Best Emotional Support Cat Breeds | ESA Pet

Best Emotional Support Cat Breeds

Updated on June 16, 2022
Written by ESA Pet Staff

fact checked by Esa Pet Staff

Emotional support animals are becoming increasingly popular – whether it’s an emotional support dog, cat, bird, etc. Many cat breeds make for good therapy pets and can help their owners cope with anxiety, depression, and other mental and emotional health conditions.

Cats are more independent than dogs and require less maintenance. However, once you’ve bonded with your emotional support cat, they offer unwavering support and championship for life. While every cat breed has a unique personality, most are perfect for emotional and mental support.

With more than 70 cat breeds, from Siamese cats to Manx cats to Russian blue cats, it can be difficult to figure out which one best fits your lifestyle. In this article, we cover the best cat breeds for emotional support.

American Curl Cat

American Curl Cat

Look no further than the American Curl cat breeds when looking for an emotional support cat. American Curls are a short-haired breed originating from the United States. They have a curly coat and unusual ears that curl up from the face. This is because this cat breed’s ears are genetically wired to bend permanently back at a certain age.

Personality Traits

The American Curl breed has a unique ability to sense your mood. They will automatically come up to you when they think you need a little love and attention. This cat breed is also super sweet and affectionate, making this one a great choice if you’re looking for an emotional support cat.

American Curls are also friendly cats and good with kids. They’re also an excellent choice for cat lovers with allergies because they don’t shed as much as other cat breeds do.

Furthermore, American Curls are extremely popular pets with their big, expressive eyes and soft coats. They are playful, affectionate, and intelligent cats that provide everything you would want in an emotional support cat.


RagDoll Cats

Ragdoll is one of the most beautiful and affectionate cat breeds. They are famous for their calm nature, sweet temperament, and high intelligence, making them perfect cats to aid your mental health. The Ragdoll cat breed has a colorpoint coat and blue eyes. It’s also large and muscular, with a semi-long and silky soft coat.

Ragdoll cats will give you lots of love and are good with small children. The cat’s quiet nature makes them an excellent choice for families with children and other animals.

Personality Traits

Ragdoll cats make excellent pets for people who suffer from anxiety or loneliness. They enjoy being around people and will often follow you around the house, similar to how a dog would. They are also very affectionate toward other cats, so if you have another cat at home, they should get along well.

If you’re looking for an emotional support animal that loves to play but doesn’t require much attention, then Ragdoll cats could be exactly what you’re looking for!

Bombay Cats

Bombay Cats

The Bombay cat, originating from India, is a sweet and affectionate cat breed. They are medium-sized, short-haired cats that have a sleek, panther-like black coat.

This breed is intelligent, active, and enjoys spending time with people and other pets. They are also very loyal animals that love being around their owners and will follow them from room to room if allowed. Bombay cats tend to bond closely with one person. Usually, it’s the person who feeds them and plays with them most often.

Personality Traits

Bombay cats are a great option for first-time cat owners since they get along well with children, dogs, and other cats. Bombays are also brilliant and highly trainable if you want to teach them certain commands and tricks.

This cat breed is known for its sociable nature, making it an excellent choice for families who want to welcome a new pet into their home. They often entertained themselves by playing with toys or just chasing after shadows on the wall!

Burmese Cats

Burmese cats

The Burmese breed name comes after its country of origin, Burma.  These emotional support cats are medium-sized, muscular, and have almond-shaped eyes and a short, suede-like coat. They are known for their outgoing, dog-like personalities and love of human attention.

The cats are affectionate and playful—the perfect pet if you want to cuddle! Burmese cats enjoy sitting on laps as part of their personality. The cats are famous for their sweet, gentle temperament. Burmese are intelligent, naturally curious, and playful.

Personality Traits

Burmese cats are affectionate and playful—the perfect pet if you want to cuddle! They enjoy sitting on their owners’ laps and are famous for their sweet, gentle temperament. Burmese cats are also intelligent, naturally curious, and playful.

If you’re looking for a cat that will melt your heart every time they look at you with those big eyes, then the Burmese might be what you need!

These cats are also very playful and energetic, so they need plenty of time for play and exercise. Besides that, they are extremely loyal to their owners and often form strong bonds.

Cornish Rex

Cornish rex cats

The Cornish Rex is a short, curly-haired, and petite cat that requires minimal grooming. They have large eyes, an egg-shaped head, and curly whiskers. This breed is popular for being very affectionate, playful, and intelligent.

The Cornish Rex cat breed is also active and playful, making them excellent companions for children. They also should get along well with other cats and dogs, but you should monitor them around other pets if they get territorial or aggressive often.

Personality traits

The Cornish Rex is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an emotional support cat that can help you de-stress after a long day at work or school.

Rex cats are social animals who love spending quality time with their owners. They also love playing fetch and hide-and-seek, making them great companions for families as well.

However, the Cornish Rex is not without its quirks. They enjoy climbing up curtains and furniture and spontaneously jump off when they see something outside the window. They are highly trainable and you can teach them to unlearn this behavior, with patience and consistency of course.

Devon Rex

devon rex cat

The Devon Rex is a small, muscular cat with a soft, curly coat. They stand out for their friendly personality, playful energy, and affectionate nature. The Devon Rex cat breed makes for an excellent family cat and will get along well with other pets.

These cats love to climb and jump, so they’re especially great for households with small children who can give them plenty of opportunities to exercise their bodies and minds. They are also very vocal cats who love talking back to you in their particular language of meows, chirps, and trills.

Personality Traits

An adult Devon Rex is intelligent, curious, and adventurous. They are also very active, making them great companions for people who like to play with their pets.

Devon Rex kittens are known for their calm demeanor and affectionate nature. They are naturally very well-behaved and can help their owners cope with anxiety or depression. They’re also great at providing companionship when dealing with grief or ongoing loneliness.

These are independent cats who won’t need much attention, but will still be there for you when you need it most. This is why they’re often recommended as emotional support animals by veterinarians and other professionals in the field.

Exotic Shorthairs

Exotic shorthair cat

The Exotic Shorthair is an excellent choice for people who want a snuggly cat and emotional support. This is a medium-sized cat with a thick, muscular body and short coat. Exotic shorthair cats are famous for being loyal and affectionate.

This cat breed is a short-haired version of the Persian cat, making them good for people with asthma and allergies. They are similar to Persians in many ways, including their temperament, flat nose and face, and short, dense coat.

Personality Traits

This breed can be a great companion. They tolerate other pets well, which is ideal if you already have a cat or dog at home. At first, they can be shy but will warm up quickly and become attached to you and your other pets. Once they feel comfortable, this breed will love to play games, especially fetch or hide-and-seek.

These cats are easy to train and make excellent house pets because they adapt well to different environments. They are also easy when it comes to maintenance and grooming because they rarely shed.


Himalayan Cat

The Himalayan is a cat breed, or sub-breed, of a long-haired cat, similar to the Persian. Except, it has blue eyes and different point coloration. These cats are beautiful, sweet-tempered, and loving.

This breed is popular for its striking color, but what makes it an excellent emotional support animal is the support and affection it continuously gives. The Himalayan is sweet, affectionate, and playful, with a medium-length coat that can be any color. The most common colors are white and orange, but they also come in seal point (brown with darker brown spots), blue point (black with bluish-gray points), red-pointed, and lilac point (mauve).

Because these cats have long hair, they need regular grooming. While this might seem like a disadvantage, this will actually make maintenance easy. They don’t shed nearly as much fur as other cats, especially when they’re brushed regularly.

Personality Traits

These cats have round eyes and expressive faces that signal loyalty and affection. They show love in their own way and typically follow you everywhere you go.

Himalayans are also very protective, so they’ll watch over you like a guard dog. Moreover, they’re very curious and aware of their surroundings.

Their extra-thick coats make them excellent cuddlers, especially when you’re suffering from anxiety or depression.

Maine Coons

Maine coon cats

As the largest domestic cat breed, the Maine Coon is one of the best emotional support cat breeds. This is a large, heavy-boned cat with a semi-long fur coat. They’re known to be one of the most famous cat breeds in the world.

Personality Traits

Maine Coons have a sweet and gentle nature. You can expect this breed to be social and playful as well. As a result, Maine Coon cats make excellent emotional support animals and splendid additions to the family. They are great with children and other pets like dogs, cats, birds, and more. Many people have Maine Coons as therapy animals because they’re so friendly and pleasant.


Munchkin cats

The Munchkin cat, also known as the Sausage cat, is a relatively new breed of cat. It’s characterized by its short legs, which are caused by a genetic mutation. The Munchkin is considered one of the original dwarf cat breeds.

Munchkin cats are social animals who love to be around people and children, but they also like their alone time! They can make great pets for families with young children.

You can often find this recently discovered breed hiding in a litter box or under couches, but if you want to play with them—or get some cuddle time—all you have to do is rub their bellies or offer them treats.

Personality Traits

These therapy cats are brilliant and easy to train. They’re known to learn new tricks quickly and perform them with ease whenever you ask them to show off their skills.

Overall, they are playful, outgoing, and easy to train, making them one of the best emotional support cat breeds.


ocicat cat


The Ocicat is one of the largest domestic cat breeds. It resembles a wild cat but doesn’t have any wild DNA in its gene pool. While this unique breed looks like a wild cat, it has the temperament of a domestic animal. It is named after its resemblance to the ocelot, a medium-sized spotted wild cat. The breed was established from the Siamese and Abyssinian


The Ocicat is a mix of Abyssinian and Siamese cats. It’s very famous for having “the heart of a lion and the grace of a gazelle.” This animal can provide all the support and comfort needed for people with mental health issues.

Personality Traits

The Ocicat stands out for its sociability, curiosity, and affectionate nature. These cats are also intelligent, playful, and loyal. They also love to play with water.

Ocicats make good companions and emotional support cats because they’re lively and friendly. Keep in mind that the Ocicat requires lots of attention from its owner. If you’re not willing to devote at least 15 minutes per day to interacting with your Ocicat, this may not be the best choice for you. Some people prefer emotional support cat breeds that are more independent.

Persian Cats

Emotional Support Persian cats

The Persian cat, also known as the “Persian Longhair” in English-speaking countries, is a medium-large, long-haired breed of cat. Persian cats are popular for their flat faces, short muzzle, large eyes, and docile nature. They’re also known for their long coats that need daily grooming—a task you’ll find much easier to manage if your kitty is friendly and enjoys brushing.

The first documented ancestors of Persians were imported from Persia into Italy around 1620. They are now widely recognized across English and American breeders.

Personality Traits

Persian cats have an affectionate nature. They are also known to be gentle, quiet, and quite docile. They love to be held and cuddled, making them purr loudly especially when they’re happy.

If you’re looking for an energetic breed that loves being around people, the Persian cat is a great choice.

Emotional support cat breeds for mental support

Every Cat Has a Distinct Personality

Cats are known to be independent creatures, but they’re not one-size-fits-all pets. Every cat has its own personality. Many are quite active, playful, and sociable. Some are even fearful or aggressive toward other humans/pets, making them quite dependent on their owners.

Furthermore, cats are one of the best emotional support animals. They’re perfect for both children and adults suffering from emotional and mental health issues. If you’re looking for an animal that provides unwavering support, companionship, and loyalty, look no further than a cat!

While dogs are more social animals, many cat breeds are relatively outgoing and energetic. They can even be taught commands and tricks. Some owners can even train their cats to perform complex tasks like ringing doorbells or opening doors using keys. These are highly intelligent animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an emotional support cat?

An emotional support cat is a feline companion that helps people with emotional or mental health issues, like stress, anxiety, and depression. Most people think an ESA has to be a dog. However, emotional support animals can be any type of animal – including cats – as long as they provide comfort and emotional assistance to their owners.

Who can have an emotional support animal?

You may qualify for an emotional support animal if you have a mental or emotional disability as defined by the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or another qualifying mental health condition, your cat can provide significant emotional support and help you alleviate some of the symptoms of your condition. As an emotional support animal owner, you will get companionship, comfort, and affection from your cat when you need it most.

Will my landlord allow me to have an emotional support cat?

If you live in a no-pet apartment building, you can get an ESA Letter for housing and your landlord will be required to provide reasonable accommodation for your emotional support animal. You should know that some landlords may require proof of the letter before allowing you to keep your pet in the building.

An ESA letter is a legal document issued by a licensed mental health professional. It serves as proof that your cat is registered as an emotional support animal. Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), an emotional support letter for housing guarantees that your emotional support cat can live with you, regardless of any no-pet policies or fees outlined by your landlord.