Emotional Support Cat Registration
If your cat is an emotional support animal (ESA), it can travel with you in the cabin of commercial airplanes and live with you in housing that has a “no pets” policy. If you want your cat to be officially recognized as an ESA, you need an ESA letter from a licensed healthcare professional.
That’s all you need, and a little bit further down this page we’ll show you how simple and affordable it is to get one. First we need to tell you about emotional support cat registration and why you might want to avoid it.
ESA Cat Registration
There are a number of organizations that offer registration for emotional support cats and other animals. Typically, the registration offer includes a certificate, an ID card, and a spot on an emotional support animal database. Some include other items, such as an ESA patch, leash, or vest.
Although there is nothing wrong with these offers, sometimes it is implied that this registration gives your animal some sort of official status or recognition. It doesn’t. There is no officially recognized database of ESAs.
The only officially recognized vehicle for emotional support animal status is a properly executed ESA letter from a licensed healthcare professional.
That being said, you might want an ID card or a certificate to frame and hang on your wall. Just be aware that they don’t carry any official status or power, so consider their price before purchasing.
How Do I Get My Cat Official ESA Status?
There is no official reason to register your cat, but if you need your cat to be an emotional support animal, you will need and ESA Letter.
What’s an ESA Letter?
An ESA letter is a prescription from a licensed mental health professional. It is printed on their letterhead — along with their contact information and license number — and includes, among other things, that:
- You are their patient.
- You have a recognized mental or emotional condition such as anxiety, PTSD, or depression.
- Your cat helps you deal with a specific aspect of that condition.
Why Do I Want My Cat to be an ESA?
The primary benefit of having ESA status for your cat is official recognition by two federal laws:
- The Fair Housing Act (FHA) which requires landlord/property managers to make reasonable accommodations for emotional support animals even if they have a “no pets” policy.
- The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) that allows passengers to be accompanied in the cabin of an aircraft with their emotional support animal.
Under both laws, additional fees cannot be charged for this accommodation.
How Do I Get an ESA Letter for My Cat?
The number of specific requirements for a proper ESA letter can seem intimidating, but with our years of experience combined with our extensive mental health professional referral network, the DOGtor can relieve your stress with a hassle-free experience. We’ll help you with your ESA letter with our process that has been described by thousands of clients as simple, fast and surprisingly affordable.