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National Black Cat Appreciation Day is August 17, 2017

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You’ve probably heard at least a few of the many superstitions that revolve around black cats. A black cat crossing your path is bad luck, witches kept black cats as their pets due to their ability to do magic, etc. But not everybody views black cats as unlucky. In some parts of the world, black cats are revered because they bring good luck. Single women living in Japan often keep black cats because they are believed to increase the number of men who will be interested in them. Back in the days of the tall ships, sailors were very superstitious and would bring along cats for good luck. Black cats in particular were favored because they would bring good fortune and guarantee that the crew would return home safely.

Interesting Facts About Black Cats

The ASPCA is celebrating National Black Cat Appreciation Day on Thursday, August 17, 2017, so we’ve put together some fascinating facts about these sleek, attractive felines:

  • Black cats are not a breed of their own. In fact, the Cat Fancier’s Association acknowledges several breeds that can come in solid black, including Scottish Folds and the Norwegian Forest Cat, but only the Bombay comes solely in black. This breed is highly revered for its panther-like appearance and golden eyes.
  • Black cats’ sometimes become discolored due to a genetic anomaly. If the specific gene is present, being out in the sunshine may cause the “hidden” stripes on the animal to become noticeable. These cats may go from pure black to a washed-out reddish-brown or may even show stripes.
  • Black panthers aren’t really black. They aren’t even panthers; they are either leopards or jaguars who have an excess of melanin in their fur, causing the spots to be black-on-black. If you see a panther, look closely at their coat in the sunshine; you’ll probably be able to see the spots.
  • Black cats tend to be healthier than other felines. Most of them are resistant to the HIV virus that leads to AIDS.
  • In Germany, which way a black cat crosses your path determines whether it’s good luck or bad luck. If it walks from the left to the right, you’ll have good luck. If it walks in front of you right to left, be prepared for the consequences.
  • Many animal shelters won’t let people adopt black cats in the weeks leading up to Halloween in order to protect the cats from possible abuse.
  • In ancient Egypt, cats were considered divine, and black felines were the most highly prized.
  • Some photographers avoid using black cats in photographs because they can be difficult to see and (supposedly) aren’t as photogenic as cats of other colors.
  • Black cats are often the last to leave a shelter because people are superstitious about them.

If you’re considering a new pet, keep the beauty and grace of black cats in mind. They are just as affectionate and entertaining as their lighter counterparts!


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