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Everything You Need to Know About How to Register a Cat as an Emotional Support Animal

 Read this blog to learn the steps on how you can register your cat as an emotional support animal or ESA. Contact Pettable for more information.
Expert reviewed by:  
Written by:
Susana Bradford
Published on:  
March 16, 2023

In recent years, emotional support animals or ESAs have become increasingly popular. These animals provide companionship and comfort to their owners, and they have been shown to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. While most people think of dogs when they think of emotional support animals, cats can also make excellent companions.

Cats are typically lower maintenance than dogs, and they can be easily trained to perform basic tricks or tasks. In addition, cats are known for their calming effect, and they can provide valuable emotional support during times of stress. A cat is a fantastic option, whether you're looking for a furry friend to cuddle with or a four-legged companion to help you through tough times.

How Do You Qualify for an Emotional Support Cat?

ESAs provide companionship and emotional support to people with anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. Unlike service animals trained to perform specific tasks for their owners, ESAs do not require any special training. 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 and airlines will accept this letter as proof that your cat is an ESA. As a result, emotional support cats can provide much-needed companionship and support to people with mental health conditions. If you think an emotional support cat could help improve your mental health, talk to your mental health professional about whether or not you would qualify.

What Do Emotional Support Cats Do?

Emotional support cats provide companionship and emotional comfort to their owners. They are typically brought into the home by people who suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders. While emotional support cats are not service animals, they can provide much-needed companionship and love.

Emotional support cats typically have calm temperaments and enjoy cuddling and being petted. They may also help their owner to feel less anxious and stressed. In some cases, emotional support cats can even provide therapeutic benefits, such as reducing blood pressure or improving sleep quality. 

If you consider getting an emotional support cat, be sure to do your research to find a breed that will be a good fit for your lifestyle and personality.

How to Certify and Register Your Cat as an Emotional Support Animal (Spoiler Alert: You Don't Have To!)

Getting certified and registered is a scam, and here's why.

There is no formal process for certifying or registering an emotional support animal, and there are no specific requirements for what types of animals can qualify. That said, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you plan on using your cat as an ESA.

First, it's essential to choose an animal that is gentle and non-aggressive. You also want to ensure that your cat is up-to-date on all vaccinations and has regular vet visits. Finally, it's a good idea to have a letter from your mental health professional stating that you benefit from having an emotional support animal. While this last step is not required, it can help validate your need for an ESA if you encounter any skeptics along the way.

How do you get an ESA letter? Here's how:

How to Get an Emotional Support Cat Letter

If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or another mental health condition, you may be considering getting an emotional support animal. An ESA can provide companionship and boost your mood, but there are a few steps you need to take before you can bring one home. We discuss these steps below:

Complete Our Assessment

First, you'll need to complete our quick assessment to help us evaluate your situation and emotional pet support needs. Expect that despite the immediate process, this will be a comprehensive evaluation. Next, you'll have to select the emotional support animal letter type depending on your purpose for getting one (housing, travel, or a combination). 

Consult With a Therapist

You will be asked to fill out some privacy and consent forms that authorize our clinicians or therapists to work with you. We will find a licensed mental health professional that matches your case and send a link where you can book a live consultation with them. During the call, you'll get to meet the therapist and complete a mental health evaluation. This evaluation will be the basis of if you qualify for an ESA. 

Get an Emotional Support Cat Letter

Once our licensed mental health professional determines that an emotional support animal is essential to your care and well-being, they'll write a legally recognized emotional support animal letter for you. You will be given the option to get an ESA letter within 24 hours from the time of your consultation. Note that this doesn't apply to California residents. 

Once you have your letter, you can start looking for the perfect furry friend. When choosing an ESA, selecting an animal that is easily trained and well-suited to living in close quarters with humans is essential. After bringing your new pet home, you need to do a few more things to make sure they are officially recognized as an ESA.

You will need to register them with your landlord and update your homeowner's insurance policy. Following these steps will help ensure that you and your ESA can live happily together.

Because your utmost satisfaction is important to us, we will provide you with a 100% refund guarantee if your ESA letter does not work for you. If the ESA letter does not work, you can contact us for a full refund.

Frequently Asked Questions about Emotional Support Cats

With cats being a less common service animal option, there can be a variety of questions needing answers before proceeding with getting one. Luckily, Pettable is here with the answers needed.

Do cats qualify as emotional support animals? 

There is no reason cats cannot also serve as emotional support animals. Cats are loving and affectionate creatures that can provide solace and comfort in times of distress. They are also low-maintenance, making them ideal ESAs for busy people.

How much is an emotional support cat? 

An emotional support cat can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on the breed. You can get them for less if they come from pet adoption centers.

How can I train an emotional support cat?

They're no different from emotional support dogs. You have to make sure they're well-fed, hydrated, and get lots of exercise and patience.

Can I have two emotional support cats? 

There are no rules regarding the maximum number of ESAs you can have. As long as your pets do not violate any state or local laws and you have your ESA letter, you should be fine.

How do I pick an emotional support cat?

First, you have to assess your needs. Once you've decided what type of cat is right for you, you can start screening for prospects and get to know them until you're ready to take them home.

Where can I get an emotional support cat?

You can either find a reputable breeder or shelter or check out online directories that can help you find your next ESA.

Can cats be service animals?

They absolutely can. Cats are no different from dogs because they can be trained too; they're easy to take with you wherever you go.

Meet the author:
Susana Bradford

Susana is an avid animal lover and has been around animals her entire life, and has volunteered at several different animal shelters in Southern California. She has a loving family at home that consists of her husband, son, two dogs, and one cat. She enjoys trying new Italian recipes, playing piano, making pottery, and outdoor hiking with her family and dogs in her spare time.