The straight answer to your question is YES; cats can make wonderful emotional support animals because of their calm nature. Cats have healing powers that they can provide to their owners to help them deal with their mental health disabilities like anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal or (ESA) is an animal that provides emotional support to a person dealing with a disability. An emotional support animal doesn’t need any special training; they only need to be a companion and offer love and care to a person with a mental or emotional disability.
A cat or other emotional support animal ESA can profoundly impact one’s mental health and general well-being. You get immediate comfort and stress relief by having an emotional support cat on your side.
Benefits of Having an Emotional Support Cat
Emotional support cats offer a variety of benefits to their owners in terms of helping them maintain good health and mental well-being. Here is a list of a few of these advantages.
It can be challenging to deal with anxiety, but emotional support animals like cats can help. Cats provide unconditional love and care that enables you to overcome mild to moderate anxiety levels. Focusing on someone other than yourself can positively affect anxiety because it shifts your attention away from excessive rumination and constantly thinking about the causes of your worry, and shifts your thoughts to loving and caring for your emotional support cat.
Reduce the Symptoms of Depression
Cats can detect human emotions, including depression and stress. Cats are the great antidote to depression, and when you feel down, they sit next to you. Every cat has a unique way of adjusting their owner’s emotions when depressed. Even some cats will rub and snuggle with their owners. Cats are also an excellent depression remedy that promotes good sleep.
Encourage Daily Exercise Routine
Pet owners typically exercise more than non-pet owners. Some emotional or mental health conditions might keep you indoors. Still, with the help of a cat, you’re more likely to go on walks or exercise, which helps in increasing your physical activity and maintaining a daily routine.
Provide a Sense of Responsibility
When someone owns a cat, they begin to feel responsible for taking care of it. Owning a cat as an emotional support animal will give you a purpose in life to feel accountable for something. Your emotional support cat will depend on you for happiness and overall well-being, which is quite beneficial when those “existential-self” moments try to ruin your mood.
Provide Unconditional Love
There are numerous animals, especially cats and dogs, that provide their owners with unconditional love and care. Your emotional support cat can give you a lot of love, which you can use if you’re experiencing any kind of mental health disability. The love that you receive from your cat can significantly enhance your overall mental health.
Which Emotional Support Cat Breeds Help With Mental Health Disabilities?
There are many cat breeds to choose from in coping with mental health disabilities. You can pick any one of them. We have listed a few of our favorite popular cat breeds below.
Bombay cats are known as the rarest beautiful felines because of their copper eyes. These cats are great emotional support animals because they pay close attention to your behavior and can help you when you’re worried or anxious. They will cuddle up to you and do their best to console you during these times.
Due to their close relationships with their owners, these cats are well-known as therapy animals. Maine Coons are affectionate, tactile pets with a reputation for being gentle giants who like to interact with humans.
These cats have a peaceful temperament. The owners of these cats remark that they have lovely purrs and soft voices. That is why Chartreux comes in as top priority among emotional support cats. They sense human emotions and form strong bonds with people since they are brilliant and emotional animals.
Persian cats are recognized for their bold look, beautiful face and large eyes. They like nothing more than snuggling up on your lap and thrive on routine. Creating a routine is essential to deal with mental health disabilities like anxiety, depression or stress. So, your best buddies are the Persians.
These cats are soft and squishy and like to enjoy their owners’ company. Ragdoll cats are loyal and devoted toward their owners and want to take care of them when they’re fighting with their mental health disabilities. These cats make great emotional support animals because of their caring nature.
Russian Blue cats are patient and devoted toward their owners. They are known as the followers of their owners as they accompany them everywhere. These cats have adorable smiles, releasing happy hormones in your body when you feel anxious or worried about something. These cats are known for their calm, composed and loving nature.
How Can a Cat Become an Emotional Support Animal?
You’ll need an ESA letter from your state-licensed mental health professional in order for your feline to be an emotional support animal.
For that, you must be eligible to get an ESA letter that you can show to your landlords and others to ensure that you can keep your emotional support cat with you at home and in other places where your mental or emotional symptoms may necessitate it. You must be thinking about how to make sure that you’re eligible to get an Emotional Support Animal letter or not.
To get an Emotional Support Animal letter for your cat, you must first have a qualifying mental health condition like anxiety, depression, phobias, PTSD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, etc. After that, you need a recommendation from a licensed mental health professional to get an ESA letter. They will collect information on your mental or emotional history and evaluate your mental health. During the evaluation process, they will understand how the cat will benefit you with your mental health condition.
Once they’re clear with the benefit of having emotional support cats for your health, they will write you a legal ESA letter that you can use to move your emotional support cats with you into any housing unit.