Emotional support dogs have become quite common, but for cat lovers, there is a better alternative. According to the experts at US Service Animals, Emotional support cats are not as popular as dogs, but perform the role of companions no worse.
If you have always dreamed of an ESA cat or already have a cat and want to register it as an emotional support animal, we recommend that you first find out what benefits cats have for human mental health and which breeds can become your best companions.
What are the benefits of emotional support animals?
Psychological support animals have become more popular among healthcare providers. In some instances, ESAs can be used as a therapeutic tool for people wishing to be more successful or to develop a better quality of life. There are a vast number of studies examining how these animals provide emotional support.
While further studies are ongoing, the benefits of ESA are clear. These creatures aid humans to get rid of the feeling of loneliness and abandonment. They are also very useful in combating various mental disorders. In addition, animals are able to make people more productive and able to work, because they lift spirits and improve mood and general well-being.
What is an emotional support cat?
An animal that provides support for a patient suffering from emotional or mental disorders is called a support animal. We are used to the fact that dogs often play this role, but in fact, any animal can be an emotional support one. And yet dogs and cats are the most common among ESAs.
Cats are extremely popular as pets and despite all the stereotypes about the wayward nature of cats, these animals can be excellent emotional support animals. There are many cat breeds for emotional support: from Maine coons and Russian blue cats to American shorthairs and Sphynx. Each of these breeds can become your emotional support pet and give you the necessary love and endorsement. A black Maine coon in particular is an intelligent and gentle cat breed that makes it a perfect companion.
Besides, if you already have a cat and you have noticed that the animal has a positive effect on your psychological and emotional state, you can talk about it with your therapist and register your emotional support cat.
Who can adopt an emotional support cat?
Those suffering from any disease have a chance to adopt an ESA cat. A health worker writes an ESA letter indicating that a person seeks psychological benefits from an emotional support animal. If you have this paper you can officially become the owner of an emotional support cat.
So, after visiting a doctor, contact a company that specializes in breeding and selling cats to choose an animal for yourself. There is no special ESA cat breed, so, you can only rely on your own preferences.
Russian Blues are wonderful companions to introverts and people with social issues. Although not a social breed, Russian Blue Cats tend to bond with one individual. These are the perfect fit for anyone with social anxiety. These animals thrive off routine and enjoy quiet, peaceful lives.
They are low maintenance and make excellent emotionally supportive creatures who simply love and enjoy their owners. Russian Blue Cat is an intelligent breed that likes to spend time alone and does not require much attention. But at the same time, these animals feel great about their owners and are always ready to come to the rescue when a person needs it.
Persian kitties have distinct curved faces and graceful long coats and also unique personalities. Persian cats have a very playful nature and love to spend time with their owners. This must be one of the reasons why Persians are often considered the best emotional support cats.
However, this breed requires special care. Because of their long fur, Persian cats need regular grooming to look neat. In addition to professional care, you should pay proper attention to the animal at home. So keep this in mind when choosing an animal.
The Siamese cat is likely the most common breed in existence. They are unique animals whose lifespans are approximately 8–12 years. They are mild-mannered, loving to spend time with people but at the same time feeling absolutely comfortable staying alone. Siamese cats usually show an affectionate demeanour that leaves no one indifferent. That’s why these elegant cats can relieve any mental problems.
Ragdoll cats are very affectionate and delicate, they flit gently in your arms and look like ragdolls. This cat is a good ESA cat if a person is interested in bringing home and giving love to a friend. Ragdolls are referred to as dogs because they have human-centric qualities.
Although most cats enjoy their own privacy, this cat breed seeks companionship from humans and enjoys being petted. These cute furry friends can easily be found around young people, making them an excellent addition to an older family.
Sphynx are famous for their striking hairless appearance and are energetic and playful nature. Because of hair, they are hypoallergic. They are one of the best pets for anyone suffering from allergies. Even though Sphynx cats don’t have hair, they require frequent veterinary attention and intentional grooming by the owner.
These cats are extremely loyal to their owners and love to be around people. However, they do not require constant physical contact. That makes them perfect companions for humans with almost any mental health issues.
There are a huge number of other breeds of cats that can also be great ESAs. American shorthair, Bengal, Manx, American bobtail, Maine coons, and others are often called among the best cat breeds. Some attract pet owners with their appearance, like a Bengal cat, others choose because they are playful and friendly.
If you have enough space at home, think about getting a Maine Сoon. These cats are widely known because they are the largest domestic cat breeds. However, in addition to their outstanding size, they are also characterised by a mild nature and a high level of socialisation. Cats of this breed love to spend time with their owner, playing together, or just cuddling.
Robert Haynes, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.