Black cats are often misunderstood and associated with bad luck, witchcraft, and Halloween. However, these dark-furred felines are actually fascinating creatures with a rich history and unique characteristics. In this blog, I will share some interesting facts about black cats that you may not know.
Black Cats Have a History of Being Worshipped and Feared
One of the most interesting facts about black cats is that they have been both revered and reviled by different cultures and times. In ancient Egypt, black cats were worshipped as gods and goddesses, especially Bastet, the cat-headed deity of protection, fertility, and joy1. Killing a black cat was considered a grave sin and punishable by death2.
However, in medieval Europe, black cats were seen as agents of the devil and witches, who could transform into black cats or use them as familiars3. Many people believed that crossing paths with a black cat would bring bad luck or even death. This superstition led to the mass killing of black cats and their owners during the witch hunts3.
In some parts of the world, black cats are still considered unlucky or evil. For example, in some countries in Europe and Latin America, it is believed that a black cat crossing your path will bring bad luck2. However, in other countries, such as Japan, Britain, and Ireland, black cats are seen as symbols of good luck and fortune34. In Japan, for instance, single women who own black cats are thought to attract more suitors3.
Black Cats Have a Dominant Gene and Can Change Color
Another interesting fact about black cats is that their black fur is caused by a dominant gene that can override other colors and patterns1. This means that if two cats that have the gene for black fur mate, their offspring will be black. Even if only one parent has the gene, there is still a high chance for black kittens.
However, not all black cats are truly solid black. Some of them have hidden patterns that can be revealed by sunlight or age. For example, some black cats are actually “undercover tabbies” who have subtle stripes or spots that can be seen in certain lighting or angles3. Some black cats can also change color due to exposure to UV rays or temperature changes. This phenomenon is called “rusting” and can make a black cat look brownish-red or even gray3.
Black Cats Have Unique Physical and Personality Traits
Black cats are not only beautiful but also have some distinctive physical and personality traits. For example:
- Black cats are more resistant to disease than other cats. This is because the gene that causes black fur also affects the immune system and makes it stronger3.
- Black cats have yellow eyes because of the high amount of melanin in their bodies. Melanin is the pigment that gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes. The more melanin a cat has, the darker its fur and eyes will be3.
- Black cats are more adaptable and independent than other cats. This may be because they have evolved to survive in harsh environments where they were persecuted or discriminated against2.
- Black cats are more affectionate and loyal than other cats. This may be because they have learned to appreciate human companionship and trust after being mistreated or abandoned by others2.
Black Cats Are Part of Many Breeds and Have Their Own Day
Black cats are not a specific breed but rather a color that can appear in many breeds of cats. In fact, there are 22 breeds of cats that can have black fur5. Some of these breeds are:
- Bombay: The only breed that exclusively has black fur. These cats are sleek, muscular, and have copper-colored eyes. They are also very intelligent, playful, and friendly5.
- Maine Coon: One of the largest breeds of domestic cats. These cats have long, fluffy fur and tufted ears and paws. They are also very gentle, sociable, and vocal5.
- Persian: One of the most popular breeds of domestic cats. These cats have long, silky fur and flat faces. They are also very elegant, calm, and sweet5.
- Scottish Fold: A breed that has folded ears due to a genetic mutation. These cats have round heads and large eyes. They are also very affectionate, curious, and playful5.
To celebrate the beauty and diversity of black cats, there is a special day dedicated to them. Black Cat Appreciation Day is observed on August 17th every year. It is a day to raise awareness about the plight of black cats and to encourage people to adopt them from shelters4.
Black cats are amazing animals that deserve our love and respect. They have a rich history and culture, a dominant gene and color-changing ability, unique physical and personality traits, and a part of many breeds and have their own day. The next time you see a black cat, don’t be afraid or superstitious. Instead, admire its beauty and charm, and maybe even give it a cuddle. You might be surprised by how much joy a black cat can bring to your life.