Can Cats Be Emotional Support Animals In The USA?

“Can Cats Be Emotional Support Animals “you asked? Animals can be not only entertainment but also great friends, helpers, and even “doctors” for their owners.

Dogs-helpers are quite popular now. But what about cats? Are these animals able to become faithful companions? And how to register your cat as an ESA?

What is an emotional support animal?



An emotional support animal is a companion animal that, according to experts, is extremely beneficial for individuals with mental health issues. Generally, the person referred may also experience emotional or mental disability or psychical state problems such as anxiety disorder, panic attacks, or clinical depression.

Having an emotional support animal can radically change the lives of humans who have to deal with diverse types of mental maladies. Besides, ESAs can be helpful in various stressful situations, succor in relieving tension, and improve mood and general wellbeing.

Emotional support or service animals

ESAs are designed to help their handlers in a distinctive way than service dogs do. The primary functions of service animals are accessibility aids. Only animals that are specifically trained can perform the tasks that their owners cannot safely do themselves.

One example could be animals that remind their owners to take their medicine daily or help prevent blind people from entering crowded intersections.

The emotional support animal does not perform the job of the service animal and their “arsenal” includes only the execution of basic commands. That is why ESAs are not considered service animals by the law, yet, they are still very advantageous for their handlers.

Both ESAs and service animals need proper care and attention. In addition to regular walks, exercises, and visits to the vet, you should also pay attention and time to the animal at home.

You can find out more about the ESA registration process on MyServiceAnimal Registrar.

Which animals can be emotional support animals?

The list of animals that are allowed to be used as companion animals is quite large. The main requisition is that the animal must benefit its owner, help to cope with emotions, and calm down. A dog or a cat as an emotional support animal is the most common situation. Nevertheless, men sometimes use other species for these purposes, for instance, it can be miniature horses, birds, and even reptiles.

Ownership of these animals is little different from cat ownership or dog ownership. Yet, emotional support cats and dogs prevail among the species that aid people with mental illnesses.

Can Cats Be Emotional Support Animals?


Your feline can easily become an ESA with lawful status. Since the main task of ESA is to help its owners in the fight against various psychical disorders, the main requirement for these animals is a positive effect on the psychological state of man.

An emotional support cat is perfect for those who are accustomed to a quiet pace of life and spend a lot of time away from home. Cats tolerate loneliness and need much less attention than dogs. At the same time, an emotional support cat will always be there when its owner needs it.

Breeds of cats that qualify for ESA status

In fact, the opportunity for a cat to become an emotional support cat barely depends on its breed. However, some cat breeds are indeed more common among ESAs. For example, people often choose Ragdolls, Persians, Russian Blues, and American Bobtails to be their four-legged companions.

The popularity of these breeds is probably due to their mild temperament, ability to learn quickly, and love for people. And of course, many people are attracted by the appearance of these breeds. And those who suffer from allergies often choose the Sphynxes.

Here’s a quick rundown on what emotional support cats can and cannot do


Emotional support cats do not undergo special preparation, so they do not know how to perform any physical tasks. Their main responsibility is to create and maintain a favorable environment for their owners, which will have an affirmative effect on the recovery process and a man in general.

Like other emotional support animals, cats help cope with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and other psychic frustrations. They also assist people to cope with panic attacks. In addition, the vibration from the purring of the cat is a natural sedative, which helps to relieve stress after a hard day and relax.

How can I make my cat an emotional support animal?

If you’re already the owner of a cat, you may want to secure status for your pet as an ESA cat. Start by assessing your cat and whether it helps you emotionally during the day. If the cat gives you emotional and mental support then nothing else is required. Your kitten needs no training to be an emotional supporting animal for your family.

Your cat can perform the role of an ESA since it already lives with you. Because emotional support animals do not require special disciplining to become ESAs, a pet will serve you as an ESA because you already have it.

Connect with a licensed mental health professional

If you notice any symptoms that may indicate a mental disorder, we advise you to consult a specialist immediately. Mental health professionals recognize your problem and will be able to help you.

Licensed psychiatrists can assess symptoms and give advice on treatment. Prescriptive plans can involve adding animals to your life. Moreover, only a qualified specialist can issue an ESA cat letter, which is mandatory for legitimate emotional support animals.

Receive your emotional support cat letter

An emotional support animal letter is required if you want to officially approve the status of your pet and enjoy its rights. You can get an ESA letter both online and offline. All you need to do is contact a psychiatrist or therapist, describe your case in detail, and explain why you think the emotional support cat can aid you to make your mental state better.

How do you capacitate for an emotional support cat?

You just have proof that you have a mental or emotional disability and the ESA can be used. You can consult a licensed mental health specialist for any mental disorder you may have. Eligibility for supporting pets does not have any specific requirements.

To receive support for pets, you must find an experienced pet care practitioner to examine your mental health. And if the specialist is convinced that the animal can help your recovery and will not cause more harm, you can get counsel.

Accommodation admission for emotional support cats

Public places like restaurants and department store stores are not obliged to allow ESAs access to public service areas. The same applies to air travel, as recent changes in the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) have deprived ESA of the right to accompany the owner in the cabin during the flight.

In fact, the only thing that significantly distinguishes emotional support cats from ordinary animals is their ability to dwell with the owner at no extra charge. The Fair Housing Act is designed to prevent all forms of discrimination, including against humans with inabilities and their animals. Therefore, the landlord cannot prohibit accommodation with ESA, demand additional fees or deposits, or evict residents without good re