Emotional support animals are not your regular pets. Rather than just keeping you company, ESAs offer therapeutic benefits to people living with certain health issues. For instance, a study published in the US National Library of Medicine on the benefits of animal-assisted therapy showed that patients with various psychological conditions benefited from having an emotional support animal with them.
From the definition, an emotional support animal could be of any species and age. However, if you want to enjoy the full benefits of laws protecting ESA owners, there tends to be more preferable species compared to others.
Cats and dogs make the top of the list. In this piece, we discuss 5 of the best emotional support cat breeds you can get.
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1. Maine Coons
If you are looking for an ESA cat breed that is unique and perfect for offering therapeutic benefits, Maine coons is a perfect choice. This cat is unique in various ways.
Maine coons have a large size and thick fur. But, do not worry; they are the best at sensing moods and are always curious. In no time, the coon cat will have purred its way into your heart.
So, what makes Maine Coons exceptional?
Among the hundreds of breeds you can choose from, the Maine coons stand out due to their distinct features. However, they make it to the top 5 of the best emotional support cats due to their charming characteristics.
Some of their favorable traits include:
- They are friendly towards other pets and kids, thanks to their laid-back nature
- Maine cats are easy to get along with and gentle-mannered
- Due to their high intelligence, they are likely to pick on some tricks and behaviors
- Due to their large and strong body, the Maine coons tend to be athletic
- Finally, you will know when they are content as they tend to purr.
The downside of the Maine Coons
No animal is perfect. Despite the Maine coons being people-oriented, relaxed, and disciplined, they are not the most dependable cat breeds to keep as ESAs. Also:
- The thick double coat fur on them needs a lot of tendering and care to avoid matting
- They are very active and tend to follow you around all the time
Taking care of an emotional support cat is easy. However, look out for any infections and parasites that could impact on your cat’s effectiveness as an emotional support animal. Bottom-line, the Maine Coons are among the best cat breeds you can have for emotional support.
2. Russian Blue
The Russian Blue cats tend to have vibrant yellow-colored eyes, which turn bright green as they age. And if you are looking for an emotional support cat that can live up to 20 years, has very low chances of shedding, and requires minimal social attention, then Russian blue should be your first choice.
Features of the Russian blue cat
Although they appear to be large, they are relatively average in size. However, this size difference arises from the dense, soft double coat they have. These long and slender cats have a triangular-shaped head with large ears, a straight nose, and a broad forehead.
Do not mistake the sleek body and luxurious fur for anything other than strong and masculine.
What makes Russian blue the best cat breeds for ESA?
The answer boils down to their personality. Russian blue cats are loyal and will follow you everywhere you go. Therefore, you have all their attention at any time. These cats are also sweet-tempered and social.
According to great legends, the Russian blue trains the owner to live with them. And although they are calm and collected, this cat breed shies away from guests. And rather than being in an active and chaotic environment, they prefer a quiet place to sleep.
Russian blue cats are also intelligent and active. That means they need physical and mental stimulation, which you can achieve by buying them a toy.
With proper hygiene, the Russian blue requires minimal grooming, and you get yourself the best emotional support cat breed.
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3. Siamese Cats
Siamese cats are probably the most common breed there is, and it is no shock that it made it to the list of 5 of the best cat breeds to have for emotional support.
They are unique animals with a lifespan of about 8-12 years. And although they do not tend to shed their fur, they are moderately high maintenance.
These short, smooth, and sleek cats will definitely help you with your mental conditions.
Features of Siamese Cats
Although they are medium-sized, Siamese cats are muscled and are not known as extreme cats in vain. They have a head with tall ears, which makes their face look like a triangle. The magnificent face dons a long and straight nose, with almond-shaped eyes that are a bright blue.
The short and glossy coat on the Siamese cats accentuates their beauty. Besides, their color restriction, which is the contrast between the various colors on the body, makes the Siamese cat stand out.
Why choose the Siamese cat?
When choosing a cat breed for emotional support, you always look for the best cat breed to fulfill your needs. And among cats, the Siamese cat is one of the best breeds. The cat is both beautiful and intelligent.
Being an affectionate cat, you will need to attend to the cat as though you were caring for your child. And although this might seem tiresome, research shows that caring for your animal helps you heal and improves mental health among older adults.
However, do not expect the Siamese cats to get every trick and instruction you try to teach them. Despite being an intelligent breed, they can only do so much.
4. Persian Cats
Imagine coming home to an animal with the most beautiful, long, silky, and color-patterned coat, you know, like Garfield. You look into the beautiful eyes, which range in color, and you feel your stress and anxiety fading away. Well, there is no need to imagine since these magnificent creatures already exist.
We are talking about one of the best breeds to have as an emotional support cat.
Features of the Persian cats
The Persian cats are heavily-boned and massive cats with short bodies and thick legs and necks. You can distinguish Persian cats through their short tails, round heads, and large, round eyes. Also, their long, thick, and full fur is another beautiful feature among the Persian cats.
Why are they among the top 5 cat breeds?
Despite having a mature temperament and living for up to 11 years, Persian cats tend to have bursts of kitten-like behavior. That could mean relaxing in the shadow one minute, and in the next, they are running around looking for you.
Persian cats are friendly, more adaptable to changes in routines, and get as comfortable as they can be. Therefore, you can expect them to crawl on your lap, bed, or even sit next to you whenever they feel like it.
However, they require high-level grooming, which could be time-consuming.
You can’t really talk about the best cat breeds and fail to mention the Bengal. With their short, glossy, and smooth coats, blue eyes, 13 years life expectancy, and a low tendency of shedding. Bengal cats make it among the best cats to have as emotional support animals.
Features of Bengal Cats
Despite their wild cat appearance, large bodies with bulky muscles, Bengal cats are relatively light. They also have a large triangle face, with a large feed, thick neck, and tail. The spots on the coats can appear to be in rows or completely random, like in cheetahs.
Why Bengal cats?
Do not let the wild vibe given off by the Bengal cat fool you. They are loving, sweet, and always stay close to you. And since the aim of having an ESA is to have companionship and better mental health, then the Bengal cats are among the best cat breeds to do that for you.
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As an athletic breed, Bengal cats like to run, romp and jump, which helps you get out more and exercise.
Having an emotional support cat could be what you need to fight that psychological condition you have been dealing with. And among the many breeds that exist, we have listed five of the best cat breeds you can choose an ESA from.
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