emotional Support Cat Letter
There are plenty of drugs for managing mental illnesses in pharmacies around the country. The most effective method for dealing with depression or anxiety is companionship, though. It doesn’t have to be a person—an animal works well, too.
Cats have excellent temperaments, and most are naturally friendly. They’ll curl up next to you when you are working from home or relaxing, without distracting you from the task at hand. They also don’t have a lot of needs, making them suitable for busy people.
Get your emotional support cat today and deal with your depression or anxiety (and a myriad of other mental health complications) organically.
Service Animal Vs. Emotional Support Animal
Some privileges come with emotional support animals.
The mental conditions that emotional support cats help you handle cannot prevent you from doing your daily activities, though, so there are some public places that you can’t visit with your emotional support cat.
Service animals help people with disabilities and have specialized training to help their owners perform certain tasks. It’s safe to say that the owner of a service animal would be incapacitated without it.
It’s not a surprise then that service animals have more rights compared to emotional support animals. The trained service animal companions are even allowed in public places where emotional support animals cannot enter.
Can I Register My Cat as a Service Animal?
Service animals undergo intensive training to perform the tasks required in their daily support role. The only animals that can be trained to carry out these service duties are dogs, though.
Your cat can not qualify as a service animal; however, you can register it as an emotional support cat and enjoy all the privileges that come with the letter. If you have disabilities, consider a service animal or a service dog instead.
Flying With Your Emotional Support Cat
The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) was previously used to allow all ESAs in the cabin of a plane for free. However, the ACAA has since been updated and unfortunately, ESAs are treated as regular pets on airplanes now.
This means that airlines can charge a pet fee, and can make your ESA ride in the cargo if it’s too large or there are too many other pet reservations.
Since cats are small, you likely won’t have to have them fly in the cargo so long as you call the airline in advance and book your pet reservation. Unfortunately, cats cannot be registered as psychiatric service animals, so you’ll have to pay the accompanying pet fee even if your cat is an ESA.
Register Your Emotional Support Cat Today
Emotional support cats are unique in that they’re small and don’t need training, so you don’t have to worry about going through any intensive or costly processes to get an ESA cat letter. Plus, many people love cats, which makes them a great option for providing emotional support.
US Service Animals makes it easy to register any service animal or emotional support animal. Our registration process is quick, easy, and effective, so you only have to follow a few steps that include providing a photo of your pet, information about yourself, and providing personal details about your cat. Then, we can connect you with a mental health professional to get your ESA letter.