Have you ever wondered whether your cat could be a service animal or emotional support animal? While technically cats can’t be certified as Service Animals, they can be certified as an emotional support animal (ESA) and can offer their owners major benefits. As of 2011, a service animal is defined as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” 

 

Cats as Emotional Support Animals

True or False? Miniature Horses can be considered to be service animals.

True! The ADA states that “a public entity or private business must allow a person with a disability to bring a miniature horse on the premises as long as it has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.”

While it’s a bummer for cat owners and cat lovers that would prefer a feline friend, cats still make great ESAs. ESAs can provide companionship, relieve depression, and help with anxiety and phobias. Emotional support animals, like most small cats and dogs, can fly in the cabin of an aircraft (make sure you check with your airline before traveling and read our tips for traveling with cats). Interestingly enough, airlines aren’t actually required to allow animals other than service animals on the aircraft. It is up to the individual airline and the policy they have adopted, and this is why you must always check before you travel. 

ESAs may also live in apartments that don’t allow pets, but still check with your prospective landlord to be sure. The downside of this is that cats or ESAs aren't given access and treated like service animals, and they can’t be allowed everywhere service dogs are.

ESAs do not have a certification, nor is one required. If there’s a need for a formal document, an ESA pet owner can ask their mental health professional for a letter. For more information about service animals and emotional support animals, check out this booklet from the ADA.

 

Unfortunately, our Kitty Kasas won’t be allowed on the plane with your pet, but we can certainly ship one to you! Contact us today to ask about our new designs and colors.



Also in Your Cats Happiness and Health

5 Ways You Can Participate in Adopt-A-Shelter Cat Month
5 Ways You Can Participate in Adopt-A-Shelter Cat Month

June is dedicated to raising awareness to adopt shelter cats. While Kitty Kasa is not just for shelters anymore, they continue to be an advocate for shelter cats from all over!  Here are five ways you can help show your homeless feline friends you care this month.
Foster Kitten Crash Course
Foster Kitten Crash Course

Fostering kittens is a great way to help our feline friends and ease the burden on local shelters, but you need to make sure that you're not in over your head. If you think fostering kittens is right for you, then keep the following tips in mind to help set yourself up for success in your foster journey!
9 Ways to Preserve Your Cat's 9 Lives
9 Ways to Preserve Your Cat's 9 Lives

Your cat may have nine lives, but keeping them healthy should still be at the top of your priority list. While there are some things we simply can't control, following these nine steps will help keep your cat in tip top shape for years to come! 

HAVING A GOOD TIME?