Black cats are famous (or infamous) for their role in various folklore and superstition. Although the black coat can commonly appear on many other cat breeds, it is more commonly associated with the Bombay.
In this article, we will take a more in-depth look at the Bombay and many other cat breeds’ temperament as furry companions and their contribution to various superstitions.
The Black Bombay Cat
Unlike many other cat breeds, the adorable Bombay cat exclusively comes in its single, signature color: black. This specific breed of domestic house cat was first bred by Nikki Horner in the 1950s as she was aiming to breed a cat that resembled the wild black panther.
The first Bombay originated as a cross between two breeds: a sable Burmese cat and a black American Shorthair. This is also what makes newborn Bombays appear sable-colored while in the litter.
Superstition with black cats and Bombay cats
From a witch’s familiar to granting good luck while seafaring, black cats are surrounded by superstition. Let us take a look at what some of these are below.
They bring bad luck — This belief springs back to the medieval era, where dark-furred or dark-feathered animals are often regarded as heralds of death.
They are witches — Another myth from the medieval era. This myth is believed to be from folk who have spotted a black cat entering a witch’s house.
They bring good luck — In Europe, black cats are believed to bring good luck while seafaring. This might also be because cats hunt rats and other pests aboard the ship, preventing the spread of disease. Many other cultures also believe that black cats bring great luck.
You can easily check if your cat is a Bombay Cat with a DNA test – Check it out here.
Black Cats That Aren’t Bombay Cats
Not all black cats are Bombay cats. According to the ASPCA, the gene that carries black fur can commonly be found in felines, including domestic cats. Here are other housecat breeds that can come with a black coat.
- American Bobtail – These adorable short-tailed cats also come without tails! This tail-less variation is often referred to as a rumpy. The American Bobtail is known to have a lot of energy, which makes them have a more playful and friendly temperament than other cats.
- American Curl – These feline friends are easy to identify from other cats. Unlike most cats, the American Curl comes with long hair and ears that are curled back. They often come with an affectionate temperament which makes it a great choice for new parents and their young children.
- Cornish Rex – This adventurous cat breed features a unique look as it sports very short and curly fur, large ears, and wavy whiskers. Their outgoing and active personality makes them great to travel with. So if you’re looking for a furry travel bud, this one’s for you.
- Exotic Shorthair – These plush-coated cats can easily be mistaken for equally adorable teddy bears. Their thick coats don’t stop them from adventuring though, as these cats often come with an active and fun-loving personality.
- Maine Coon – An American native, the Maine Coon is one of the biggest house cat breeds. Their long shaggy coats often need regular brushing and maintenance. Brushing can be a Maine Coon’s favorite bonding activity because these cats come with a loyal and affectionate personality.
Common Questions about Black Cats
How Do I Know If My Black Cat Is Bombay?
Not sure if your adorable, black feline friend is a Bombay? How to tell if my cat is a Bombay. Check out this quick six-step guide.
- Make sure your cat is healthy and happy. Like many cats, stress and sickness can often cloud a Bombay cat’s defining characteristics. Keeping them at peak conditions can help you spot these characteristics without even needing special tools.
- Check for its uniform shiny black coat of hair. If your cat is a senior cat, it is normal for Bombay cats to get white and gray hairs on their fur.
- Observe your cat from a distance and check its shape. If they have rounded features, they are likely to be Bombay cats. Keep an eye on the tips of their ears, end of their tails, and their paws for rounded edges.
- Check out your cat’s build. Bombay cats are bred to have muscular, rather than chubby builds. If you’re having a hard time telling, try picking your cat up, and if they are heavier than they appear, they likely retain more muscle than fat.
- Look at their eyes. Bombays have a metallic gold to copper eyes. If your cat has a different eye color it might not be a purebred Bombay.
- Test their temperament. Try exercises like seeing if your cat meows when you talk to them, or if they can play fetch. These tests can help you tell if your cat is a Bombay as they are vocal, sociable, curious, and intelligent felines.
Are Bombay Cats Rare?
Besides their popularity, purebred Bombays are very rare. Bombays are held up to a standard of their known physical characteristics and personalities to be considered purebred. This standard is mostly what keeps them a rare breed among cats.
Are Black Cats More Affectionate?
Dark-colored cats often make the most affectionate feline friends. Even with the superstition surrounding them, these cats will take every chance to rub up against their owner’s leg, squeeze in for a cuddle, or meow for conversation.
Black cats are not all Bombay cats, but Bombay Cats are only black cats. But whether if your black cat is Bombay or not, these raven-furred felines make exceptional companions because of their grace, sociable and intelligent personality, and mystic element.