Dogs perform a number of jobs in society, including acting as service dogs for many individuals who are deaf, blind, autistic, physically disabled, or otherwise in need of assistance. Dogs are incredibly adept at learning to perform the tasks needed to be a fully certified service animal. But what about emotional support animals? These animals are not required to receive specialized training or to perform specific tasks, so does that mean you can have a different type of ESA animal, like a cat? Or are you limited to only an ESA support dog? Keep reading to find out.
Any Animal Can Be an ESA
The short answer here is yes, a cat can be an emotional support animal. In fact, any animal can be considered an ESA, so long as it provides you with comfort and relief from a mental, physical, or emotional struggle. Many people find their pets to be a comfort in times of difficulty, but for those with persistent anxiety, depression, or even chronic pain, that pet becomes a necessity.
So, if you have a cat that helps to relieve your mental health complications and enables you to live a happier and more fulfilling life, then that cat is qualified to be an emotional support animal.
Not Everyone Is a Dog Person
Not everybody likes dogs. In fact, some people have a deep fear of dogs. This is why it is so important for people to have more than one option when it comes to owning an emotional support animal. Far too many people who genuinely need an ESA will put off getting one because they believe it must be a dog. Once they discover that a cat or other pet can also qualify for ESA registration, they are quick to find a pet that offers them the support that they need.
Benefits of a Support Cat
While any animal can be an ESA, dogs and cats are the two most common options that people choose. In addition to being an excellent option for individuals who may not be entirely comfortable with dogs, having an emotional support cat offers a number of other benefits over their more energetic counterparts.
While dogs are excellent companions, they do require quite a bit more work to care for than cats do. Dogs need to be walked daily, and even lower-energy breeds need regular play and exercise. Cats, on the other hand, are masters at caring for themselves. While they can be loving and playful members of the family, their lower maintenance needs make them a better option for those who simply don't have the energy to give a dog the care they require.
How Can an ESA Help You?
Emotional support animals can be a great source of relief for many individuals and even be included as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for a number of conditions. ESAs-including dogs, cats, and many other types of animals-help to provide the following benefits to their owners:
- Relief from anxiety
- Reduced feelings of depression
- Coping with PTSD
- Helping with ADD
Anxiety and depression are the two most common uses for ESAs, and the animal does not have to be a dog to provide relief for those conditions. The presence of a warm, purring, loving cat can be equally relaxing to those who suffer from anxiety or depression.
Registering an ESA
Registering an ESA is a quick and effortless process. However, it's important to remember that certifying your animal as an ESA is intended only for those who genuinely suffer from mental or emotional health issues. You can register your cat or another animal online on our website in a matter of minutes. Reach out to us if you have any questions about the registration process.