Around half of all cat breeds can have black cats within them. So, how do black cats come to be?
Cats turn out to be black when they have a high melanin pigment content. This also causes them to have yellow/golden eyes. Coal-black, grayish-black, and brownish-black are all acceptable variations of a “solid black” cat. A black cat is a symbol of many different things for different people.
“Black Cat Day” is celebrated in the UK, Great Britain, and Northern Ireland to promote the adoption of unwanted black cats.
Black Cat Appreciation Day is celebrated on the 17th of August. This day was created by Wayne H. Morris in honor of his late sister, June. She had a black cat named Sinbad.
The black cat has been associated with anarchism since the 1880s. A well-known anarchist symbol is a black cat standing in a fighting position with its fur up straight.
There’s a slightly higher chance for a black cat to be male compared to a female.
Table of Contents
Folklore Regarding Black Cats
The black cat is surrounded by folklore, from being a symbol of good luck to being the familiar shape-shifting witch. Similar to this belief, it’s also thought that the black cat can shape-shift into human form to provide demons and witches with services like spying or couriering items.
In Germany, a black cat crossing your path can be good or bad depending on the direction it’s moving in. If it’s crossing from right to left, it’s bad. From left to right? It’s granting you favorable times.
In 1620, Pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth Rock viewed black cats as part of demonic forces. Anyone found owning a black cat would be severely punished. It was for this reason that people would automatically attempt to kill any black cat on site.
The Effects Of Negative Black Cat Beliefs
Some adoption centers limit the number of black cats they allow for adoption around Halloween in fear that the cats may be used as Halloween Props or tortured and then abandoned after the holiday.
Negative beliefs surrounding black cats have reduced the adoption rate compared to other colors. However, the good news is that in recent years, the adoption rate for black cats specifically, has increased by around 25%.
Why Do Black Cats Turn Brown?
This is caused by tyrosine deficiency. Tyrosine is an amino acid that helps to produce melanin which is the pigment that affects hair color. If the cat is deprived of this amino acid later in its life, it may be difficult for it to produce the amount of tyrosine needed to maintain a healthy black coat.
This is when the black cat can turn brown or reddish. Some people refer to this as “rusting”
Rusting can also be caused by the sun if your cat is baking in it all day. The sun’s rays break down the pigmentation and also reveal the undercoat.
Why Are Black Cats So Smooth And Shiny?
Because of the amount of hair enhancing melanin in their system, black cats usually have extremely silky smooth, and shiny coats. In fact, it’s so distinguishable that there are people that can stroke a cat while blindfolded and determine whether or not it’s black. If it’s in healthy condition that is.
Are Black Cats Rare?
Only half of all domestic cat breeds qualify to be labeled as “solid black” cats. Then, only a certain percentage of that half actually have solid black kittens. Considering this, black cats are rarer than most other colors.
Many people still associate black cats with evil forces and it’s for that reason that adoption rates of black cats are usually low, leading to more cases of euthanasia for black cats.
Are Black Cats More Aggressive?
We don’t think so, in a study conducted with over 1200 cats, it was found that black cats were actually more calm and placid compared to cats of other colors. But even so, we don’t think there’s any conclusive evidence of black cats being particularly aggressive or placid. It all depends on how you raise your cat.
Are Black Cats Usually Male Or Female?
Many people believe that there are slightly more male black cats than females but there’s no hard evidence supporting this. We’ve experienced black cats to be completely random in terms of gender..
Do Black Cats Live Longer?
Black cats have a higher chance to resist certain diseases compared to cats of other colors. This is because the same gene that causes them to be black, strengthens their immune system, and contributes to disease protection.
What Do Black Cats Symbolize?
The black cat symbolizes a range of different things for different people.
Here are the most widely believed symbolisms.
Symbolic of bad luck
- In Germany, if a black cat passes from right to left, it’s bad luck.
- Pilgrims associated black cats with evil forces.
- Pirates believed that if a black cat was approaching, it was bad luck.
- They also believed that if a black cat jumped on board a ship and then quickly jumped off again, that the ship was going to sink.
- In Las Vegas, most gamblers believe that if you’re making your way to the casino and a black cat crosses your path, it’s bad luck and you should cancel your plans.
- Many Europeans believe that a black cat crossing your path in the moonlight is symbolic of death by an epidemic.
Symbolic of good luck
- In Germany, if a black cat passes from left to right it’s good luck.
- Sailors took black cats with them on voyages for good luck and sometimes even the sailor’s wife would keep a black cat at home for the same reason.
- In Japan, it’s believed that a single woman who owns a black cat will attract more men into her life.
- A popular belief in Scotland is that if a black cat arrives at your door, it signals prosperity.
- In England and Ireland, a black cat crossing your path is good luck.
- Pirates believed that if a black cat is walking away from you, it’s good luck.
- In Great Britain’s English Midlands, a black cat makes a perfect wedding present as it will bring good fortune and happiness to the bride.
What Does A Black Cat Crossing Your Path Mean?
As you might have already discerned from the above information, a black cat crossing your path can be seen as a symbol of good luck or bad luck. The beliefs are split down the middle and it all depends on what you’ve been told throughout your life.
Which Breeds Of Cats Can Be Black?
Here are 21 different cat breeds that qualify to be listed as black with the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
These cats are known for their hairless bodies but can still turn out to be black cats.
The Bombay breed consists only of cats with black coats. It’s a stocky cat with round features. Their bone structure is heavy and they have muscular bodies.
This is an elegant-looking cat with long legs, faces, ears, and necks.
This cat has long fur making it look bigger than it really is. It has a long, heavy-boned body with a long tail.
These cats also have long fur with a plumed tail. Their long neck hair also stands out in contrast with the rest of its coat.
Persian cats have big round heads and eyes. Their ears are small and noses are short. They also have full cheeks and long hair.
The Exotic cat has the same features as the Persian cat above but with short hair. Predominantly round features are seen in these two breeds.
The American Bobtail has a wild, rough appearance. It can be long or short-haired and has an athletic body.
This cat gets its name from the fact that its ears are curled back. It has a short to medium-length coat with a muscular body.
This breed has a broad muscular chest and body. Its coat is thick and dense and will get even thicker in winter.
These cats can get very large. They have a very round appearance all throughout their body.
This cat has a triangular head with very large eyes and ears.
This cat has a small head and a slender bone structure. It has short hair.
A broad body with short, and thick legs. It has round paws and a short tail.
This cat has a very short tail, just a small bob on the behind to be exact.
These are massive cats with some having faces that look very much like a lion.
Norwegian Forest Cat
A big cat with long fur suited for the cold.
These cats have folded ears and adorable round faces.
A wooly coat of fur and stocky body.
A long-haired cat with other long features in the rest of the body.
These cats have rounded paws and large tails. The chest is barrel-shaped and the forehead is broad with large eyes.
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.