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The Benefits of Having an Emotional Support Cat

Emotional support cats, or ESA cats, can help people with a range of stress-related conditions like PTSD, depression and anxiety.


A woman carrying a cat over her shoulder

Every cat owner understands how a fuzzy feline companion can add extra joy and contentment to life. But did you know that cats also make ideal emotional support animals? Through their quiet affection and deep attachments to people, the companionship of emotional support cats has been a successful treatment for humans’ physical and psychological health.  

Cats as Emotional Support Animals 

Emotional support animals, or ESAs, are animals that help people manage a wide range of conditions, from depression and anxiety to the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and stress-induced pain. Unlike therapy animals or service animals, ESAs don’t require any special training to be certified. However, being registered offers certain protections under the Fair Housing Act from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  

Cats make ideal emotional support animals. As a cat lover, you already know the joys of cuddling up with a soft, warm kitty and being charmed by their playful personality. Imagine how they can soothe the well-being of people suffering from chronic health concerns! Pets like cats can help the elderly cope with a sense of isolation, and now “animal-assisted therapy” is proving successful with hard-to-treat combat-induced PTSD in veterans. 

Benefits of Cat Companionship 

Medical studies in the field of human-animal interaction have documented people’s recovery from stress-related illness through interactions with dogs, cats and horses. It’s become an accepted addition to conventional care, like counseling, medication and peer support, and has been proven to have a broad spectrum of benefits. Emotional support cats in particular have been shown to: 

  • Reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Improve sleep  
  • Promote tranquility 
  • Lower blood pressure 
  • Boost the immune system 
  • Motivate activity 
  • Improve mood  
  • Enhance empathy 
  • Ease loneliness  

Owning an ESA cat seems to melt away troubles. Their playfulness adds more fun to life and their cuddling is a comfort. Cats will get you out of bed in the morning and keep you moving. Yet felines don’t come with overwhelming demands, just enough to require our care. Answering a cat’s needs by keeping them fed, safe and happy helps focus attention away from troubles and offers a sense of purpose and value. 

Aloof and Unfriendly? 

It’s a common misconception that cats are antisocial. A cat’s image as independent belies the loving bonds they can form with people. Just petting a cat and listening to that purr can cause immediate relaxation and boost mood-elevating chemicals in the body, like serotonin. In fact, the frequency of a cat’s purr has been shown to promote healing! Having a sweet kitty in your life can have some truly amazing benefits. 

Give Some Love Back to Your ESA Cat 

Whether you have a registered emotional support cat or a kitty companion that’s simply the best, they deserve to get back a little of the love they give every day. Nutrish™ cat treats can help you Make Every Moment a Treat™ with a variety of tantalizing textures and irresistible flavors your cat is sure to love. Not to mention, a portion of proceeds from every sale of Nutrish™ cat treats is donated to the Rachael Ray Foundation™, which helps animals in need, kitties included. Spread the love in more ways than one every time you open a bag!