Did you know that black cats are admitted to rescues and shelters more than any other color of cat? Statistically, black cat adoption rates aren’t much below that of other-colored cats, but their high admittance rate makes them the most common-colored cat in rescue and shelter facilities.
The fact that black cats find themselves being admitted to rescues and shelters so often likely has to do with a number of factors, one of which may be the way in which black cats have been viewed historically.
Historically, much of the Western world has associated black cats with misfortune or bad luck. Black cats have been associated with witchcraft – either as familiars of witches or as shape-shifting witches themselves.
The truth is, black cats did nothing to deserve their bad reputation. Black cats are awesome – here are just five reasons why.
Black Cats Bring Good Fortune
In parts of the world, black cats are actually associated with good luck, fortune, or prosperity.
For instance, there’s an English superstition that a bride who’s given a black cat on her wedding day will have good luck in her marriage. Newlyweds who live with a black cat in their home will have a long and happy life together.
Ancient Egyptians held black cats in high esteem because they resemble the cat-headed Egyptian goddess, Bastet. Bastet is the Egyptian goddess of protection from disease, home, and fertility.
In Europe, it’s believed that sailors who bring a black cat aboard their ship will have safe travels. In France, it’s believed that if you see a black cat, it means that something magical will happen. In Scotland, if a black cat appears on your porch or in your doorway, prosperity is coming your way. In Japan, if you see a black cat, it’s believed that you’ll be lucky in finding love.
Black Cats Can “Rust”
There are actually three variants of the black cat fur gene – solid black, brown, and cinnamon. A cat’s black fur gene works with his fur pattern to create the color of his coat. If a black cat has a solid black hue and the dominant gene for the tabby pattern, strong exposure to the sun can reveal his usually-hidden tabby stripes, making him appear a rusty brown color.
Black Cats Make Wonderful Companions
I’ve been involved with cat shelters and rescues for many years. I’ve had the privilege of meeting intelligent, bossy, affectionate, independent, curious, sweet, loving, silly, spicy, talkative, and shy cats. What color fur did these cats have? White, orange, calico, tortoiseshell, black, gray, black and white, brown tabby striped, buff, and gray and white. Every cat is an individual. While purebred cats tend to show the personality traits of their breed, every cat is still an individual.
For instance, Tylan, my Siamese cat, displays many personality traits of the Siamese breed, such as being talkative, intelligent, bonding strongly to his human (me), and social. Angel Lita, who was a Siamese mix, displayed fewer of the personality traits associated with the Siamese breed. She almost exclusively talked to one person (a friend of mine who stayed with us for a while). While she was social with her humans, she didn’t particularly take to strangers. Additionally, while Siamese cats tend to enjoy the company of another cat, Lita didn’t seek out the company of her feline housemates the way Tylan does.
My point is – don’t judge a cat by the color of his fur. If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, spend some time with the kitties at a local shelter. Get to know some of the cats at your local shelter to ascertain who might fit well into your home.
Black Cats May be Disease-Resistant
The same genetic mutation that’s responsible for a cat’s black fur is actually in the same family of genes that are known to give people resistance to certain health conditions, such as HIV.
Black Cats are Stars
Black cats have been stars in movies and television shows for decades. Here are just a few examples of famous black cats in the media:
- Felix who starred in Felix the Cat.
- Salem in Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
- Snowball II in The Simpsons.
- Jiji in Kiki’s Delivery Service.
- Isis in Star Trek.
- Luna in Sailor Moon.
Black cats have also played significant roles in fiction books. Here are just a few examples, some of which are authored by fellow bloggers and friends:
- Salem, a black cat who helps solve a murder mystery in No Gravestone Unturned: Cobble Cove Mystery Series by Debbie de Louise.
- Hamlet in the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery Series by Ali Brandon.
- Blackie in A Blackie and Care Cat Mystery Series by Clea Simon.
- The Minx in Catwoods by Leah Alford.
- Homer in Homer’s Odyssey and Homer: The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper.
- Amos in The Returns book series by M. K. Clinton.
These are just a few reasons black cats are awesome. Do you have a black cat? What makes him or her awesome? Please share with us in the comments!
Sierra M. Koester has been writing in the pet space since 2006. She runs the blog Fur Everywhere. She joined the awesome team at The Cat Blogosphere as Content Manager in June, 2022. She is currently working on editing her upcoming anthology, Purrseverance, a collection of stories about cats who have overcome challenges in their lives from their perspective. Sierra’s home is ruled by her two special needs cats, Carmine and Tylan, who are the center of Sierra’s world.