Myths and Facts About Black Cats
The stories about black cats thrive as the topic of feline folklore and superstition. Whether you believe these dark-colored cats are bad luck, you can't dispute their appeal and beauty.
Are Black Cats Good or Bad Luck?
Black cats are very mysterious animals. The Committee for Skeptical inquiry has written considerably about the cultural superstitions surrounding black cats. The beliefs about these felines are frequently conflicting.
For example, in Britain or Japan, having a black cat pass your way is tied to a future good fortune. People of Germany or the United States, on the other hand, find this occurrence to be an ill omen.
Cats in Ancient Cultures
Until the 17th century, various cultures, such as Egypt and Rome, had worshipped cats. In Egypt, the death of a cat was equivalent to the death of a family member. Cats were actually mummified, and families were weeping and grieving as they would a human.
Cats and Witchcraft
Things went south for cats in the 1600s when cats were connected with witchcraft. In fact, many families burned cats on Shrove Tuesday with the intention of protecting the family from natural disasters and catastrophic events.
Black Cats and Magic
Black cats are a symbol of sorcery and witchcraft in some cultures. This goes way back to the ancient Roman times when black cats were linked to Hecate, who was the goddess of witchcraft.
- They were also deemed to be the representations of the devil in the Middle Ages and were oftentimes killed since people believed that they were the living embodiment of the devil.
- In colonial America, the Puritans gathered that black cats were the partners of witches.
Black Cat Superstitions
Superstitions about black cats still remain alive today.
Good luck omens connected to black cats include:
- A black cat wandering around in your home
- A black cat waiting for you at the door
- Having a black cat in your home
- Finding three black cats in succession
- A black cat on your porch.
Black cats were also thought lucky onboard ships not just as an omen of good fortune, but also for keeping the rodent population down.
Bad luck omens include:
- Finding a black cat early in the morning
- Expelling a black cat from your property
- Having a black cat tun around facing its back to you
- Having a black cat cross you from right to left
Black Cat Breeds
Black cats are not their own breed, however, a black coat can be created by several breeds. There are 22 cat breeds that can have a black coat and this coloring is not uncommon among cats. Some common breeds which are especially known for their black coloring and are as below:
- American Curl is a medium-sized cat appreciated for their unique curled ears.
- American Shorthair is one of the common beloved breeds owned by cat-loving Americans.
- British Shorthair is a medium-to-large size cat with thick fur prevalent in the United Kingdom.
- Cornish Rex is an unusual looking cat with a beautiful, thin build and curly coat.
- Devon Rex is a small-to-medium-sized cat with large ears and a sharp face.
- Exotic Shorthair has a comparable appearance to a Persian but with a short, thick coat.
- Maine Coon is one of the biggest cats, they have a kind, calm personalities, and graceful long coats.
- Norwegian Forest Cat is another big, long-haired cat, that has a thicker double-coat to manage the extreme cold.
- Oriental Short Hair is a thin cat with a pointed head and an enjoyable, intelligent personality.
- Persian is one of the most beloved cat breeds in the United States and a favorite at cat performance shows.
- Scottish Folds are distinguished for their adorable folded ears and huge eyes giving them a cartoonish but loving look.
- Siberians are bigger, fluffy cats hailing from Russia considered to be hypoallergenic.
- Sphynx is a cat that is hairless, although some can have a little bit of peach fuzz. However, despite their lack of hair, they usually have coloring and patterns on their skin.
Rarer breeds that are recognized for having a solid black coat include:
- American Bobtail is a medium-sized cat with a merry spirit that gets its name from its bobbed tail.
- The Japanese Bobtail has a distinguished bobbed tail and is, in fact, one of the oldest cat breeds.
- Selkirk Rex is a somewhat new breed; they are large-to-medium sized with unique curly fur.
- Turkish Angora is an uncommon breed that is recognized as a national treasure in their home country.
There is a rarer cat breed, the Bombay, which is only solid black.
The Beauty of Black Cats
Black is a very desirable color for cats. The dark one-tone black color can enhance the shine of the coat. The sharp contrast between the eyes of a cat and the color of its black coat also makes this animal even more striking.
Black Cats With Gold Eyes
Truly, it's the eye-color contrast to coat that makes black cats so ambiguous and sometimes suspicious. The black hue is now widely correlated with metaphysics and spiritual paths to make a pair of gold eyes reflecting from a black fur coat seem intimidating.
Some people and cultures did not associate black cats with favorable qualities or good fortune for this reason.
Black Cats With Blue Eyes
Blue eyes are truly rare amongst black cats as the gene for blue eyes is correlated with lighter colored cats. Of course, you'll find black kittens with blue eyes like any other kind of kitten, but their eyes may change color as they age. There is, however, a rare breed that naturally has dark blue eyes and dark-colored coats, known as Ojos Azulescat.
Owning a Black Cat
Apart from the good luck affiliated with having a black cat, there are other aspects that can motivate potential owners to get a black cat. Black cats are no different in terms of character and attitude than lighter-colored cats. However, the enticing distinction of the coat to the eyes, which interprets into such a mysterious effect, will make your cat the subject of many coming discussions with superstitious visitors.
Black Cat Health
Studies have found that black cats may have a distinct advantage over other cats due to the pigmentation of their fur. It is plausible that their fur color has evolved to help them become somewhat immune to diseases, and genetic studies are ongoing to see how this can benefit human health as well.
"Rusting" Black Cats
One special aspect that possible black cat owners should be informed of is the possibility that your cat 's fur may change color if they spend time in the sun.
- Since many black cats are not "truly" black, but carry a gene for tabby coloring, exposure to the sun's rays can lead to a pigmentation in their fur that changes to a "rust" color.
- As a result, if you look at your black cat in the sun, the tabby pattern can become visible to you.
- Many black cats can even turn a rusty hue if they have a minimal enzyme in their diet called tyrosine.
- Liver disease, thyroid problems, and kidney disease have also been known to cause black cat fur to turn brownish.
Lucky Black Cat Lovers
Although some people still stick to the irrational fears that black cats are unfortunate, anyone who has the privilege of a black feline company knows how off-base this belief is. Character-wise black cats are not any different from other cats, and they can range from silly and enjoyable to kind and relaxed. Only be confident that having one in your life would never bring you bad luck, but a lifetime of loving companionship instead.