are cats good emotional support animals

Yes, cats can be emotional support animals (ESAs). An emotional support cat can comfort someone with anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. It’s important to note, however, that ESAs are different from service animals. This means they don’t have the same protections by law.

Benefits of Having an Emotional Support Cat

An emotional support cat can greatly improve a number of mental illnesses. Here’s how.

  • Decreased Anxiety: It’s well known that cats can lift people’s spirits and offer emotional support, which is especially advantageous for those who struggle with depression or anxiety. Focusing on something other than yourself can significantly reduce anxiety because it diverts your focus from worrying excessively about the sources of your anxiety and onto loving and taking care of your emotional support animal. ‍.
  • Reduce Stress and Depressive Symptoms: An emotional support cat’s calming demeanor and soothing presence can reduce stress and encourage relaxation. Emotional support cats assist their owners in managing the symptoms of depression by giving them a sense of purpose and direction.  ‍.
  • Minimize Loneliness: Cats that offer emotional support offer continuous company, which helps to lessen feelings of isolation and loneliness. Loneliness is a particularly tough mental illness to treat because it can result in a variety of other issues. Having an emotional support animal, such as a cat, can mitigate some of the negative consequences of living alone.
  • Enhance Sleep Quality: By helping you de-stress and reduce anxiety before bed, your emotional support cat can significantly improve the quality of your sleep. Some people discover that putting their ESA on the bed at night makes it easier for them to fall asleep and wake up during the night.  ‍.
  • Enhance Physical Fitness and Exercise ‥ Spending time with an emotional support cat can improve physical health by lowering blood pressure and lowering the risk of heart disease. Even though the majority of cats aren’t trained to walk on a leash, if you start them off early enough, many of them will enjoy walks whether they’re carried or on a leash. Even if all you do is set aside some time to play with your indoor cat while it chases toys, you can still be active and enjoy yourself. ‍.
  • Benefits of Housing: Depending on the law, people with emotional support cats may be able to live with their pet even in apartments that are pet-restricted. ‍.
  • Numerous Additional Advantages — Pet owners usually know one another and enjoy each other’s company Animal lovers frequently bond through adoration for their furry friends, and pet owners enjoy sharing their furry friends’ odd habits with others. Furthermore, knowing that another being enjoys spending time with you can make your days happier.

What Does an ESA Letter Do?Â

When a certified mental health professional issues an ESA letter, people with disabilities can ask for housing accommodations and take their emotional support animal on airplanes in the cabin. This letter ensures that the person is entitled to legal protections under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) by documenting their need for an emotional support animal to help with the symptoms of their condition.

Flights with Select Airlines

Unfortunately, due to some recent policy changes from the U. S. Department of Transportation, only some airlines allow ESAs. Service animals are still allowed on domestic flights and can travel for free on any airline. Your ESA will probably need to fly with you like any other pet if they have to travel with you.

The right of an ESA to public access is unprotected by law, so hotels are not obligated to accept emotional support animals. But before you make a reservation, you should find out if the hotel will allow your assistance animal. If not, it might be best to book a room at a hotel that allows pets.

Other public areas, like dining establishments and retail establishments, are not required to let your ESA in. This usually includes workplaces, as well.

Nonetheless, it never hurts to inquire, and if you just present your ESA letter, some locations might decide to accept your emotional support animal. Additionally, your employer has the final say over everything related to your workplace.

FAQ

What qualifies my cat as an emotional support animal?

In most cases, all you need to qualify for an emotional support cat is a letter from a mental health professional indicating that the animal would be beneficial for your mental health. While there are some exceptions, most landlords will accept this letter as proof that your cat is an ESA.

Are cats better emotional support animals than dogs?

On the whole, dogs are better suited to be therapy animals than cats. They’re generally more gregarious and less stressed by leaving their home territory, says behavioral biologist Dennis Turner, director of the Institute for Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland.

Why are cats so good at emotional support?

A cat’s image as independent belies the loving bonds they can form with people. Just petting a cat and listening to that purr can cause immediate relaxation and boost mood-elevating chemicals in the body, like serotonin. In fact, the frequency of a cat’s purr has been shown to promote healing!