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Cats as Emotional Support Animals


Cats are ideal candidates for those in need of an emotional support animal

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a pet that helps to mitigate the negative symptoms of a person’s emotional or psychological disability by calming and reducing emotional distress. ESAs are not considered service animals, and as such do not necessarily require training. An ESA can be any cat and must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional (therapist, psychiatrist) and have a letter showing they are part of the individual’s treatment plan.

Cats are ideal candidates for those in need of an emotional support animal. They are calm, intelligent and affectionate animals that can provide their owners with a soothing, comforting presence.

For people who struggle with anxiety, depression and other conditions that severely affect mood and mental well-being, some days it might be difficult to even get out of bed. This is just one scenario in which cats can offer important emotional support to their guardians, showing how vital a cat (or pet) can be to a person’s well-being. Cats tend to have a naturally docile nature and can be the perfect pets for people in need of an emotional support animal, as they exude an aura of complete and utter calm, while at the same time having bright, unique personalities that can provide hours of entertainment and laughter.

What sets an ESA apart from a regular pet cat are the rights emotional support animals are given. While registration of an ESA is voluntary and not compulsory, ESAs with proper documentation are the only animals that will be provided with these rights. The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 and the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 are the laws that protect an emotionally disabled person and his/her ESA.

Under these laws, ESAs are able to accompany emotionally or mentally impaired persons on airplanes without incurring a fee, and cannot be turned away from no-pet housing situations or charged pet security deposit fees.

It’s no secret that our cats provide us with much-needed comfort and support. But for some people, the need goes a step further.

Emotional support animals (ESAs) are pets that provide companionship to those with emotional and mental disabilities, ESAs are considered companions offering mental and emotional support, as well as sometimes being trained to recognize specific symptoms and emotional occurrences.

Cats make excellent ESAs due to their size and their ability to bond to the caregivers. In terms of housing, they are clean, quiet, and non-intrusive. Personality, of course, is key.

Cats can provide the same love, compassion and support as any other Emotional Support Animal. Some people who aren’t ‘cat people’ may not understand, but a cat’s love can be just as unconditional as a dog’s. More than that, many mental health professionals recognize and report that the positive effects of cat ownership are just as considerable as dog ownership.

Kelsey Matthews recently relocated to Las Vegas from Connecticut with her ESA, Cinder, who helps her with anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and fibromyalgia.

Cinder has helped her to live on her own at the age of 18. In accordance with the FHA and ACAA, he was able to fly in the cabin with her from Connecticut toLas Vegas and the $200 deposit was waived when she moved into her apartment.

TOUCH ESAs process is spelled out on its website. There’s an online evaluation that is reviewed by a licensed psychologist. If the criteria are met, a letter from the psychologist is emailed or sent by mail. The letter is all that’s required to verify that your cat is an ESA. With your cat qualifying as your ESA you will be able to live in any “no pets policy” apartment, condo, or dorm without having to pay a costly pet security deposit. In addition, you will be able to fly with your cat by your side in the cabin and save hundreds of dollars by not paying pet flying fees. Contact touchesa.com today to see if you qualify to have your cat as an ESA.

For more information visit www.touchesa.com or call 414-807-8934.

 

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6 Comments

  • Andrea Harris

    Cats are great emotional support animals. They might be crazy lazy but the love and care they give is out of this world. I too have two. I got them esa letter from this site online myesadoctor and life has just been so much better with them. If you are thinking of having one. Then you are making a wise choice.

  • Joanne Mayer

    I’m 78 years old I have two hip replacements two knee replacements And a non-fixable Achilles tendon I would very much like to have and emotional support cat. I live alone would like information on how to go about doing this.

    • Ashley Lee

      Hi Joanne,

      I think that’s a great idea! If you haven’t already checked it out, you should take a look at this article detailing some of the benefits of cats for seniors. https://moderncat.com/articles/happiness-is-a-cat/

      Touch ESA is a great place to find information about emotional support animals. Their FAQs are a good place to start. You can find them here. https://touchesa.com/
      You can also get in touch with your local SPCA and let them know your situation and your needs, and they’ll be able to help you find the right match.

      Good luck in your search for a feline companion! -AL

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