Black cats get a bad rap, especially during Halloween. They’re often associated with witchcraft, evil, and bad luck. Take Thackery Binx from Hocus Pocus, for example, or Salem from Sabrina: the Teenage Witch.
Sure, those are fictional cats, but the stigma that black cats face has harmful effects in real life. For example, black cats in adoption shelters take 13% longer to rehome, all because of some old myths! But it’s not all bad — in some cultures, black cats are considered sacred. As they should be! We think they’re pretty pawesome.
Did you know that October 27 is National Black Cat Day in the UK? So to celebrate, we’ve rounded up our favorite facts about our dark-furred friends!
Some animal shelters won’t let you adopt black cats in October.
Like rabbits during Easter, black cats are often adopted during October as a fashion statement, then quickly abandoned once the holiday passes.
To protect our feline friends against such cruelty, some animal shelters won’t allow people to adopt black cats during October. If you want to adopt a black cat, wait until November!
Black cats symbolize good luck in some parts of the world.
According to English legend, black cats bless marriages and ensure that couples live a long, happy life together. If you live in Scotland and a black cat shows up at your house, you’re in for some good fortune!
In Japan, black cats are thought to attract wealth and prosperity. They also protect against evil spirits and stalkers. The Japanese love black cats so much that there’s even a black cat cafe in the city of Himeji! You can pet the cats that call this cafe home, but don’t pick them up.
According to Japanese legend, a single woman who owns a black cat will receive more marriage suitors.
If you’re a woman who owns a black cat and also happens to be searching for a husband, you’re in luck! Turns out that owning a black cat is what really brings all the boys to your yard.
We’re not sure where this one originated, but hey, we can’t blame the boys for wanting a woman with a black cat. Not only does it mean that she has good taste, but a black cat also ensures a long, happy marriage! (According to English legend, anyway.)
Black cats are thought to attract bigger audiences for plays and performances.
Want to make sure a performance earns a lot of money and stays onstage as long as possible? Invite a black cat to join the audience on premiere night! Ticket for one, please!
Sailors who owned black cats were sure to return home safely.
The sailors of old were perhaps the most superstitious people on the planet. That’s why it’s no surprise that they thought owning a black cat would ensure their safe return. Black cats were so pawpular that many sailors couldn’t afford to buy one!
Their fur may change color.
Enough superstitions and old wives’ tales; it’s time for a real cat fact! Did you know that a black cat’s fur may “rust” or turn reddish-brown as it gets older? That can happen for a couple of reasons, the most obvious one being extensive exposure to sunlight.
It could also be caused by genetics or improper diet. All cats produce an amino acid called tyrosine. Copper, a mineral in cat food, helps turn tyrosine into melanin, or fur pigment. Black cats that have “rusty” or reddish coats may actually have a tyrosine or copper deficiency! Both can be corrected with a special prescribed diet.
They’re better equipped to resist disease.
Black fur is actually a genetic mutation, and it has a name: melanism. And, while it sounds like a disease, it’s actually a good thing. The same family of genes that causes your cat’s coat to be black is also responsible for increased disease resistance!
Studies show that black cats may be better at resisting disease than their colorful counterparts. This discovery has helped scientists study disease resistance in humans, and may even help them cure diseases like HIV and AIDS!
They are seriously cute!
Is this not the cutest black cat… ever?!
No matter what color they are, your kitty companion will bring indescribable love and joy to your life. We wanted to honor coal-colored kitties in particular this week, since they often get the short end of the stick!
Love and friendship x
P.S. — If you’ve got a black cat, give them a kitty kiss from us!