Black Cat Day

Yesterday, on the 27th October, it was Black Cat Appreciation Day. It’s also getting very close to Halloween, and you’d be right in thinking that the proximity of these two dates is no coincidence.

For a mysterious variety of reasons, there’s a history of associations between black cats and the supernatural – witches, demons, bad omens, superstitions, and all sorts of other unusual phenomena. Due to the mishmash of half-forgotten traditions from around the globe, it’s not even particularly clear these days whether “a black cat crossing your path” is supposed to be lucky or unlucky. It also feels a bit strange to even be considering this in a world where most people don’t subscribe to a belief that animals and objects act as cosmic signifiers of good or bad fortune.

However, whereas most people don’t really believe there’s anything funny going on with black cats anymore, the fact is that monochrome animals take longer to find forever homes. Cats Protection reported that in 2017, black cats have taken approximately 13% longer to rehome, and a similar, (although disputed) phenomena known as Black Dog Syndrome is said to apply to their canine counterparts.

So what’s going on here? Apparently, some prospective owners think that black dogs and cats are less friendly or even more aggressive than their lighter furred friends, which could be due to how they are portrayed in books and films and so on (doesn’t Harry Potter have a big black dog who we think is a baddie but actually turns out to be a goodie?). There is, of course, absolutely no evidence that an animal’s exterior indicates their personality and anyone who has ever owned and loved a black dog, cat, bunny, guinea pig, fish or rat will testify that they are just as loving and full of humour and personality any other under the rainbow.

The second idea which crops up is even more baffling to us – prospective owners just don’t think that a monochrome cat or pup is as pretty or photogenic as a colourful one (we are a social media generation after all, where things only have value if we can photograph them!). We think that black dogs and cats are beautiful – elegant, sophisticated and cool as cucumbers. More importantly though, we don’t particularly think this matters.

The purpose of Black Cat Day is to make people aware that black animals take longer to rehome and to turn this bizarre stigma on its head. This we fully support! A pet should be rehomed based on their suitability and compatibility to you – your capacity to provide what they need, whether it’s lots of cuddles or a big garden, and vice versa what you need from them (lots of cuddles or a companion for your early morning jogs). Join us in appreciating black cats, black dogs, and every other colour under the sun – after all, who cares?!

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21 comments

  1. Hello Andrew,
    Only last year we had an unwanted cat we took in, she had six kittens, her first litter. We decided to keep Mum and one of the kittens, I saved the only black kitten out of the litter Mum rejected him. We decided we couldn’t keep them all, took them to Margaret Green Animal Santuary, for a forever home, they we’re shocked that the black kitten people had been fighting over, the rest like mum are striped tabby, within two weeks of being posted on their website all had found forever homes.
    A happy ending, we still have mum, and like her son have both been neutered, chipped and vaccinated like my other two unwanted cats.

  2. As an owner of a black cat for the past 13 years and has a daughter who has owned several black cats, with a few black cats in my close neighbourhood, I have learned one thing and that is that black cats are mad. Not all mad cats are black though. My own cat will insist of being stroked and made a fuss of and then , after her required attention she bites me! This hasn’t changed in all the time she has been with me. I love her dearly and my home is turned upside down to suit her whims. After 10 years being a roaming cat she refuses now to go outside, so I got her a litter tray. She now insists on ‘living’ in my downstairs cloakroom rather than on her own bed, any of my chairs or even my bed with her lifelong companion, who she now snarls and spits at. She acts like a fishwife and then expects devotion, after all she is a cat! Dogs have masters, cats have servants

  3. In 56 years that my husband and I have been married we have had Black cats amongs other others. Every single one of the has found us. We have never gone out to get one. Two black kittens found in our barn, Maisy and Pippin. Vicky who’s mother was run over and killed on a farm and we raised her on a bottle. Hoppy who was a stray and had lost a hind foot somehow and lived in our barn for three months before he allowed me to catch him and after getting him to our vet had his leg amputated and lived another ten years with us. After retiring from running a boarding kennel we had 12 cat pens and I helped our local cats protection with pregnant cats or cats with kittens which released their cat pens for cats which needed rehoming. Poppy was found, very very thin and heavily pregnant. Three weeks later produced five very healthy kittens. Five weeks later when the kittens were running around she demanded to be let out and went hunting for mice which she brought back for them. She followed us to the house and after the kittens were rehomed she decided to stay with us. Tim had obviously been’dumped’ in our village and did the rounds of some of the residents who fed him but he decided he wanted to live with us. Eventually I managed to catch him, had him castrated and chipped so that he could get through our cat flap and he is now in residence. Despite being entire when he first arrived and would see the other tabby Tom cat off, he was very nice with our own cats. Now he follows my husband every where. Even going with him when he takes our dog for her walk in the morning and is the most cuddly cat you could wish for. In short, all our Black Cats have had something very special about them and if I had to go out and choose a cat it would always be a black one, but I haven’t had to chose one. They have chosen us.

    1. We too have always had black cats – rescues – although the last batch of kittens who stayed with us consisted of 2 black and 3 black and white. I would always choose a black kitten. The one with the most character was the one who grew up with our children and turned out to have some burmese in him. All their friends – now in their 30s and 40s – still talk about him!

  4. We have a black cat now15 years old.
    Bought by my daughter when 16.
    She is still with us.
    In the past houses we shared two other black cats.
    We seem destined to have one in our life.

  5. I have a lovely black cat with the most beautiful yellowish eyes, his name is Bertie.
    As for bad luck don’t believe it.

  6. We have had all colours and breeds of dogs and cats over a very long lifetime.

    Our current tail wagger dog happens to be black.

    Please remember that they are all the same under their fur coat and so dont believe in superstitious rubbish.

    The only difference are their individual personalities just like ours.

  7. My big, shaggy, long haired black monster is a demon in cat’s clothing! He’s also beautiful, affectionate, mischievous and a real character. He’s more wuss than puss and more prat than cat. That’s why I wanted him when I met him at the rescue home and that’s why I’ve grown to love him (though not so much at 5 in the morning when he’s punching me in the face because he wants his breakfast!!). His colour is a bonus!

  8. Super article! I “rescued” Percy, a beautiful black dsh cat from my local RSPCA six weeks ago, he had been there since April and was a nervous cat too and had been overlooked several times. I asked about the popularity of black cats for adoption and was advised that black cats did take longer to rehome above all other colours. That is a real shame. It took a couple of weeks to settle mine in but since then I have never heard a cat purr so often and for so long, so affectionate. Purring does relax me too, just wish I could purr back!

  9. I do agree with you my daughter as got a black cat called woody and he his a black beautiful silky cat he his 1 year old so please need to stop being nasty.

  10. About 50 years ago we sent a ‘Lucky Black Cat’ Calendar to California and the recipients didn’t know what to make of it – or us – Black cats were considered unlucky there. I really don’t think luck resides in any colour of cat, though. I have a lovely fluffy laid back guest black cat along with my own silver tabby who is a much more nervous animal. Three cheers for Feliway.

  11. I got a black cat called mia and she take beautiful photo. Am we rescue kd who was black he died few year go but he have the most friendly and affectionate cat .

  12. I own two cats, one black and white and one black and would not change either of them. They are both loving members of the family, I don’t understand why black cats have such bad press.

  13. We adopted our black cat “Larry”, from the rspca just over a year ago. They were so pleased, as they told us then that they are the most difficult to adopt. We chose him on personality and didn’t even consider refusing a cat purely on the colour. He’s a fantastic cat, so much character and very very loving, so do not be put off.

  14. I think all coloured cats and dogs are beautiful black or otherwise, I just love them all, I think they all deserve to be loved regardless of their breed size and colour, I would love to be able to have more pets, but unfortunately I am disabled and struggle to look after my beautiful Tooty my grey and white cat, but he is wonderful company as I am a widow, and I wouldn’t be without him, so I hope all those lovely black pussies and doggies soon find forever homes.

  15. We have a beautiful black Labrador Roxy and an equally beautiful jet black cat ( hence her name Jet). They were both acquired at the same time and are now 8 years old; they are inseparable! They are both characters, very loving and friendly, thus, in my opinion, turning any negative theory on its head. They are adorable.

  16. I grew up with “Blackie” and since then have always felt an affinity with black cats. I have had four black cats, all wonderful pets with completely different characters, and have also had adorable tabbies, black and whites, and moggies, and have only given up now because at 73 I can no longer afford vet’s bills. Do home a black cat, you will not be sorry!

  17. We have a beautiful black cat called Keira who is 9 years old , and he is the most lovable, affecte and warm hearted cat you could ever want, (yes a boy called Keira we was told he was a girl when we got him ,he’s pretty so we kept his name) I would always have a black cat .

  18. Over the years I have always adopted black cats, I have always thought they were beautiful and magical. Egyptians worshiped them, and what’s good enough for ancient royalty is good enough for me!

  19. I have only ever had black cats! Six so far, all from rescue homes and I have loved them all dearly and got lots of love in return. I would have a pantha if I could 😊 I just thing black is so sleek, mysterious and beautiful .Give them a chance you will be well rewarded.😽

  20. I go out of my way at shelters to choose a black (and fluffy !) cat to home or befriend.
    would have more black fluffies but I have been given a 4 limit

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