However, most people usually wonder, “Can Cats be ESA’s?” Although cats don’t have the image of playful and emotionally expressive mates, they still hold one of the top spots as the most preferred Emotional Support Animals in the United States.
If you wonder how to make your cat an ESA, this blog is for you. In this blog, we will tell you everything about how to register a cat as an emotional support animal.
- What is an Emotional Support Cat?
- How to Register My Cat As An Emotional Support Animal?
- Can a Cat be a Service Animal?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Emotional Support Cat?
A cat who helps its owner to overcome Mental or Emotional disability is called the Emotional Support Cat.
Cats don’t need any special training to act as an ESA; their love and affection are enough to treat any kind of mental or emotional disability in humans. Almost every cat can serve as an ESA, regardless of its weight, breed, or size.
Who Qualifies For an Emotional Support Cat?
Any individual that suffers from an emotional or mental disability mentioned in DSM-V can qualify for keeping an Emotional Support Cat. The illnesses mentioned below usually qualify for an ESA cat:
- Substance-related disorders (alcohol, drugs)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD)
- Personality Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Panic Attacks
- Sexual disorder
- Developmental coordination disorder
- Acute Stress Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Learning Disorders
- Concentration Deficit Hyperactivity disorder
- Autism and many more
What are the Laws that Protect Emotional Support Cats?
Fair Housing Act:
Basically, Fair Housing inhibits the housing authorities from denying the reasonable accommodation request of disabled Individuals. For that very reason, if the mentally or emotionally disabled request to keep an Emotional Support Cat in the apartment with them, the housing authorities have to permit it. Not only this but following the Fair Housing Act, the housing authorities:
Cannot deny the ESA cat request, even if they follow the no-pet policy.
Not, in any case, ask for extra pet fees or security charges for keeping ESA Cat in the apartment.
Are not permitted to put any size, weight, or breed restriction over the ESA cat allowance.
Under the Fair Housing Act, not only the housing authorities but educational dwellings like School and College dorms are also bound to follow this act.
For that very reason, Schools and college dorms are also obliged to allow ESA cats for students suffering from mental or emotional disabilities.
For more information on the Emotional Support Animal Fair Housing Act, Click here to read.
Air Carrier Access Act:
Earlier, ACAA used to protect all Emotional Support animals, including ESA cats. However, in early the year 2021, the ACAA withdrew all the protections that allowed ESA on flights. Following this, the DOT doesn’t oblige airlines to allow ESA on flights. Therefore, the ESA are now more like ordinary pets for airline authorities.
However, with their free will, some flights still allow ESA travel. Click here to check out the airlines that allow ESA Travel.
ESA Employment Laws:
Unlike service animals, Emotional support cats are not allowed in the office space. As employers are not bound to allow ESA cats, it is their wish if they want to permit employees to bring their Emotional support cats.
However, suppose the Emotionally or mentally disabled patient will point out how vital their ESA cat is for them and their mental wellness. In that case, there is a fair amount of chance that they will allow them to bring the ESA cat into the workplace.
The patient must get an ESA letter to highlight the need for ESA. You will understand what an ESA Letter is and how it is helpful for ESA parents in the sections covered ahead of this blog.
What Cat Breeds Qualify as Emotional Support Cats?
You can choose almost any breed to be your ESA cat. As long as the cat provides your comfort and support to alleviate your mental illness symptoms, it can act as your Emotional Support Cat.
You can check out this blog if you want to pick a cat as your ESA. There are a lot of options mentioned in this blog.
How to Register My Cat As An Emotional Support Animal?
Firstly, there is no such thing called “ESA registration.”
Many people google it and look out for any platform that can help them register their cat as an ESA cat. However, the government doesn’t register animals as ESA, nor do they consider the animals registered on some private sites databases as ESA.
Therefore, in order to get benefits from federal ESA Laws, you must consider an emotional support cat certification Letter instead of an ESA Support Cat registration.
Now, in order to certify your cat as an Emotional Support Cat, you must get an ESA recommendation letter.
So, what is this ESA recommendation letter or also called ESA Letter?
Basically, ESA Letter is a legitimate document written and signed by a Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP) that confirms that the patient suffers from a Mental or Emotional disorder and requires the support of an Emotional Support Animal to alleviate the symptoms of their illness.
How and Where to get an ESA Letter?
If you want an ESA Letter to certify your cat as an ESA cat, you surely need to get in touch with an LMHP. For that, you can contact Fast ESA Letter. We have a team of licensed mental health professionals that can evaluate your sickness and provide you with an ESA letter. Our process to get an ESA Letter goes as follows:
1. Fill out a simple form
Start the process by filling up a simple form on our website, mentioning your basic and cat details. Don’t forget to answer the questions related to your mental illness.
2. Get evaluated by an LMHP.
Once you fill out the information and submit your form, an LMHP will evaluate your application for the ESA cat. If they think your illness requires Emotional support cat assistance, you will get approval for an ESA Letter.
3. Receive your ESA Letter
Once the LMHP approves, you will receive an ESA Letter at your given Email address. You can use this ESA Letter to show to the housing authorities.
Dos and Don’ts when it comes to owning Emotional Support Cats?
There are some dos and don’ts that you must be aware of as an Emotional Support Cat owner. These are listed as follows:
Access to Public Places:
As we all know, Service animals are allowed to visit public places with their owners. However, Emotional Support Animals don’t have similar rights to go to restaurants, malls, departmental stores, etc.
Although Emotional Support Animals don’t require any mandatory training to be ESA, you can teach them some basic training to ease your life.
Living and Flying
ESA can stay with their Owners in any housing, but they don’t have the right to fly freely on planes like Service Animals.
Can a Cat be a Service Animal?
No, they cannot. Cats are not qualified pets to act as service Animals.
Basically, Service animals are animals that are trained especially to assist their owners with their physical or psychiatric disabilities. Only Dogs and Miniature horses are considered to be a great fit to be Service Animals. Cats aren’t one of them, so they cannot be ESA.
As you know, Emotional Support Animals don’t require any training. That’s why Cats and almost every other animal that has the ability to calm human emotions are fit to be ESA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I have 2 emotional support cats?
What cat is best for emotional support?
- Persian cat
- Maine coon, etc.
You can compare the traits of these cats and pick a cat to make your emotional support animal.
Do I need to provide any special training for my cat to be an Emotional Support Cat?
No you do not need to provide any special training to your emotional support cat. ESA are not trained like service dogs to provide assistance to their owners.
Does my ESA need an emotional support animal vest to travel or live with me?
As long as you hold the ESA Letter as legitimate proof, it doesn’t matter whether your ESA wears a vest or not.
Can any cat be an Emotional Support Cat?
Where can I take my Emotional Support Cat?
Unlike service dogs, emotional support cats are not allowed to enter public locations like theaters, restaurants, shopping malls etc. However, they are allowed to live on any property of their choice with their owners because they are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act which provides equal rights of living to the person’s with disabilities.
Can I bring my Emotional Support Cat to work?
Emotional support cats are not protected under the ADA like service dogs they are not allowed to accompany their owners in workplaces. However, if the employer finds your condition to be genuine he/she can allow you to bring your emotional support cat to office with a valid ESA letter.
Can my Emotional Support Cat be refused entry to certain places?
Can I register my Emotional Support Cat online?
Can anyone get an Emotional Support Cat?
How long is an ESA letter valid for?
The ESA letter is valid for one year. After one year, you have to apply for a renewal process of your ESA letter, or you can also contact your local therapist for the renewal of your ESA letter.
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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