From Pet to Support: Training Your Cat for Emotional Assistance

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Have you ever considered training your cat for emotional assistance but didn’t know where to start? This post is for you!

Dogs may get all the glory for being seen as emotional support animals but some kitty personalities are perfect for the job too!

Please offer a warm welcome to our guest author today

Hi, I’m Salvatore! I’m a content writer at Fast ESA Letter, where I help people get the emotional support animals they need. I’ve been writing about pets for over 10 years, and I’m passionate about helping people and animals live together in harmony.

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Emotional support animals have gained popularity as an unorthodox therapy for treating various medical conditions, including depression, anxiety, or stress. For emotional support animals, cats are the most common animal people choose. 

While cats don’t need special training to become emotional support animals, you can train them to behave better in public, help them socialize, and teach them basic obedience training, etc. By training your cat these skills, you can remove the stress of maintaining an emotional support animal and reduce the embarrassing moments of holding an unmanageable esa cat in front of others. 

Before we move further, let’s start with the question that every person thinks about while getting an emotional support animal cat. 

Do I need a professional trainer to train my cat to become an ESA?

While hiring a professional trainer to train your cat to become an emotional support animal (ESA) is not mandatory, you can consult a professional trainer if your cat has specific behavioral issues or challenges. However, if you have experience playing with or handling cats and feel confident in your ability to train them, you can attempt training your cat to become an ESA on your own. 

There are various resources available, such as books, videos, and online tutorials, that can provide guidance and support throughout the training journey. Remember, being patient and consistent while training your cat is key. 

Follow the tips below to Train A Cat To Become An Emotional Support Animal

Choose the right cat

When selecting a cat to become an ESA, it’s essential to understand that only some cats possess the qualities needed for this role. Look for a cat that is naturally friendly, calm, and easy to handle. 

Make your cat a social animal

Expose your cat to various people and environments to help them become comfortable with others. Over time your cat will become accustomed to different environments and people.

Basic obedience training

Teach your emotional support cat basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Be patient and consistent with your training sessions, keeping them short and enjoyable.

Handling and grooming

Train your cat to be comfortable with handling and grooming activities such as being touched, brushed, or having their nails trimmed. Start by gently petting and touching different parts of your cat’s body while offering treats and praise. Gradually introduce them to the sensation of a brush. 

Get a clicker or a treat

Praise your cat’s performance and give treat your cat whenever she learns the session correctly. Your cat will enjoy your praise, which signals she did the right job. When praising your cat, try to stroke the fur, so your cat knows this gesture means very well. 

Related reading: How To Train a Cat: Helpful Tips, Tricks, and Treats!

Never punish your cat

Never yell, slap, or hit your cat, as it can harm the trust and bond between you and your cat. Always be patient while teaching your cat. Positive reinforcement and gentle guidance are key to successful training. Cats respond best to calm and patient interactions, so avoid raising your voice or using physical force.

crop anonymous lady sitting on floor and stroking curious cat near window

The importance of training to prepare a cat for the role of an ESA

Training plays a crucial role in preparing a cat for the role of an emotional support animal (ESA). With proper training, a cat can fulfill their role as an emotional support animal and provide comfort and companionship to their owner. It promotes 

  • Behavioral control
  • Socialization
  • Bonding
  • Stress reduction
  • Public acceptance
  • Enhances their support abilities.

Additionally, A well-trained ESA cat is more likely to remain calm and composed, offering a soothing presence to their owner in emotional distress. Investing time and effort in training can help your cat become a reliable and effective emotional support animal.

What Breeds Of Cats Make The Best ESAs?

Certain cat breeds are often considered well-suited for emotional support due to their traits and characteristics. Every cat is unique, and individual personality and behavior can vary even within a specific breed. 

Many people prefer breeds known for being calm and gentle, while others may seek out a more playful cat. Breeds such as 

  • Siamese
  • Ragdoll
  • Persian
  • American Bobtail 
  • Balinese
  • Russian Blue

Are some of the more loveable and compassionate cats you’ll meet. Their beautiful fur makes them excellent cuddlers while providing a sensory distraction for owners suffering from emotional distress. Remember, your best ESA cat depends on your needs, preferences, and lifestyle. It’s essential to spend time with a cat before making a decision. 

Conclusion on Training Your Cat for Emotional Assistance

These tips will help you train your cat to become an emotional support animal. Once you follow these tips, your cat will help you in emotional downfall situations and be ready for the more complex problem. Remember, each cat is unique, so adapt the training methods to suit your cat’s personality and comfort level. 

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    1. The best memories, aren’t they, Sandee? They worm their way in our hearts like none other can. ❤️ I always love hearing from you. Thanks, friend! Have a beautiful and blessed day!

  1. My old pair Rosencrantz and Guildenstern would have made wonderful emotional support cats. They were obedient, social and so lovable. They had to be in the middle of everything and always gave strangers a friendly greeting. Our current batch of cats won’t deal with strangers in the least, and are really iffy with repeat visitors. None of them would be good candidates for EMOS cats.

    1. Sorry for my delay in replying to you, Tim. Sometimes time gets away from me here!

      Rosencrantz and Guildenstern sounded like sweethearts. Out of curiosity, how did they get those names? 🙂 I always love hearing how that happens, especially with unique names.

      Your current batch sounds a lot like ours. Dizzy and Pips will take to repeat visitors (sometimes) but otherwise, they’re out of sight until they hear the car drive off, hah! They were all rescues and former semi-ferals though so that makes a big difference.

      Your latest batch of cuties though are always up to some fun and grand adventures. I love seeing your stories of them! Thanks for taking the time to share your comments, Tim. Always appreciated!

      1. Laurie and Tristan were studying Shakespeare, when we got R&G, and we went to a play of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead right before I brought them home. Since R&G looked alike when they were kittens, and could be mistaken for one another, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were fitting names. As they grew, R&G were much different. Our current G&G are still very hard to tell apart.

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