Myths and Facts About Black Cats

With Halloween around the corner, black cats are everywhere, it seems. Black kitties are very much a part of the Halloween theme here in America, mainly because of old superstitions, which gave these poor kitties something of a bad rap. Black cats are just as sweet, loving, and adorable as kitties of any other color, but the mythology and superstition about black cats is very much engrained in popular society, and endures to this day. Here, your local vet Des Moines lists some facts – and myths – about black cats.

  • Black cats became associated with bad luck due to the belief that they were witches’ familiars.
  • Some black cats are actually dark brown. This will mainly be visible when Kitty is sleeping in a sunbeam.
  • There are officially 22 breeds of kitties that can be all black.
  • The Bombay cat is the only breed of cat that is all black. It is often said to resemble a miniature panther. (Panthers, ironically, are actually not true black.)
  • Famous black cats include Socks, the Clintons’ cat; Sylvester, the cartoon icon; and Felix, the comic strip kitty.
  • Black cats often have a hard time getting adopted, in large part because of the superstitions.
  • 13% of Americans are superstitious about black cats.
  • There are now some rescue groups specifically devoted to helping black cats find homes.
  • In Scottish folklore, black cats bring wealth.
  • In Germany, if a black cat crosses your path from right to left, it is a bad omen. If a black cat crosses your path from left to right, however, that is a sign of good luck.
  • A black cat support group has nominated August 17 as Black Cat Day.
  • Celtic mythology includes a fairy that takes the shape of a black cat.
  • Because black cats are vulnerable to pranksters, some shelters suspend adoption of black cats around Halloween.
  • Black cats are considered good luck in Japan.
  • England’s King Charles I had a black cat. As legend has it, when his kitty died, he was heard to say “Alas, my luck has run out.” He may not have been wrong, because he was arrested for high treason shortly afterwards.
  • A French myth holds that if a black kitty has even one white hair, that cat will bring good fortune to its owner.
  • Cute names for black cats include Spade, Guinness, Licorice, and Snowball.
  • The richest cat in the world is an Italian black cat named Tommaso. Tommaso inherited $13 million when his owner died.

Please feel free to contact us any time we can be of assistance. As your local vet clinic Des Moines, we are here to help.