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10 Best Cats For Emotional Support (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

young cat owner playing with her pet at home

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore

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Anyone that has had a cat sit on their lap and start purring can attest to the calming effect of their gentle vibration. Not to mention—simply stroking a soft, peaceful animal is highly therapeutic.1 Having a pet in your life can bring many benefits such as companionship, reduced stress and having a reason to get up in the morning.

If you are interested in getting a cat they may have the added benefit of improving your well-being too, check out our list below of the best cats for emotional support.

Top 10 Best Cats for Emotional Support

1. Maine Coon

a young polydactyl tortie Maine Coon cat on a dark background
Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock

The largest domestic cat, the Maine Coon is possibly the best candidate for a feline emotional support animal. Their gentle, affectionate nature is very soothing, and their playfulness will put a smile on your face.

Maine Coons can grow to the size of a small dog, and their long, fluffy coat will invite you to stroke it. They are a healthy breed overall that can live for up to 13 years, which means you can have a best friend for many days to come.

2. American Shorthair

Torbie american shorthair
Image Credit: Bruno Passigatti, Shutterstock

For a low-maintenance cat that is versatile and kind, the American Shorthair is a great choice. They enjoy attention but are not overly clingy. If you have a family, they get along well with kids and can provide emotional support for them.

They are intelligent, even-tempered, and easy to train to your lifestyle. They adapt well to their living environments and act as if they’ve been there forever.

With a lifespan of up to twenty years, you can look forward to many happy days.

3. Siamese

siamese cat sitting on the floor
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

The Siamese cat, with its piercing blue eyes and lovely, creamy fur, can be an extremely loyal friend. Their playful personality will pull you out of the doldrums, and their affectionate nature will warm your heart every day.

They are a perfect blend of energy, intelligence, and friendliness that will brighten up your life.

However, a Siamese cat requires a lot of attention and is very vocal and can’t be left alone for long, so make sure your lifestyle will fit those demands.

4. Ragdoll

ragdoll cat in a park looking off to the side
Image Credit: Aaron Zimmermann, Shutterstock

Do you need pure affection and kindness in a soft, furry package? The Ragdoll cat is one of the friendliest breeds with a dog-like personality. They are devoted and patient around children and easily trained.

You could say the Ragdoll is the Cuddler-In-Chief because even after you move on, he is likely to follow you and ask for more attention. When you pick them up, they will relax and go limp like a rag doll. Their docile nature will calm every anxiety.

5. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat standing on white surface
Image Credit: Osetrik, Shutterstock

One of the oldest cat breeds, the Abyssinian is one of the most popular in the world. They are known for being attentive companions who thrive on affection. Nicknamed the “Clowns of the Cat Kingdom,” they will try to play with you just for the interaction.

Their need for attention and activity means that you can’t leave them alone very much. However, the trade-off is a pet that will make you feel like the most important person in the world.

6. Persian

white himalayan persian cat in hepper nest on couch

Ideal for a quiet person in a small home, the Persian cat has a calm, easy-going temperament and an affectionate nature. They’re initially shy, but once a Persian bonds with a person they are generous in their love and will happily cuddle as long as you want.

They aren’t high energy, so instead of leaping and running, they will be content to sit in your lap or curl up next to you, always ready for another pat. Look for a Persian with a longer nose to reduce breathing and other difficulties.

7. Russian Blue

russian blue cat outside its box
Image Credit: milivigerova, Pixabay

Perfectly suited for introverts, the Russian Blue cat is not like the overly affectionate breeds on this list. They like to keep to themselves much of the time, but their sensitivity to emotions will have them be there when needed.

The Russian Blue is athletic, playful, and loves to show off their climbing skills. After bonding with their family and fellow pets, they are deeply loyal. Despite their reserved nature, they make an affectionate and contented companion.

8. Balinese

Balinese Cat Sitting On A Cherry Tree
Image Credit: Fazlyeva Kamilla, Shutterstock

Looking like a slightly fluffier version of the Siamese cat, the Balinese is a beautiful cat that loves attention. They hate being alone and are perfectly happy to be held. A close, personal bond with their owners makes them thrive.

Thought to be the most intelligent of all long-haired breeds, the Balinese is very interested in any activity and tends to be very social. They are highly vocal and will talk to you in between showing off their acrobatic skills and playing games.

9. Bombay

bombay cat sitting on grey background
Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock

The Bombay cat may look like Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but it is a very affectionate, caring animal. They are all black with copper eyes and large ears.

A great listener, the Bombay will settle next to you on the couch while you pour out your woes. Their intelligent eyes will tell you they are listening to every word. When you’re done, they will be happy to play a game and celebrate your friendship.

10. Devon Rex

Devon Rex cat standing in gray background
Image By: Seregraff, Shutterstock

For people who find it difficult to connect with anyone, the Devon Rex cat could be the answer. Famous for their ability to bring people out of their shells, they are extremely social. A Devon Rex would rather spend the day in your arms than anywhere else.

They are active, friendly, and get along well with other pets and people. Their extremely large ears are ready to catch every secret you confide, and they won’t tell a soul.

Final Thoughts

If you are searching for the perfect cat to help heal emotional wounds, then this list gives you a great place to start. Not all cats are created equal, and it’s essential to find one that fits with your personality, needs, and lifestyle. Local cat rescue and rehoming centers are a great place to start and they can help match you up with your purrfect companion.

Purebred cats may have more predictable attributes but there can be an increased risk of health concerns such as polycystic kidney disease and cardiomyopathy.  Look into the health of your future companion and consider pet insurance to help pay for unexpected veterinary costs.

After you’ve done everything else, sometimes what’s needed is a soft, furry friend that is happy to snuggle up next to you.

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Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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