Can cats be service animals?

Can cats be registered as service animals? This is a fair question to ask since dogs are clearly eligible to be registered.

In fact, dogs are the most commonly registered service animals. So it would make sense that cats would follow suit right?

Not so fast!

As it turns out, cats may not be registered as service animals.

Service animals are animals that are trained to perform a function or specific task that their owners cannot perform due to a clinically diagnosed physical, mental, or emotional disability.

Because they are trained to complete tasks for people who are typically handicapped, service animals and their owners have the most protections under Federal Law.

That means they are granted unrestricted access to public areas. So where their owner goes, they go.

However, you cannot register any animal as a service animal. Unlike the current climate regarding the registration of emotional support animals, the registration of a service animal is a lot more restrictive.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there are three animals recognized as being trained to be service animals.

They are:

  • Dogs
  • Miniature horses
  • Monkeys

And that’s it. There is no mention of cats.

Therefore, cats may not be registered as service animals.

This does not mean that a cat cannot carry out many service animal type tasks.

Cats are actually very trainable.

However, because the ADA does not list cats as possible service animals, they may not be registered as service animals.

There is no such thing as a legal service cat. Any company or website that offers to register your cat as a “service cat” is breaking the law.

So what should you do if you have a cat? If you have a cat, you do have options.

Your best bet is to register your cat as an emotional support animal. You will enjoy just as many rights protected under Federal Law.

You will also be granted access to housing and airplanes without any additional fees or bureaucratic red tape.

The only difference is that you will not have unlimited access to all public places, such as restaurants.

Register your cat here.

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