5 things you didn’t know about your black cat

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In honor of Black Cat Appreciation Day, here are 5 facts about your little furry friends.

#1 They were a sailors best friend.

Cats of the sea from Flickr via Wylio
© 1917 Australian War Memorial collection, Flickr | PD | via Wylio

Cats were always welcomed aboard British sailing vessels to hunt pesky rodents, but sailors actually believed black cats to be good luck! Take the kitten “Tiddles” for example, who traveled more than 30,000 nautical miles during his tour with the Royal Navy. He enjoyed his time on board and entertained himself with the captains bell-rope.. I’m sure the sailors were thrilled to hear that going off all the time.

#2 There is no singular “black cat breed”

black panther_By_barrasa8 from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 barrasa8, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

There are actually more than 22 different breeds of felines that can have solid black colors. The Bombay breed is what most people think of when they picture a black cat. Copper colored eyes, short haired felines. The Bombay was actually bred to appear like a black panther by a woman named Nikki Horner in the 1950’s. Thanks to her, we have the “black cat”.

#3 Black cats are just as easily adopted as any other breed.

day 076. from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Holly Lay, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

According to the ASPCA, black cats are adopted at roughly the same rate as any other breed of feline. Refreshing news to us cat lovers who hate to see the black cats in the local pound. Although their euthanasia numbers for black cats were also some of the highest on the year of the study, they also had some of the highest adoption rates. The vet who conducted the study closed with the statement that although these numbers are alarming, there may just be more black cats than any other colors. Black cats are easily rated the most popular solid color cat for adoption!

#4 Black cats get their copper-yellow eyes from an excess of Melanism.

Black cat in a box! from Flickr via Wylio
© 2013 Vicki Burton, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Melanism is the opposite of Albinism. An excessive amount of melanin in these breeds of cats, specifically the Bombay is what leads to the copper-yellow eyes that we see!

#5 They can rust.

Rust from Flickr via Wylio
© 2007 Brooke Anderson, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

You heard me right… while they may not literally “rust” as that is only a process that can occur with the oxidation of iron.. they can turn reddish brown! If your cat spends too much time in the sun, it will temporarily “rust” it’s fur. It’s only temporary, so don’t go running out to your local hair salon for pet-safe hair dye. Once the cat’s melanin levels return to normal, so will it’s coat.


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Author -David Mann
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