Black Cat Appreciation Day is August 17th! October 27th is also special to Fluffy: it’s Black Cat Day! Why do black cats get not one but two special days? They definitely need the extra attention. They’ve been hounded by gossip and misconceptions for hundreds of years, and just haven’t been able to shake off the effects of all that bad PR. A Wichita, KS vet discusses these pretty but misunderstood kitties below.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between black jaguars, black leopards, and black panthers? While there are definite differences between jaguars and leopards, the word panther is just an umbrella turn for any large cat that is all black.
The pigment that is required to produce black fur is called Eumelanin. It’s quite delicate, and can fade quickly in the sun. Fluffy’s fur may take on more of a dark brown appearance if she spends a lot of time napping in her favorite sunbeam. It could even start showing a pattern! (Note: fur lightening can also be caused by a deficiency in tyrosine, an amino acid, but this is quite rare.)
There are 22 kitty breeds that can be all black. At the top of this adorable list is the Bombay, a charming, playful furball who was named for her resemblance to Bombay’s black leopards. This is the only furball that is always all black. The other goth kitties on the list include the Turkish Angora, the Manx, Sphynx, Burmese, Siberian, Ragamuffin, and Norwegian Forest Cat.
As you may know, Fluffy has been unfairly associated with witches and witchcraft for hundreds of years. These fears are completely unfounded, yet still persist to this day. During the witch hunts, the fear became so great that thousands of cats were killed. This allowed rats and mice to thrive, therefore helping usher in the deadly black plague.
Fluffy still has a hard time getting adopted. Black cats generally stay in shelters longer than other kitties. A recent study produced an average adoption time of 26.5 days for black cats. Non-black kitties were usually adopted after 24. If you’re considering adopting a new feline buddy, don’t automatically overlook that cute black one. ‘Void kitties’ are not only quite beautiful, they also tend to be super sweet!
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