Halloween is all about dressing up in costumes and carving pumpkins, but add a black cat and you kick up the spooky factor.
Black Cat Breeds
We’re excited every time we get a new reservation for a black cat at Rock the Cat Spa because we have found that these guys and gals are the friendliest, goofiest, and most chill cats ever. We have spent time with black cats of several breeds: Domestic Shorthair and Longhair, Maine Coon, Munchkin, and Bombay, but there are plenty more breeds with a black variety. The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) officially recognizes 22 breeds of solid black cats.
Black Cat Genetics
Earlier this month in the blog, we explained the genetics of orange cats and their tabby markings. Solid black coats also come down to the genes; solid cats have a recessive gene which prevents any stripes or markings. Having the recessive gene is not always the case, however, and we have seen black cats with dark gray stripes. Black cat coats also come in a variety of shades, such as jet black, brownish black, and tones of grayish black. We once met a black cat who had white roots on his black fur! That particular variation is called “black smoke,” and is very unique.
Most black cats are male and may have gorgeous yellow, golden, or green colored eyes. They come in a range of sizes: short, tall, big, or small, and we have seen all varieties! (Including one who was 24lbs of love).
A Spooky History
Due to some unusual beliefs, black cats are considered a bad omen or bad luck by some people. In the 1600s the idea that witches had black cats developed, and they were thought to be bad, so black cats were not welcome. Unfortunately, these beliefs and superstitions followed them, and still today shelters tend to hold more black cats than others, and they usually stay there longer. Most shelters also do not allow black cat adoptions in October, out of concern for superstitious adopters, but some have “Black Friday” specials, or host adoption events, to show how amazing and adoptable these little panthers are!
While the Pilgrims of the 1600s believed black cats to be bad luck, in other countries, they are considered good luck. In Scotland, for example, money is on your way if a black cat is on your doorstep. A single woman is looked at as more attractive if she has a black cat in Japan, and contrary to US superstitions, Germans believe that if a black cat crosses your path, it is good luck. We love these positive black cat beliefs!
A Day of their Own
Sinbad was a black cat, who was beloved by his owner. He was the catalyst for the creation of National Black Cat Appreciation Day on August 17th. The day reminds us of the excellence and importance of black cats, continues to rid them of prejudice, and encourages people to make room in their lives and homes for them.
We think they should be celebrated every day, and there should be no bad beliefs against these sweet, loving, elegant kitties!
(Today’s blog features our silly, energetic friend Raven!)
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