What is an Emotional Support Cat?

An emotional support cat can help tremendously in making life easier for a person with a mental or emotional disability, including making travel and living on one’s own possible where it may otherwise not be.

Specifically, emotional support animals can accompany you on most airplanes without you being charged any pet-related travel fees.

Moreover, your emotional support animal can join you in the passenger cabin where pets (or pets of your emotional support animal’s size) are ordinarily required to ride in the cargo compartment. Additionally, emotional support animals are allowed to reside with you in most forms of housing where pets (or those of your emotional support animal’s species or breed) are prohibited, and again, without you incurring an additional pet fee or deposit.

Emotional support animals are not allowed to enter any other facility to which the public has access where pets are ordinarily prohibited. That includes any store, restaurant, theater, taxi, train, bus, park, beach, motel, library, zoo or other publicly-accessible area that’s not an airport, airplane or residential property where you live or seek residence with your emotional support cat. That is not to say, however, that the proprietor of any such establishment may not elect to allow your emotional support animal entry; they are merely not required to do so.

How to Qualify for An Emotional Support Cat?

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  • Allergies
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Asthma
  • Autism

Rights Emotional Support Cats Have

01. Travel Rights of Emotional Support Cat

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) permits a person to bring an emotional support cat to sit with him or her in the passenger cabin of an airplane with no pet fees charged. Airlines are required by law to make accommodations for those emotional support cats as well. Within the bounds of this law and the ADA, however, airlines are also permitted to impose certain restrictions on travel with an emotional support animal on their flights.

Travel Restrictions of Emotional Support Cats

Airlines may prohibit emotional support cats from certain international flights or any flights lasting for eight hours or longer. Airlines may also require that an emotional support cat be placed in an approved carrier and placed under the seat in front of the passenger during takeoffs and landings and during times of turbulence or taxiing between the airport and runway.

Airlines may also require you to present additional documentation besides your emotional support animal letter to board its planes. This documentation may include up-to-date vaccination records and health records to confirm the cat doesn’t have any conditions that would make it unsafe for the animal to travel. It may also include a statement of responsibility from you saying the cat is capable of being behaved and quiet during long periods of confinement, movement and around crowds, and that you take full accountability for all the cat’s actions during travel.


02. Housing Rights of Emotional Support Cat

Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), people with an emotional support dog are allowed to take residence in housing with that dog even if that housing normally prohibits dogs from entering or taking residence. Property managers are also required to make certain reasonable accommodations for emotional support dogs. You cannot be charged a pet deposit for your emotional support dog, even if the residence normally charges pet-owners a deposit. Emotional support dogs may not be refused this right for reasons of their breed or size, even in facilities that explicitly limit dogs permitted to reside there to only certain sizes or breeds.

To complain about mistreatment in a housing situation relating to your emotional support dog, you can contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Responsibilities of Emotional Support Cat Owners

While individuals authorized to have an emotional support cat have certain travel and housing rights, they also have certain responsibilities to the other people they travel and live with. An emotional support cat must not cause a disturbance to other passengers, residents or staff members. It must not behave aggressively to any individual or animal, including yourself, and it must not behave destructively to property, to itself or to you, the owner.

If you try to bring your emotional support cat into a publicly-accessible establishment other than an airport/airplane or residential property where you seek or possess housing, the people responsible for that establishment have the right to ask you a couple of questions, namely:

  • Do you need the cat because of a disability? – You may not, however, be asked what kind of disability.
  • What tasks or activities does the cat help you perform? – This question distinguishes a service animal which performs or helps perform specific tasks or activities, from an emotional support animal, which does not do so, but rather provides general support.

Legitimate Emotional Support Cat Registration
Requires a Legitimate ESA Letter

The only item you need, in most cases, to travel on an airplane or obtain housing with an emotional support animal (ESA) is a valid ESA letter. Emotional support dog registration is one way to obtain this letter that can be easier and more effective than seeking and using a letter without ESA registration.

Registering Your Pet with Certify My Pet, You Get

ESA letter from a licensed mental
health professional

24/7 Support for any questions


Help with paperwork for air travel
and housing

ID Cards, etc

Registration in our database, after which the cost of
renewing your ESA letter will be $100 instead of $150

Documents You Get Registering Your Cat

ESA Letter

ESA Letter

Register your emotional support dog with Certifymypet.com and the first benefit you get is a private one-on-one consultation by video with a physician licensed to practice in the state where you live.

Based on the answers you gave to a few basic questions you were asked when you registered, the physician will ask you a few questions to confirm your qualifications for an emotional support dog.

Then, assuming you qualify, the physician will issue you the highest level of ESA letter: a real doctor’s prescription.

ESA ID back

Certificates and IDs

You get a number of different official-looking certificates and identification cards with emotional support dog registration with Certifymypet.

You get a digital certificate you can pull up on your phone to identify your dog by name as your official emotional support dog.

You also get dog tags to attach to your dog’s harness directly to do the same.

Steps to Get a Legitimate ESA Letter

Register your pet in 3 Easy Steps 100% ONLINE


Discuss Your Condition with a Doctor


Receive Your Documentation
(Instant PDF + original hard copy 2 business days)

Are you living in apartments
with no pet policy?

Emotional Support Animals and Service Dogs are exempt from such policies and any housing fees.

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