Folks today experience unparalleled stress in their day-to-day lives, and we all are searching for ways to cope and manage the anxieties we experience. This can be especially tricky if you have a disability or mental illness. Luckily, even if you do not qualify for a therapy or service animal, with the help of a mental health professional, you may be eligible for an emotional support pet with the help of a mental health professional.
ESAs have special privileges allowing them to accompany humans in order to help with emotional or mental disabilities. They can offer companionship and therapeutic support to their owners. Domestic felines have an ancient history of human companionship that dates back 4,000 years, so it is no wonder that cats are one of the most popular ESA pets.
Here is a breakdown of 10 of the best emotional support cat breeds, so you can get the stellar emotional support that you need from your pet.
Ragdolls live up to their name. Affectionate and docile, these long-haired felines softly flop around in your arms just like a ragdoll. This breed enjoys being held and cuddled, making them excellent ESA cats for folks who want to both give and receive love from their pet.
You’ll hear Ragdolls being compared to dogs because of their human-centric nature. While many cat breeds prefer to keep to themselves, Ragdolls seek out human companionship and love being pet for hours on end. These sweet and furry friends are also great with kids, so they would be a great ESA addition to a young family.
Persian kitties are remarkable for their distinctly squished faces and elegantly long coats. Regal in looks with an attitude to match, Persian cats make great emotional support animals for their owners with calm grace and an affectionate demeanor.
This ESA cat breed requires a commitment to grooming due to its long coat of hair that can easily become mangled. But for some owners, this is a great reason to adopt a Persian. Having a pet to diligently care for can do wonders for mental health, as it keeps folks active and engaged in another creature’s wellbeing.
Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds with long hair and an austere presence, commonly kept as emotional support cats. Their size may be intimidating to some, but it is also a precise reason some owners choose to adopt Maine Coons as their support animal.
Maine Coons can weigh upwards of 20 pounds and continue to grow until they reach between 3 and 5 years old. Their size makes them a popular choice among folks who prefer a larger pet but do not have the resources to commit to adopting a dog. The breed enjoys play as much as cuddling, and they are great with children.
Siamese cats are one of the most sought-after domestic animals out there, known for their iconic light fur, dark faces, and crystal blue eyes. A beauty to see, these feline friends also make affectionate and calming support animals for their owners.
This breed is known for its playful nature, making excellent companions for folks who want a more active creature to socialize with. Since they do better with round-the-clock company, Siamese cats are a great choice when you want to adopt a pair of felines or if you intend to bring your emotional support animal along for day-to-day adventures. Plus, as short-haired pets, they require less grooming than their long-haired peers.
When you hear the word “Bengal,” the mind often jumps straight to tigers. Bengals, much like their nondomestic relatives, have a wild streak that makes them excellent playmates and a constant adventure for owners. Muscular and strong, Bengals are active animals that look eerily similar in coat pattern to wild felines. If a wilder companion is your speed, a Bengal may be the perfect emotional support kitty for you.
Even with their wild tendencies, the domestic Bengal breed is affectionate and intelligent. They are also low-shedding, meaning you can spend less time grooming and more time on adventures with one of the best feline breeds.
Russian Blues make ideal pets for homebodies and introverts. While they are not an antisocial breed, Russian Blue cats typically bond to one specific individual and prefer to spend their time relaxing with their owner in the comfort of home. Because of this, they can be a great match for people with social anxiety or anyone who spends a lot of time at home alone.
With their characteristic silvery hair, these silky creatures have a blue tint to their coats that makes them irresistibly beautiful. This breed thrives on routine and likes a quiet, simple life. They are low maintenance and make great emotional support animals who just want to receive love and attention from an affectionate owner.
It is worth mentioning Mixed Breed cats as one of the best cat breeds because they do not need to be purebred to make incredible emotional support animals. In fact, mixed breeds often have better health and longer life expectancies than purebred kitties. Opting for a Mixed Breed also means you can easily adopt a companion from a shelter, which some find more affordable and ethical.
While all Mixed Breed cats are all different shapes and sizes and temperaments, you can be certain that these often extremely affectionate creatures will bond to you in gratitude for their new lease on life. They may require extra care and attention at first, but with time they can make perfect companions and unrivaled emotional support animals with time.
The quintessential lap cat, the Himalayan breed, is a crossbreed between Siamese and Persians. With the long hair of a Persian cat and the coloring and iconic blue eyes of a Siamese, Himalayans are the best of both worlds.
Smart and affectionate, Himalayan cats are not afraid to let you know when they want attention. These felines typically have a calm demeanor, but their playful side comes out once they’ve bonded to an owner. They are great with other pets and play kindly with young children. A loving and easy companion to care for, the Himalayan breed can make excellent emotional support animals.
Sphynx cats may be less hairy than the other best cat breeds on this list, but they are no less cuddly and affectionate! Sphinxes are known for their striking hairless appearance and are energetic and playful by nature. Being hairless, they are hypoallergenic. This makes them the absolute best cat breed if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies.
Even without hair, Sphynx cats still require a fair amount of grooming and intentional care from their owners, requiring weekly baths due to their oily skin. This means they will be excellent companions if your mental well-being can benefit from giving regular care to another creature. They need active companionship but will give you so much love in return.
The American Shorthair breed is one of the most sought-after breeds in the United States. Accompanying early settlers from Europe to the US, the American Shorthair breed carries traits many people think of as “All-American,” such as a strong sense of loyalty and a hearty spirit.
Rat-catching, playful, and great with children and other furry friends, American Shorthair cats provide exceptional emotional support to families and individuals. They are known to have consistently good health and are remarkably low maintenance and simple to care for. Smart and easy-going, American Shorthairs make great ESA cats for people who want a friendly, low-key companion without too much extra work. They are also great for first-time animal owners!
You chose a breed of Emotional Support Animal — Now what?
Once you’ve debated the best cat breeds and chosen the perfect fit for your emotional support needs, it’s time to start the process of registering your cat. This process can be a daunting one to undertake on your own, as it involves getting a letter from a mental health professional and requires various registration applications. Luckily, ESA Registration of America makes it easier than ever!
Our team has partnered with a professional team of experts that can assist clients in acquiring ESA letters, so you can legally travel and live with your pet no matter where life takes you. We also offer a diverse variety of products, from harnesses and vests to IDs and guidebooks. Whatever you may need to register your emotional support animal successfully, our team has got you covered.
Emotional support animals are truly a part of the family and can provide essential therapeutic support to folks with a variety of mental, emotional, or psychological disabilities. Once you have chosen what cat breed best fits your lifestyle and your needs, contact a trusted professional and jumpstart the registration process today!