Emotional support animals (ESA) aren’t just pets. Any animal that helps an individual to overcome a specific disability is known as ESA. Though many have dogs to take care of their emotional needs, cats provide the same level of comfort dogs do. ESAs are not to be confused with service animals which are trained to carry out particular tasks.
Acts pertaining to ESA owners:
- Fair Housing Act (FHA): Since ESAs aren’t considered as pets, as per the FHA, ESA owners can rent out apartments even if it comes with a ‘No pets’ policy. The FHA was put forth to ensure ESA owners aren’t discriminated by homeowner associations and landlords.
- Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA): The act allows ESA owners to travel with their ESA without purchasing another ticket or paying an additional fee when flying. Contact the corresponding airlines before 48 years of the journey and carry necessary documents during your travel.
How to ensure I qualify for an ESA?
If you suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks or any other mental illness, you qualify for an ESA. To make it official you require an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional. You then have to initiate ESA cat registration. You can expedite the process of getting your pet ESA approved by the help of third-party services.
‘Support Pets’ helps you with the process within 24 to 48 hours after submitting your ESA request. They have a 99% percent success rate in processing ESA forms. Take their online quiz to confirm your eligibility.
How effective are cats as ESAs?
Researches state that parenting a pet is good for our mental well-being. It lowers stress levels, helps us sleep better and reduces loneliness. Though many may feel that dogs make better ESAs the following tips helps you get a great emotional support feline:
- Breed: Specific breeds like Tonkinese, Scottish Fold and Ragdoll are friendly in nature.
- No stray cats: In general feral cats tend to be wild and scared of humans. It takes time to tame them.
- Develop a bond: It is easier to develop a close bond when the cat is younger.
- Indoors only: Cats that spend more time indoors are naturally more people-oriented and healthier.
- Spay or neuter: Unaltered male cats tend to be aggressive while the female cats will try ways to go outdoors to be bred. They won’t make good ESAs.
If you are suffering from a mental disability, getting a cat as an ESA would do you good. Find the right cat that suits your needs.