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Thread: Potential ESA

  1. #1
    Registered User Aspen0122's Avatar
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    Question Potential ESA

    Hey guys, I have talked about joining the military after school, but I have a medical condition preventing that (and it wont go away soon), I am going to go to a college in Louisiana instead. I also have pretty bad anxiety when it comes to unexpected loud noises and flashes, so I am considering a therapy animal or emotional support animal (ESA) to accompany me in the dorm setting as there are many storms in the state of Louisiana. I do currently have three cats, one Domestic Short Hair, one Tonkinese (Burmese x Siamese), and one Domestic Medium Haired cat. I am interested in getting a Maine Coon cat as an ESA, but I want to get some input on what the best cat breeds for small apartments would be, thanks!! EDIT - I also want to know preferred gender, size, breeds, age, etc.
    Last edited by Aspen0122; 11-30-2022 at 11:36 AM.
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    Are none of your current cats calm enough to be considered for an ESA? Emotional support animals aren't the same as a therapy or service animal. You can get your animal set up as an ESA with a doctor's note in some areas. Therapy animals will require training and testing prior to the approval.

    Are you planning to go with only the one cat? Have you contacted the college regarding this ahead of time?
    Just some stuff to think about there.

    As far as actual breeds. Do not go for any of the hybrids like Bengals, savannahs or ocicats. They will be very energetic and hyper.
    Ragdoll may be a nice medium ground for you. They are still larger than a typical domestic, not quite as large as a Maine coon and were originally bred because of the calm demeanor. Hence the name ragdoll. Otherwise, almost any other breed of cat can be an ESA or do well in an apartment as long as you are attentive to their needs and such. You can look into leash training your cat but do remember they would not be an actual service animal and accompanying you to all places is not a good idea as the animal will also not be trained to deal with loud sounds and energetic people.
    Last edited by Armiyana; 11-30-2022 at 10:29 PM.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Potential ESA

    Quote Originally Posted by Armiyana View Post
    Are none of your current cats calm enough to be considered for an ESA? Emotional support animals aren't the same as a therapy or service animal. You can get your animal set up as an ESA with a doctor's note in some areas. Therapy animals will require training and testing prior to the approval.

    Are you planning to go with only the one cat? Have you contacted the college regarding this ahead of time?
    Just some stuff to think about there.

    As far as actual breeds. Do not go for any of the hybrids like Bengals, savannahs or ocicats. They will be very energetic and hyper.
    Ragdoll may be a nice medium ground for you. They are still larger than a typical domestic, not quite as large as a Maine coon and were originally bred because of the calm demeanor. Hence the name ragdoll. Otherwise, almost any other breed of cat can be an ESA or do well in an apartment as long as you are attentive to their needs and such. You can look into leash training your cat but do remember they would not be an actual service animal and accompanying you to all places is not a good idea as the animal will also not be trained to deal with loud sounds and energetic people.
    The cats that I have aren't very good with people, the only cat that I have that is good with people is getting quite old and I don't want to risk anything. Ragdolls are very good cats and I am considering one, but I am also considering a small dog like a Klee Kai or Manchester Terrier. Any pointers on those breeds?
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    Not familiar with a Klee Kai*, but I've read that a Manchester Terrier may bark a lot (if not well trained otherwise). The small size is appealing, but I'd suggest considering a similar dog that's less "feisty"- a "Min Pin". I adopted mine from a shelter 9+ years ago (he was about 6 years at the time) & he's a GREAT dog- friendly with everyone, & very intelligent, very social & not inclined to bark (be a "watchdog" or bark a lot). He's primarily an indoor dog (likes to play with toys) but also loves walks- & grooming is easy. I'd get this breed again in a heartbeat. His personality is very typical for the breed, meaning they'd love to be with you & be good around other people, not "wearing out their welcome" in close quarters. We have loud storms here too, & my dog pays no attention to them, though such fears are often learned or acquired in dogs, & all dogs have their own personality.

    *A Klee Kai is a double-coated dog- & Louisiana is very hot & humid- I wouldn't choose one for that climate for ESA purposes, plus their energy level might not be best for apartment living.
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    BTW, if you've always lived "at home", I would also caution you that it's hard enough to find a place to rent that allows pets these days, without being in college. Many (most) landlords will not be enthused about renting to a college student with pets, because they know you'll be busy & pets left alone too much tend to get in trouble. Also, college students are often tight on funds, & keeping a dog or cat free of fleas & healthy costs money. They can easily spread fleas throughout the whole building, which then requires fumigation (expensive for landlord & inconvenience+ for fellow residents). When I was in college, that actually happened- someone had a pet cat (that was against the rules) in another apartment in the building, & the next thing you know, our carpet & the carpet in every other apt. in the whole building was jumping with fleas, no kidding. There are reasons for the rules- & some have ruined it for others, sadly.

    Landlords may personally love animals, but you have to realize they get "burned" all the time for trusting people, & not just about pets. So before you get your mind set on a pet- think hard about this & research where you'd be able to live (affordably) with one- & that's ANY kind of pet. And expect to pay more for cleaning & damage deposits. I'm not sure that any "dorms" allow pets either (ESA or not), so I assume you're talking about non-campus apartments? Some "may?" allow "cage pets"- like fish, but not likely dogs or cats. (I can tell you that you sure wouldn't be having pets in the military either- that just doesn't work.)

    Also, if you're planning to share an apartment with other students, that will rule out many roommates- not everyone loves animals or will love yours- they may be allergic, or irresponsible (& let your pet loose or endanger your pet in many other ways, intentional or not).
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 12-01-2022 at 08:06 PM.
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    Re: Potential ESA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    BTW, if you've always lived "at home", I would also caution you that it's hard enough to find a place to rent that allows pets these days, without being in college. Many (most) landlords will not be enthused about renting to a college student with pets, because they know you'll be busy & pets left alone too much tend to get in trouble. Also, college students are often tight on funds, & keeping a dog or cat free of fleas & healthy costs money. They can easily spread fleas throughout the whole building, which then requires fumigation (expensive for landlord & inconvenience+ for fellow residents). When I was in college, that actually happened- someone had a pet cat (that was against the rules) in another apartment in the building, & the next thing you know, our carpet & the carpet in every other apt. in the whole building was jumping with fleas, no kidding. There are reasons for the rules- & some have ruined it for others, sadly.

    Landlords may personally love animals, but you have to realize they get "burned" all the time for trusting people, & not just about pets. So before you get your mind set on a pet- think hard about this & research where you'd be able to live (affordably) with one- & that's ANY kind of pet. And expect to pay more for cleaning & damage deposits. I'm not sure that any "dorms" allow pets either (ESA or not), so I assume you're talking about non-campus apartments? Some "may?" allow "cage pets"- like fish, but not likely dogs or cats. (I can tell you that you sure wouldn't be having pets in the military either- that just doesn't work.)

    Also, if you're planning to share an apartment with other students, that will rule out many roommates- not everyone loves animals or will love yours- they may be allergic, or irresponsible (& let your pet loose or endanger your pet in many other ways, intentional or not).

    I am planning to live with my grandparents who live 30 minutes from campus is the dorm doesn't work out, I still have to talk to them about that though.
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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    BTW, for full transparency- my dog is assumed to be a Min-Pin mix, not a pure Min-Pin- he's about 20 lbs (bigger than breed standard) but otherwise looks & totally acts the part as to what's typical for the breed. Haven't bothered to get a doggy-DNA test.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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