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5 Surprising Facts About Black Cats

Zoe
May 31, 2022
black cats
Ever wondered why we love black cats? It is because of their mysterious and intriguing persona.

Introduction: Why Do We Love Black Cats?

It is believed that black cats are symbols of good luck in many countries. In the United States, it is a common superstition that black cats crossing paths with a person brings good luck.

The history of black cats being associated with bad luck can be traced back to the Middle Ages. This belief was caused by the fact that during this time, most people were unable to care for their animals and so they often died from diseases or starvation. This led people to believe that any animal which appeared sick or unlucky must have been out at night, which was when witches were thought to roam about.

Black cats are equally as beloved as any other colour cat. To honour these magnificent felines, here are five amazing black cat facts.

1. Many cultures consider black cats to be lucky.

Not everyone thinks black cats are eerie or scary to be around. Many civilizations honour black cats. A black cat crossing your path is considered a good omen in Japan. In Japan, cats are considered auspicious, and black cats are especially lucky for lonely ladies looking for love. Maneki neko dolls are Japanese cats, and the black one is said to fend off evil spirits. In Himeji, Japan, there is even a café named Nekobiyaka that is totally dedicated to black cats. It's the world's only all-black cat café, and the cats wear different coloured bandanas so customers can identify them differently – it's definitely a cat lover's fantasy.

All cats are considered lucky in Egypt, and the ancient Egyptians worshipped the goddess Bastet, who was represented as having the head of a black cat on the body of a woman. Cats were considered so sacred in ancient Egypt that killing one was considered a capital offence. Black cats are associated with Freya, the goddess of fertility and love in Norse mythology. Two black cats pull Freya's chariot. These are just a few of the numerous civilizations that consider black cats to be a force for good rather than evil.

black cats

2. There are numerous black cat breeds.

There are 22 breeds of cat that can have all black fur, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA). However, just one – the Bombay – comes with a black coat. Bombays are all black, with full black fur and black paw pads, noses, and whiskers. Nikki Horner developed the Bombay cat in the late 1950s. She envisioned a cat having the appearance of a miniature black leopard, complete with a sleek all-black shorthaired coat and bright yellow eyes. She crossed Burmese with American Shorthairs and eventually succeeded in producing the stunning Bombay.

American Bobtail, American Curl, American Shorthair, American Wirehair, British Shorthair, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Exotic, Japanese Bobtail, LaPerm, Maine Coon, Manx, Norwegian Forest Cat, Oriental, Persian, Ragamuffin, Scottish Fold, Selkirk Rex, Siberian, Sphynx, and Turkish Angora are other breeds that can be solid black. These various cat breeds CAN be all black, however for a cat to be all black, both of the cat's parents must have the black hair colour gene.

black cats

3. It is possible that black cats are more illness resistant.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health determined that the genetic mutation responsible for cats' black fur is related to a human gene involved in HIV resistance. Scientists believe that the evolution of melanism (having black fur) in so many distinct species of cats implies that black fur has a survival advantage, and that this advantage may include enhanced resistance to disease. Because cats suffer from many of the same ailments that humans do, such as cancer, feline AIDS, and diabetes, researchers think that studying black cat genetics can help them understand more about human disease resistance.

black cats

4. "Black cat syndrome" is becoming an urban legend.

While there are many black cats in shelters, it is possible that future cat parents are overlooking black cats due to the colour of their fur. Emily Weiss did a study for the ASPCA and discovered that black cats were adopted at a higher rate than other coloured cats. The study did discover that black cats were euthanized at a higher rate, but Weiss believes this is due to the fact that there are just more black cats in shelters than cats of other colours.

black cats

5. The fur of a black cat can change colour.

The coat of a black cat can vary from complete black to a reddish-brown tint. This is referred to as "rusting" (because the fur ends up looking rust-colored). This can happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most prevalent (and pleasant) is when a black cat spends a lot of time sunbathing. The sun can have a bleaching effect on the cat's fur, converting it from jet black to reddish brown, just like it does on humans whose hair lightens after sunbathing.

A dietary shortage may also cause a black cat's fur to change colour. Cats require the amino acid tyrosine to make eumelanin, the pigment responsible for their black fur. A black cat's fur can change colour if they are deficient in tyrosine. Fortunately, this is a simple repair. Tyrosine is abundant in animal proteins such as meat and fish, therefore the deficit can be corrected by increasing the cat's meat intake or utilising nutritional supplements.

While rusting is most usually caused by one of the aforementioned causes, it could also be an indication of a more serious problem such as liver, renal, or thyroid disease. Black cat owners should immediately notify their vet if their cat's coat colour changes, mainly to rule out a more serious problem.

black cats

Conclusion

All cats, regardless of age, breed, or fur colour, deserve to enjoy the longest, healthiest lives possible, and we are fortunate to share our hearts and homes with any cat that loves us back.

Reference

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