Looking for an Emotional Support Animal? Consider Cat Adoption!

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: December 21, 2023

Searching for an emotional support animal is not as difficult as it sounds! Today, many people look to cat adoption in the hopes of finding the purrfect ESA. If you’re interested in learning more about adopting a pet to become your emotional support animal, then read on!

Adopt! Don’t Shop! Cat Adoption is a Great Way to Find a Feline Friend!

Cat adoption is undeniably the best approach when searching for the perfect pet.  Meeting prospective companions, spending time with the animal, discovering the “chemistry” is important in the decision-making process.  After all, adding a four-legged family member is a life-long commitment.

Statistics provided by the Humane Society of the United States report approximately 6.5 million animals enter shelters each year. Some 3.2 million of the total shelter animals are cats.  Only 1.6 million shelter cats are adopted annually.

There Are All Sorts of Kittens for Adoption and Cats for Adoption!

Considering there are 3.2 million felines in shelters it is a good bet that the ‘purrfect’ cat or kitten is looking for you!

Many communities promote special cat adoption events.  Retailers like PetSmart are advocates for pet adoptions and sponsor weekend “meet-and-greet” clinics.

A quick shelter search will reveal basically every breed, color, size, and age of feline hoping for a forever home. Internet pet matching services such as Petfinder.com provide sort filters that include basic individual characteristics and even the desired shelter distance from your home to make finding the perfect kitty an easy process.

There are many benefits of adopting an ESA from a shelter. Some of these include:

  • The veterinarians will check your ESA before it is sent home to you!
  • All animals are spayed or neutered
  • Animals are often dewormed
  • All cats will receive their vaccines

In addition, dedicated, experienced staff members evaluate the animal’s health, temperament, and approximate age.

Cat adoption fees vary but are typically reasonable. Adoption is an excellent way for pet lovers to add an adorable furchild to their household. The process is especially beneficial to humans looking for a solid emotional support cat. 

Any Kitty Cats can be Emotional Support Cats; Take the First Step to Get Your ESA!

Emotional Support Animals are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) however they do not qualify for the same ADA privileges as a trained, certified service animal.

Based on the overall definition any cat can be an emotional support animal. The first step is to get prescribed an official ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional in your state. They’re the only person who can! No registries or certificates will work!

The ESA letter is for people with diagnosed emotional/mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder who may benefit from the presence of their pet. For many people, their ESA is the difference between manageable and unmanageable anxieties.

Bought or Adopted: There are 2 Vital Laws That Protect ESAs!

Emotional Support Animals are protected by some aspects of ADA legislation, but there are several differences in the access and privileges ESAs are afforded.  The two main laws that govern ESAs are the Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Act.

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits the discrimination of any disabled person traveling by air. Airlines are not allowed to refuse or limit transportation or require advanced notice to serve individuals with disabilities.

They may require advance notice for certain medical devices (such as wheelchairs). They may also require verified identification such as your ESA letter.  ESA owners are not limited specific passenger seat locations unless their animal could obstruct an aisle.  Airlines may not charge a fee for accommodating a disabled person with an ESA.

The Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHA) prohibits landlords and housing communities from denying housing to disabled persons.  It also requires “reasonable accommodation” to allow assistance animals including ESA’s. Property owners cannot charge additional fees for ESA’s, question the owner’s disability, or require the animal wear special identification.  An ESA must demonstrate a service that supports the disability diagnosis of its owner.

How CertaPet Helps People Get Their ESA Letter

Organizations have popped up offering fee-based “registration services” for ESAs. Beware! Such offers are something of a scam.  There are no valid “Official Emotional Support Animal Registries.” Only ESA letters are recognized as validation of the ESA and the owner’s emotional disability.

Obtaining an ESA letter requires compliance with specific laws. A psychological diagnosis is just the first step in the process. The application may seem complicated, but there are resources to help navigate the procedure.

Everyone Deserves a Second Chance: When you Adopt a Cat, You Both Get a New Lease on Life! 

Nothing beats the gratitude of someone whose life has been saved. Countless heartwarming stories have been recorded about the unconditional love and devotion of a rescue animal.  In the case of the rescue becoming an EDA, the boundless appreciation flows both ways.

Do You Want to Adopt a Pet?  The Pet Adoption Process Explained!

Pet parenthood should not be entered into lightly.  Consideration should be given to the type of animal you can care for. Your living conditions are important. The activity level of the pet, the grooming, feeding, exercise, and ongoing medical care are all critical concerns.  Offering an animal a home is a life-long promise.

The actual adoption process may differ depending on the organization.  Some adoption agencies require a questionnaire detailing the home environment before they will release a pet for adoption.  Many also require references and even conduct a home visit before they approve an adoption.  Fees vary by the adoption agency.

How to Ensure the Kitten Adoption Goes Smoothly and They Settle in Their New Home!

Many people find cats the most reasonable pet for their lifestyle.  Cats are quiet – no complaints from neighbors about midnight barking concerts.  They do not require a lot of exercise – no trudging through the snow for potty breaks.

Cats are independent creatures – no guilt trips over long hours at work. Food, fresh water, a cozy bed, a litter box, and a few toys are the basics for a welcoming home for a cat.

In return, their human receives a lifetime of unconditional love and affection – especially in the case of a rescue kitty.

Cat Adoption Near Me? Cat Rescue Near Me? Find a Pet Shelter Where You Live!

Once the determination of sex, age, and personality of the cat is made, begin the research to find the perfect feline fit.  A few good resources for pet adoptions are

  • Local shelters
  • Veterinarian offices
  • Pet supply retailers
  • Online rescue sites
  • The Humane Society
  • Online sites like Petfinder.com
  • Community newspapers

Visit a Local Cat Rescue Facility or Shelter and Find Your Potential Furever Friend!

 Pet rescue organizations take their mission of finding loving homes for their charges seriously.  Rescue facilities and pet shelters may be located in communities all over the country.  Most local jurisdictions fund animal shelters/pounds as a part of their government services.  Some rescues limit their services specifically to cats.

When you locate a potential shelter, plan to visit.  Spend time with the cat(s) you like. Determine the personality of the animal and the emotional connection.  Large cities, pet supply retailers, and the Internet also offer special adoption support services.

  • Cat Adoption NYCThe Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals provides an online resource for information about available cats and dogs in need of loving homes. The site offers a list of more than 150 participating Alliance Participating Organizations and a calendar of community events.
  • Cat Adoption San Diego The San Diego Humane Society offers a website dedicated to the adoption of available pets. Their service includes the assignment of an Adoption Counselor to assist with pet matches and completing the adoption process.
  • PetSmart Cat AdoptionPetSmart, the national chain of pet supermarkets dedicates a significant amount of resources to pet charities. Their learning center a Petsmart.com offers information about pet adoptions nationwide as well as information about the care and welfare of pets.
  • PetfinderPetfinder is an internet company dedicated to the mission of finding homes for animals in North America. The site profiles more than 315,000 adoptable pets from 14,000 shelters and rescue groups.

Pets in Rescue Facilities are Waiting for Their Happily Ever After!

 Rescuing a pet from a shelter is about the closest thing humans can come to a “happily-ever-after” experience.  While the pet rescue may enhance human life, it actually saves the life of the animal.

Whether Canine or Feline: You Can’t Go Wrong with Adopting a Furkid!

Providing a little homework goes into the selection and adoption process, the value of saving the life of a worthy animal cannot be understated.  The care and welfare may be a bit involved, there are sacrifices to consider, and the cost of housing, feeding and treating a pet is a sure consideration, it is a sure fact – the return on the investment is PRICELESS!

Common Questions about Cat Adoption and Emotional Support Animals 

How do I find a cat or kitten for adoption?

Is an ESA protected by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Should I expect to pay a fee to adopt a cat?

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