Black Cat Appreciation Day is August 17th. Why do we need such a special day? Because no other cats have endured more myths, lies and abuse. It’s important that we put an end to the false beliefs and ignorance surrounding these beautiful cats. If you share your home with a black cat, you already know that every day deserves to be Black Cat Appreciation Day, but here’s an extra opportunity to spread the word and help raise awareness.
A few nerdy facts about black cats
- The black cat isn’t a breed. There are 22 breeds that recognize black coats. The Bombay, however, was developed to look like a black panther and is the one breed where solid black is the only color.
- Melanism (the opposite of albinism) is what causes the dark coat.
- Black coats are more common in male cats.
- The amount of melanin is also what gives the black cat’s eyes a golden color.
- In bright sunlight, you might see faint markings of a tabby pattern on your cat’s coat. This means the black cat has the dominant gene for solid black but the tabby pattern gene is not completely repressed.
Unfair history and superstitions
In the middle ages, black cats were believed to be associated with witchcraft. This unfair connection between witchcraft and black cats is kept alive today through the awful Halloween decorations used, depicting evil-eyed black cats. Myths of black cats being bad luck have also contributed to the unfair image and in many cases, abuse of these beautiful animals. Black cats are especially vulnerable around Halloween and in fact, many shelters suspend adoption of black cats during the month of October.
Black cats are viewed as good luck in other cultures
In many countries, a black cat is considered good luck. For single women in Japan, owning a black cat is believed to increase the number of romantic interests. England and Scotland also view black cats as good luck. In Russia, all cats are considered good luck.
Black cats were believed to bring good luck to sailors. A black cat on-board was thought to ensure a safe return home. No doubt the cat’s hunting skill and ability to control rats on-board also made him a welcomed member of the sailing crew.