Black Cat Magic: What Makes These Cats So Cool

Some people say it’s harder for black cats to get adopted. Others say it’s just because there are more of them than other-colored kitties. (Note: There are.) One thing everyone can agree on though is that black cats are fascinating creatures—even if they aren’t witches in disguise. (Note: They are not.)

Black cats: one color, one colorful story.


  • In order to create a cat that looked like a mini panther, Sable Burmese cats were crossed with black American Shorthairs in the 1950s to create the Bombay cat, the only all-black cat.
  • The Cat Fanciers’ Association—the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats—recognizes 22 cat breeds with solid black coloring.
  • Thanks to the tabby gene in some black cats, napping in the sun will bleach pigment from their fur, revealing red or orange highlights.
  • Melanin, the pigment that makes their coats black, affects their eyes too, which is why many black cats’ eyes are a rare, beautiful orangey-amber color.

From panthers to pets, black fur works like a superpower.

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PHOTO © Greater Good Charities

  • Black cats have natural camouflage for night hunting and it helps them regulate their body temperature in cold weather.
  • The gene that gives cats black fur also gives them a strong immune system. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health found that black cats have increased resistance to some diseases.

Chances are, black cats will bring you GOOD luck

black-cat_32672283632_o-copyPHOTO © Greater Good Charities

  • In some countries, people believe black cats attract good luck and wealth and can even improve your love life!
  • British and Irish sailors once believed black cats protected their ships from bad luck and worse weather. At least we know those journeys were rat-free.
  • Fishermen’s wives were believers, too. They had black cats in their homes to make sure their sea-faring husbands came back safely.
  • Crossing paths with a black cat is believed to be so lucky in Scotland and England that some people give black cats as wedding gifts, a promise of happiness for the couple.

As it turns out, black cats aren’t the spooky, unlucky, unfriendly animals that history and folklore have made them out to be. In fact, it seems the only thing that’s dark about black cats is, well, their fur!