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How To Register A Cat As An Emotional Support Animal In The UK

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Many people find comfort in their furry friends during tough times. In the UK, there’s a growing interest in making cats official emotional support animals. Our guide will show you how to navigate this process with ease.

Let’s make your cat an official comfort companion.

Understanding Emotional Support Animals

A person relaxing on a sofa with a comforting cat.

Cats can qualify as emotional support animals. They offer legal protections and support for mental health conditions.

What are emotional support animals?

Emotional support animals (ESAs) provide comfort and aid to those with mental health issues. These pets, including cats, dogs, and mini pigs, act as a companion to help with conditions like anxiety disorder, PTSD, and clinical depression.

Unlike service animals trained for specific tasks related to a person’s disability, ESAs don’t have the same training or rights to go everywhere their owners do.

People can choose cats as their emotional support pets because they offer companionship that eases feelings of loneliness and helps improve mental well-being. In the UK, while there’s no official system for ESA recognition or registry through government bodies like the NHS, individuals still find solace in having an emotional support cat by their side.

How do cats qualify as ESAs?

Cats become emotional support animals (ESAs) by offering comfort and aid to people with mental health issues. These furry friends do not need special training like service dogs. A psychologist, therapist, or other mental healthcare provider must acknowledge that a cat helps its owner manage conditions such as anxiety, depression, or stress.

This backing is usually in the form of an emotional support animal letter.

For your cat to be recognised as an ESA, you must have a psychological or psychiatric condition that a health professional identifies as significantly impacting your life. The process involves getting a recommendation from someone in mental healthcare who knows about your situation well.

Cats, with their calming presence and ability to engage in affectionate behaviours like purring and cuddling, can thus play a key role in improving their owners’ emotional health.

Legal protections for emotional support cats

In the UK, emotional support cats do not have legal protections like service animals. This means they are not covered by laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Fair Housing Act that apply in other countries.

These acts protect service animals and their owners, giving them rights like access to public places and living arrangements without extra charges. For emotional support cats in the UK, this type of legal backing does not exist.

Even without legal recognition, you can still get a letter from a mental health professional stating your need for an emotional support cat. This letter might help when talking to landlords about pet policies but doesn’t guarantee acceptance as seen with officially recognised service animals.

Next, we’ll explore how to start getting your cat registered as an ESA in the UK.

Registering Your Cat as an Emotional Support Animal

A person reading a comforting letter with a cat on their lap.

To register your cat as an emotional support animal, you may need to obtain an ESA letter from a medical professional. This letter will specify your need for an emotional support animal and the role your cat plays in helping with mental health issues.

Do you need to register your cat as an ESA?

In the UK, you don’t have to register your cat as an emotional support animal. The law does not require it. But, joining the Emotional Support Animals UK Registration Club can help.

This club offers guidance for those with ESAs wanting easier access in public spaces.

Getting an ESA letter is crucial though. A mental health professional must write this for you. It confirms your need for an emotional support cat due to a mental disability or illness.

This letter makes your life with your pet more comfortable, especially when dealing with landlords or taking flights.

How to get an ESA letter for your cat

Getting an ESA letter for your cat is important if you need emotional support. It shows that your cat helps with your mental health.

  1. Find a licensed mental health professional. This could be a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist who understands emotional support animals.
  2. Book an appointment with this professional to discuss your need for an emotional support animal.
  3. During the session, talk about how your cat helps ease symptoms of mental illnesses like anxiety or depression.
  4. The healthcare professional must assess if having the cat as an ESA is crucial for your emotional well-being.
  5. If they agree, they will write an ESA letter for you. This letter proves your cat’s role in maintaining your mental health.
  6. Make sure the letter includes details such as the date, their licence number, and contact information.
  7. The letter should clearly state that you are under their care and that your cat is necessary for your mental health.
  8. Keep this document safe, as you might need to show it to landlords or in other situations where proof is required.

This process helps ensure that those in need of emotional support can have their cats recognised as vital to their well-being without an official registration system in the UK.

Requirements for an ESA letter

To get an ESA letter for your cat, a health practitioner or mental health professional must write it. This person could be a psychologist, therapist, counselor, social worker, nurse, or psychiatrist.

They need to confirm that you have a mental health disorder and require your cat for emotional support. The disorders can include anxiety, depression, panic attacks or phobias. Your letter must state how the animal helps with your condition.

The letter should have the date and details about the professional’s license – like their type of license, where it’s valid and its issue number. It must also be on the healthcare provider’s official paper or headed document.

This proves the legitimacy of your ESA letter when you show it to landlords or airline carriers under conditions related to housing and flying with pets.

Eligibility for an emotional support animal in the UK

After learning about the requirements for an ESA letter, one might wonder who can get an emotional support animal in the UK. In the UK, anyone with a need for mental or emotional support through pet companionship can consider their pet as an emotional support animal.

This includes individuals facing challenges like stress, anxiety, depression, and those recovering from a traumatic event. You don’t need to go through any official government process since there’s no national registration or legal recognition for ESAs.

To have your cat recognised as an emotional support animal, getting a letter from a mental health professional is key. This could be psychologists, therapists, or even your general practitioner if they understand your mental health needs well.

They must write that you benefit from having your pet due to your condition. While cats are commonly known as domestic pets offering comfort and companionship, in this context, they serve people with various mental health conditions by providing therapeutic benefits without needing special training or certification like service animals do.

How to Get an Online Emotional Support Animal Letter in the UK

To obtain an online emotional support animal (ESA) letter in the UK, follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Find a reputable telehealth service in the UK that specialises in emotional support animals and offers ESA letters for cats.
  2. Complete an online consultation with a qualified medical professional or veterinarian to assess your need for an emotional support cat.
  3. Provide relevant information about your mental health condition and how an emotional support cat can benefit you.
  4. Upon approval, receive a personalised ESA letter via email or postal service, depending on your preference.

After obtaining your ESA letter, you will be ready to navigate public spaces with your emotional support cat effortlessly.


Registering your cat as an Emotional Support Animal in the UK is simple and flexible, catering to various needs. You don’t need national registration – it’s straightforward and there’s no official certification process.

Despite the lack of legal recognition, ESAs can provide comfort and assistance to individuals. The process for getting an ESA letter for your cat is uncomplicated, providing companionship and support without official recognition.


1. What do I need to make my cat an emotional support animal in the UK?

To make your cat an emotional support animal, you’ll need a prescription from a medical professional. This shows that your pet helps with conditions like anxiety or depression.

2. Can I register my cat as an emotional support animal for free?

In the UK, there isn’t a specific fee for registering your cat as an emotional support animal. However, costs can come from visits to medical professionals or any necessary documents they provide.

3. How does having an emotional support cat help people with mental health disorders?

Having an emotional support cat can ease feelings of anxiousness, improve mood, and offer comfort to those dealing with mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress.

4. Are there laws in place that protect my rights as the owner of an emotional support cat?

Yes! The Fair Housing Act allows your emotional support cat to live with you even in no-pet housing. Remember, this doesn’t apply everywhere like most air carriers or public spaces without pet access.

5. What should I tell landlords about registering my cat as an emotional support animal?

Explain that your therapy cat is essential for your mental well-being and show them the prescription from a healthcare provider if asked. This can help ensure fair treatment under housing laws.

6. Does having a registered therapy kitty guarantee it can go anywhere with me?

No, unlike service animals trained for specific tasks, domesticated pets recognised for providing comfort don’t have access everywhere by law but do enjoy certain protections at home and during travel according to specific regulations.