Home » How To Train A Cat To Become An Emotional Support Animal?

How To Train A Cat To Become An Emotional Support Animal?

Posted on April 25, 2023 by Lisa Tevis
Emotional support animals, or ESAs, have gained popularity over the past few years. These pets offer their owners unconditional love and companionship, and studies have also shown that they can lessen the symptoms of mental health conditions such as loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Although most people picture dogs as emotional support animals, cats have also gained much popularity and are considered excellent companions.

In general, cats require less upkeep than dogs and are simple to train to carry out simple chores or tricks. If you’re searching for a furry pal to cuddle with or to support you through difficult times, a cat is an excellent choice. Read our complete guide to know; how you can train your cat to become an emotional support cat and how you can qualify for an emotional support cat.

Train A Cat To Become An Emotional Support Animal

What Is An Emotional Support Animal?

Any animal that significantly reduces a symptom of a person’s mental health condition is known as an emotional support animal. The ability of an emotional support animal to assist its owner does not depend on the type of animal. Any animal that provides a person with emotional support and companionship can be treated as an emotional support animal. Simply having a support animal around you can provide comfort and a sense of stress relief.

By offering companionship, unconditional love, and emotional support, an emotional support animal can positively impact a person’s mental health conditions.

Which Mental Health Conditions Qualify For an Emotional Support Cat?

An emotional support cat can benefit many mental health conditions. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Loneliness
  • Personality Disorder and much more.

One in two people may experience these types of difficulties in their life, so even if you have been officially diagnosed, you can still qualify for an emotional support cat.

Benefits Of Having An Emotional Support Cat.

A variety of mental health conditions can significantly be improved with the help of an emotional support cat. How? Let’s see them in detail.

Reduces Loneliness

Loneliness is a complex mental health disability that comes with many other mental health problems. Loneliness’s unpleasant impacts can be lessened by owning a cat or an emotional support animal.
The companionship offered by an emotional support cat can make people feel less lonely, which can greatly impact their overall well-being.

Reduces Anxiety

If you’re dealing with anxiety, then you must be familiar about how difficult it is to deal with it. But emotional support animals like cats can help you a lot. The fact that you have someone who depends on you might significantly impact your mental health, such as anxiety. Focusing on someone other than yourself can profoundly affect your mental health because it shifts your attention away from excessive thought and repeatedly thinking about the causes of your worry about loving and caring for your emotional support cat.

Relieve From Stress & Depression

Depression and stress are two main difficulties that can badly impact our mental health, but an emotional support cat can help you to get out of it. Many people claim that having an emotional support cat is beneficial for them in getting out of difficult situations they have faced in their life.

An emotional support cat helps their owners overcome depression by giving them a feeling of purpose. Being responsible for an emotional support cat and ensuring they remain in good health can make a significant difference in the symptoms of stress and depression. Petting your ESA cat also releases happy hormones in your body, which helps uplift your mood and enhance your mental health.

Improves Physical Health

Most cats aren’t trained to use a leash, so start early if you want to train your cat. Many cats enjoy taking walks while being either carried or leashed. For people dealing with emotional or mental health conditions, going for a walk to pick up pet supplies can also serve as a vital exercise break. You’ll stay active and have fun even if you don’t have time & energy to play with your cat as it chases toys inside.

Enhance Sleep Quality

Your emotional support cat can play a vital role in improving the quality of your sleep by assisting you to relax and feel less nervous before going to bed. Some people find that having their ESA on the bed at the beginning of the night helps them fall asleep more quickly. Some animals also offer a warm and reassuring presence at night, which reduces anxiety and improves your owner’s sleep.

Cat Training: Basic Skills To Teach Your Emotional Support Cat

Emotional support animals are not required to be trained to assist their owners daily. However, you can provide your cat with some basic training so they can follow your instructions easily and behave appropriately in public places.

There is a common misconception among pet parents that cat training is similar to dog training. But sadly, that’s not true. Both of them are different creatures with unique personalities and lifestyles. As a result, training a cat is entirely a unique experience than training a dog.

Are you wondering what to train your cat to become an emotional support animal? Here are the tips that will help you know about emotional support cat training.

Do not punish your cat

First of all, let me clarify that cats do not like punishments because they perceive it as a threat and may also harm you, so never ever punish your cat. Therefore, it’s crucial to use positive reinforcement and rewards to train your cat to develop good habits. If your cat scratches the furniture or tries to destroy it, don’t panic and make them do it on less-valuable items like old curtains, furniture, cushion covers or fixtures, etc.

Recall Training

Any cat needs to learn to come when called, but an ESA cat needs excellent recall skills.

Like housetraining, recall training also requires time to come into action. But if you give your cat rewards or treats each time she responds to her name, she’ll soon begin to think that being around you is the best place in the world as she identifies her recall cue with good things over time.

Get Your Cat Train To Use Litter Box

Trained your cat to use a litter box is crucial in teaching them how to urinate properly. Firstly find a precise location to place it and then begin instructing your cat to do the same. The best trick to teach your cat how to use a litter box is to get the cat into it after eating and then gently clean the sand off its paws until it urinates. Repeat the same process several times until your cat understands the need for the litter box and begins using it independently.

Also Here are some precautions need to take if your cat eating litter.

Train Your Cat To Walk With Leash

When going for a walk, it’s important that your emotional support cat can walk comfortably with a leash without chewing or dragging it. To achieve this, train your cat to walk with a loose leash. To start loose leash training, take your cat to a park or a quiet neighborhood street if you don’t have your backyard. Also, make sure to provide high-quality treats when training your cat. If you want your cat to walk in a certain way, be sure that you choose the best strategy that will work best for you and your emotional support cat.

Train Your Cat To Come When Called

Another essential behavior to train your cat with is to respond when called. Choosemfew gestures or words, like come, sit, nuh, etc., to communicate with your cat. Try practicing them after your cat finishes the meal you provide them. Follow this routine for some days, and then you’ll see your cat respond quickly and positively when called. You might also think of using some appealing cat snacks to draw your cat’s attention to you. Your voice and the positive reinforcement will soon become familiar to your emotional support cat.

Shorter Training Sessions

Try to keep the training session duration as short as possible because cats have short attention spans. The timing of the training sessions should be determined by your cat’s temperament and level of interest. The more frequent and natural the training sessions are, the more engaged your cat will be.

How To Get An Emotional Support Cat?

Getting an emotional support cat involves getting an official ESA letter signed by a licensed mental health professional such as a therapist or a psychiatrist. The LMHP will evaluate your mental health condition, and if they find your situation genuine, they will write an ESA letter for you. The ESA letter is official proof that confirms that you’ve a mental health disability and that an emotional support cat is necessary for your overall well-being.

After obtaining an ESA letter, choose the right cat breed as your emotional support animal. Read out our guide on the best cat breeds to know which cats make excellent emotional support animals.

If you’re looking for an online ESA letter provider, you can apply on the Fast ESA Letter website to get your ESA letter today! Follow the steps to get an ESA letter online.

Fill up the Online Application Form
Start the process by filling out the online form about your mental health condition. Add all the details carefully in the form and then submit it by clicking the submit now button.

Get Evaluated Online
A licensed mental health professional will evaluate your form after you submit it online. If they find your condition genuine, they will approve your application for an ESA letter.

Receive Your ESA letter
Receive your ESA Letter via email and then download it to take advantage of the ESA laws and rights.


Training your cat is not compulsory, but as a pet parent, you should provide your pet with some basic obedience training. You can look for ESA cat training online if you have little time to train your cat yourself.

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Looking To Apply For An Emotional Support Animal Letter?

1. Fill up and Submit ESA Evaluation Form Online.

2. Get Evaluated by a Licensed Professional.

3. Get Approved, and Receive Your ESA Letter Instantly via E-mail.

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