Why are black cats unpopular?

Why are black cats unpopular

There’s no other cat that has a reputation quite like the black cats.  For the most part of the world, black cats are seen as creepy, mysterious, and the sign of bad luck.  Today, let’s dive into how black cats became so infamous.

Are black cats less popular?

The reason why black cats are so unpopular is that many people think their colour is bad luck. In the middle ages black cats were often beaten or killed because they were accosiated with witchcraft. Some people also think black cats are not as cute as cats with other colours.

The dark arts and the dark cats

Other than bats, the first animal you’ll probably think about during the Halloween season are cats. In the west, they’re associated with all things evil – from bad omens, to dark magic and witchcraft, and even Satanic worship.

 All this started sometime in the 12th century, during the middle ages.  Puritans believed that black cats were in cahoots with witches. They brought their beliefs that witches could turn into black cats with them when they came into America.

However, black cats were not always associated with the unholy.  In fact, ancient Egyptians revered cats, especially black ones.  Their goddess Bast is often depicted as being a black cat.  The Celtic people believed that black cats bring in blessings.  Scots thought if a house is visited by a black cat that prosperity was soon to follow.  In Japan, women who have ebony cats will be more fortunate in their love lives.

Judged by their looks

Humans are gifted with the ability to be highly perceptive to patterns.  We associate things with other things naturally – it helped our ancestors survive when they lived in the wild, and to this day, our perception of things, and how we stereotype them still play a huge role in our decisions.

Cats can come in in all kinds of colors: from white, to orange, to calico and black, in all types of patterns and combinations – and people believe that fur color is correlated to a cat’s personality.  For example, white cats are often seen as shy and innocent, orange cats are seen as playful and loving, and black cats are seen as mysterious and antisocial.

In 2002, a study was conducted by the Smithsonian Institution in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science that showed that dark colored cats such as black and brown cats are least likely to be adopted – in turn, putting them at a higher risk of getting euthanized.   Thankfully, a recent study from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals showed that black cats are now as popular as any other colored cats when it comes to adoption rates. 

Challenging to photograph

It seems ridiculous, but yes, black cats are not as easy to take selfies with as other colored cats.  In today’s age when looking good in photos mean so much, shelters are finding it hard to get their darker cats rehomed.

These days, shelters reach out to possible new cat owners through the internet.  Because black cats are notoriously difficult to photograph, and most of the time, they’re simply not as photogenic as other cats, they attract less people.

This is precisely why it’s best to meet cats in person before you choose who to take home.  After all, whatever color their fur is, your cat will love you no less.


Common questions about adopting black cats

Why should I adopt a black cat?

When you adopt a black cat, you’ll essentially become the hero in your cat’s eyes.  Black cats have the highest rate of euthanasia in shelters.  If you are able to make room for one more furry friend in your home, consider having a black kitty.  Besides, who wouldn’t want a miniature black panther prancing about inside the house?

Should I adopt a black cat for Halloween?

If you are able and willing, it is always a good idea to bring in a cat into your life – especially if the cat you’re thinking of welcoming into your home is a black cat.  Shelters always have black cats who are in need of new homes – however, you may have to wait till after Halloween.

Some shelters are not so keen to hand out their dark colored kitties during the Halloween season for the cat’s safety.  History has not been very kind to black cats.  They were thought of as being evil or being harbingers of bad luck.  While those superstitions are absolutely false, shelters are cautious of black cats being sacrificed in blood rituals during Halloween.

What percentage of cats are black?

The most common coat color for cats is actually black.  Black cats make up 30% of the cat population.  There are 22 breeds of domestic cats that can have solid black fur.  This could be the reason why even though more and more black cats are getting adopted, they still have higher chances of getting euthanized.

Why are black cats special?

They are special because they symbolise bad luck for some and has been unpopular throughout history. Today, however, many black cats have good and safe homes and are not hated anymore.


Black cats have had a bad rep because people thought that they bring in bad luck and are evil.  This is nothing but a baseless superstition.  In the modern age, black cats are discriminated against because they’re not as photogenic as other colored cats.

If you are thinking about bringing in a furry friend into your life, consider getting a black cat.  They are, after all, just as awesome as any other cat.

Why are black cats unpopular

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