Sometimes black cats get a bad rap in shelters. Many black cats are passed over by ignorant people who fear that they are bad luck. Sadly, a black cat doesn’t always photo as easily so their adoption photos don’t always shine as bright as them.
Here at Cole and Marmalade, we truly love black cats. We are here to show the world that they deserve to be treated with nothing but kindness and acceptance. Does a black cat rule your heart? Then you’ll love these 5 fun facts about black cats.
They’ve Got Their Own Special Day!
As advocates for black cats have noticed, these raven-haired felines don’t always have equal chances in comparison to other colored cats when it comes to adoption rate. And just because of this sad statistic, black cats have earned their very own special day on the calendar! In the US, every August 17th is #BlackCatAppreciationDay. According to DaysOfTheYear.com, the honorary date is meant to spread adoption awareness for black cats…
Because of superstitious beliefs in some cultures, black cats are sometimes associated with bad luck and, sadly, are more likely to be put to sleep or wait a long time to be adopted from shelters. Black Cat Appreciation Day was launched to show people that a black cat could be the perfect cat for them, and help raise awareness about black cats in general.
There Is Only One Breed of Cats That Are Exclusively Black
While a number of cat breeds can have black coats–22 to be exact–there is only one breed of cat that is exclusively black in color. The picturesque Bombay cat is characterized by a super shiny black shorthair coat of fur, black nose and whiskers, and large, saucer-like copper eyes. These striking black cats resemble a housecat-sized miniature panther. Interesting fact: Although their name is homage to the major city in India, there is no direct correlation.
In 1953, a woman in Kentucky by the name of Nikki Horner developed the breed in hopes to create a cat that resembled the exotic blank panther in the wild. The Bombay came as a result of her crossing a black American Shorthair male with rich eye color to a sable Burmese female. Through years of selective breeding, the Bombay we know today came to fruition. (If you ask me, I think rescue kitty Cole is more handsome than any fancy Bombay cat I’ve ever seen!)
Black Cats Are Symbols of Good Luck in Many Cultures
Sadly, the superstitions surrounding black cats and bad luck is what people in the United States usually think of. Don’t let one cross your path! Black cats are symbols of evil or black magic! The list goes on and on, unfortunately. But in many other cultures across the globe, black cats are synonymous with good fortune–as they should be!
- Scotland – black cat appearing on your doorstep is a sign of prosperity
- England – in the Midlands, a black cat as a wedding present is thought to bring good luck to the bride
- France – in the south of France, black cats are referred to as ‘matagots’ or ‘magician cats’ and according to local superstition, feeding and treating them well will bring good luck to the owner.
- Northern Europe – it is believed that taking in and caring for a black cat can ensure fair weather and safe passage during voyages on the sea
- Asia – owning a black cat is considered lucky
- Italy – if you hear a black cat sneeze, you are in for a streak of good luck
- Japan – black cats are a symbol of good luck – if they see a black cat crossing their path, they say ‘Konichiwa’ and take control of their own luck
Black Cats Were Once a Sailor’s Best Mate!
In the time when brave souls would sail the seven seas in search of new lands and wealth, sailors from Britain and Ireland would often bring a black “ship’s cat” on board as a token of good luck on their journey. But the “luck” these cats brought on board the ship came with a purpose–as they worked to control the rat population aboard the vessel. It’s commonly known that rats are carriers of disease, so by limiting the rodent population, the ship cat helped to keep passengers at less risk of contracting often fatal diseases. Not only this, but rats can also damaged food supply and chew through important ropes and sails aboard a ship, so the less rats, the better all around! Nice work, ship cat!
The ship’s cat was a very welcomed crew member while aboard, and treated with great care and respect–sometimes even scoring the first bite when breaking bread with the crew! Another fun fact: Cats were believed to have miraculous powers that could protect ships from dangerous weather.
Pretty Kitty With Mystical Peepers
Along with those magical black coats that shine like satin, black cats often have bright golden or yellow eyes to match. The reason for this comes as a result of their genetic makeup. Melanism–the opposite of Albinism–is what causes their dark coats, and in turn the high amount of melanin in their bodies gives their irises the golden and yellow hues we’ve come to admire.
Are you the proud owner of a black cat? Share your photos of them with us in the comments section on Facebook. Together we can show the world just how truly special these regal–and often extremely affectionate–can be!