Emotional Support Cat Certification Myth DebunkedReading Time: 3 minutes
If you’ve ever looked into assistance animals, you’ve probably come across “emotional support cat certification.” Are we right? This latest scam is all over the internet nowadays. Every year, more and more Americans fall for it. They want an emotional support animal by their side but don’t know how to do it the legal way! Today, we’re exposing this fraud so that opportunistic tricksters don’t get the better of you. Keep reading to stay informed!
What Is an ESA aka Emotional Support Animal?
Before we get into the issue of emotional support cat certification, let’s get back to basics. What is an emotional support animal (ESA), after all?
Think of emotional support animals as the best friends to people with a mental or emotional disability. These loyal animals help their owners cope with their mental illness. When they’re on the verge of a panic attack, their emotional support animal can help calm them down. When they’re in a depressive bout, they make it easier to get out of bed and function. They’re furry superheroes.
People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression rely on their companion animals. They are so good for their mental well-being that they’re used in animal-assisted therapy!
For all these reasons, emotional support animals are considered assistance animals. However, they’re not the only ones in this category. Service dogs, service miniature horses, therapy cats, therapy dogs, and psychiatric service animals exist too! Since they’re all called similar things, it can get confusing. But keep in mind that each of them has a specific task and training.
Any Animal Can Be an ESA: Including a Cat!
Emotional support animals come in all shapes, sizes, and species. That’s right: there are (virtually) no restrictions when it comes to picking an ESA. All that is asked is that you and your support animal can share a bond. For obvious reasons, you won’t be allowed to get a mosquito as your ESA!
In all seriousness, the most common picks are emotional support dogs and cats. Our feline friends, in particular, make spectacular assistance animals. They are cuddly, charming, and charismatic—what more can you wish for?
Another great piece of news is that your pet could become your ESA. We’ll get into how the legal process works in a bit. But for now, know that your pup can be “transformed” into your emotional support dog.
Your ESA Cat Will Have Legal Protection
An emotional support animal is considered an assistance animal. After all, they help individuals with disabilities live a normal day-to-day life. Thus, they get protection and special rights that pets don’t have.
For starters, there is the Federal Housing Act (FHA). It gives you the right to live with your emotional support pet in a rented unit. Even if that unit has a no-pets policy, your housing provider will have to make an exception for you.
Secondly, there is the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). Thanks to it, you can take your emotional support kitty aboard a plane with you. Leave your flight anxiety behind and go on an adventure with Mittens.
Under no circumstance will you have to pay for pet fees. Be it when you’re traveling domestic or international or renting an apartment, pet fees don’t apply to emotional support animals. At the end of the day, Mittens isn’t a pet, they’re an assistance animal!
Lastly, keep in mind that public accommodations do not have to allow your ESA inside. Only service dogs given to people with disabilities have that privilege, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
There Is No Such Thing as Emotional Cat Certification
Say it with us, louder for those in the back: Emotional support cat certification is not real! You will find dozens of websites selling you expensive “ESA certificates” and “ESA registrations” but none of them are worth a dime. Unfortunately, not everyone knows that.
Millions of pet owners buy an emotional support cat certification, only to find out later on that they’ve wasted their money. Think about it: if it were as easy as going online and splurging on a flashy piece of paper, everyone would have an ESA!
ESA Registration: Emotional Support Cat Registration Is a Scam
Remember, only a person with a mental disability can own an emotional support dog or cat. They’re part of therapy. If everyone could own an ESA just to reap the benefits, they would become redundant.
How to Get a Legitimate Emotional Support Animal Cat
That said, to get an emotional support animal you will need proof from a licensed therapist that you have a mental illness. You will need to show it to a housing provider and airline workers. If that’s not an emotional support cat certificate, what does it look like?
You’ll Need a Legitimate Emotional Support Animal Letter
Meet your new (second) best friend: the emotional support animal letter. Only a licensed mental health professional can issue one. It shows that you have a mental or emotional disability and that your companion animal is an essential part of your therapy.
Most importantly, an emotional support animal letter proves your furry friend is not your pet. Therefore, they should be treated as an assistance animal. That is, they have special rights and deserve reasonable accommodation when possible.
How CertaPet Can Help You Get Your ESA Letter
We know not everyone in the United States has access to a licensed mental health professional. But that shouldn’t stop people with a serious mental health disability from getting help. For millions of us, that means getting an emotional support animal who will be there for us when we need them.
To help you on your road to mental wellbeing, we’ve simplified this whole process. Now, getting an ESA letter is more convenient and accessible. Our team of licensed therapists is here to help and keep you away from phony emotional support cat certification scams.
Our Simple Process Explained
Start by taking our 5-minute pre-screening. We’ll look at your answers and put you in touch with a licensed mental health professional. They’ll reach out to you to have an online consultation. Then, depending on their evaluation, they could issue your emotional support animal letter in just a few days. No need to jump through complicated hoops or trust your fate to scammy websites!
Common Questions on Emotional Support Cat Certification
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