Bravo for black cats!

Sooty and Sweep hanging out in gardenOctober 27 is National Black Cat Day. Why have a day to celebrate black cats? Surprisingly for those of us who own a black cat, this colouring is not generally favoured by the public.

A Cats Protection survey of 2000 people found that more than 70 per cent said they wouldn’t adopt a cat based on its colour. But in another survey of 1000 people, CP found that when shown pictures of black, tabby and ginger cats, the respondents perceived that the personality of the black cat would be less playful, friendly, vocal and attention-seeking than the tabby or ginger variety.

As the owner of a playful, friendly, very vocal and incredibly attention-seeking black cat, I find this hard to believe. I also find it difficult to understand why black and white coloured cats are also more difficult to home; nearly half of all the cats in CPs care have this colouring and take longer to be adopted than average. My cat’s two neighbours are black and white (one more white than black, the other more black than white). I might be biased, but I find all three felines very attractive and full of personality.

Apparently, the survey respondents believed that a black cat was less exciting than a tabby or ginger. However, we know that looks don’t determine personality. Black cats have plenty of character and need homes just as much as other colours.

Yes, black cats are sometimes difficult to photograph. I have many pictures of my cat (and her brother who died a few years ago) and in a lot all you can make out is a couple of black blobs. But this isn’t a reason to pass over a black cat if you are thinking of adopting a cat. Just keep taking those snaps and you’ll end up with some real beauties.

In many cultures, black cats are considered good luck. This is the case in Japan and Asia, where the ‘fortune cats’ (the figurines with a raised paw) draw good luck, wealth and prosperity to their owners. These are often white, but also come in black; the black varieties not only bring luck, but also frighten away demons, evil energy and stalkers. The Japanese also believe that a black cat will bring a single woman many suitors (I’d imagine the cat doesn’t drag the suitors in itself!)

In France, it is believed that if a black cat is shown proper respect, such as being given the first bite of dinner and having a nice place to sleep, the cat will reward their owner with wealth and good luck.  There are more tales of the luck black cats can bring here: Heather McKenzie


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