The secret fabulousness of black cats

ricardo-avelar-HWITVrdSmgE-unsplash-scaled The secret fabulousness of black cats human animal bond cat myths cat adoption black cats

I’ve thought black cats were exquisitely beautiful since I was four, so I was honestly surprised to learn that black cats are the least likely to be adopted! What?!

People who are passing up black cats at the shelter are missing out! Black cat fans, let’s get this out of the bag…

Turns out black cats were good luck all along

Did you know that long before Puritans started calling them bad luck, black cats were actually considered good luck in places like Europe, Japan,  and Egypt? In fact, black cats are still are favored in many cultures.

As author Mary Anne Miller explains, in parts of Europe such as Scotland:

“If a black cat crosses your path, you are considered to have good fortune. If a black cat walks into your house or home, you are truly blessed.”

All the single ladies, listen up

It is believed that a woman who owns a black cat will have many suitors. When I read this, I thought about my dating history and noticed that, by god there was a black cat– suitor correlation!

The great Cat Goddess Bastet of ancient Egypt is often depicted as a black cat. She was associated with health and fertility, and protecting mothers, children, and home. Huge festivals were a traditional celebration of Bastet.

So where did Americans and some British folks get it wrong about black cats? Miller says that for some reason the Puritans latched on to the idea that “witches” had black cats, and it was just downhill from there.

Well, we no longer believe that people who use herbs medicinally are evil, so let’s toss that temporary bogus idea that black cats were witchy-evil too. Let’s get back to the original world-wide good-luck associations with black cats.

Black cats are beautiful and have great personalities

I am on my third black cat  now and here are some of the things I’ve loved about each companion over the years:

  • I had a black cat who appeared out of nowhere when anyone in the family was crying. He licked gently at your tears, purring and loving up to you.
  • My black cats always like to welcome me at the door –  yes, even when they already had food in their dish.
  • They play fetch (no training necessary)
  • They appear (or at least chirp from a hiding spot) when I call their name.
  • They answer my questions with animated cat-talk.
  • They are so sleek and beautiful that I can watch them for hours. It’s like having your own little panther around.

I know I’m not alone in my love of black cats! An article by Sarah Hartwell (of the old site which unfortunately is down) digs into research about cat personality and color. Short-haired black cats are regularly noted to be “good-natured.”

One of my favorite descriptions of them was this one:

“Clown-like delight in entertaining its owner with gymnastic tricks and enthusiastic affection.

Why do you love your black cat?

Here are some nice testimonials from Reader Stories: Why I Love Black Cats by Franny Syufy:

  • “Their intelligence and communication skills, (she even comes when I whistle). Also, how affectionate and loving they are.”
  • “I think black cats definitely have an elegance about them that other cats don’t have.”
  • “There are so many beautiful cats, but black cats just stand out in a way that’s hard to explain…”
  • “They seem smarter. I can see intelligence behind their eyes…”
  • “They are loyal and very affectionate in their proud way…”

Love to hear your thoughtful thoughts! Leave a reply...


  1. Thanks for the nice article! I’ve had two black cats in the past and they were real ‘talkers’, very smart and loving. This summer I adopted a kitten “Bissa” whose mother was all black but apparently the father was a feral cat (I didn’t know this when adopting) that came from the nearby forest. So the kitten’s colors have evolved from black to tiger-like stripes, interesting markings around her face, pale yellow eyes and a spotted ‘tiger tummy’.

    Bissa is 5 months now and the mom-black cat’s traits are showing, but the wild side is also there and causes discipline and behavorial problems. Bissa needs to stay mentally and active. She quickly mastered games like fetch, she will create her own games (hiding an object and then finding it), puts all her toys in the same spot behind a cabinet and gets them/puts them away, can open doors…sometimes her intelligence is almost disturbing. lol Her favorite morning exercise is to do sneak attack body slams and now she can tap my upper waist. Bissa has taught me patience and how to appreciate different ways to show love and a reminder to take time to play.

  2. My black cat always knows when I’m sad he looks at me, must be wandering if he should come up & give me snuggles or walk away.. he does that for a few seconds & comes up for snuggles, headbutting my face & if I’m crying he licks my tears, curls up between my legs if I have them crossed, lol. I adore my black cats from the moment my mother said she likes them but that made me love them more. 🙂

  3. I’m a black cat owner. A male named Max. You can’t find a better-natured cat than Max. He loves to be picked up and cuddled. And he purrs all the time. We got him from a local human society where he had been for a month with no takers. Lucky us. We actually went there he get a female tabby, like our last cat, but fell in love with Max. Black cats get a bad rap, what with the superstition thing and all. But our vet told us that you can’t go wrong with a black or black-and-white male cat. They are at the top of the list in his books. Max is 7 and we’ve had him 6 years. In that time, I’ve come across numerous black cat owners–most of them male cats–and they all tell me that their felines are super-natured. By the way, Max has the cutest purr…its squeaky mixed in with a rumble. Like two cats purring at the same time. He sounds like a motor with a short in the wiring.

  4. I wanted to ad a comment about my beautiful girl Pepper and how she loved men!! When I started dating my now hubby, she would sit on his lap and kiss his face while peeping at me over his shoulder. It was like she was saying “is it ok mama? Is he for me? Well, she would display her affection and she loved him so much that we joked about him being her man!!!

  5. I had the most wonderful black cat named Bob. He was very loving and calm. He always welcomed new visitors into the house (4 or 2 legged). He was the best cat in the world. He slept next to my head every night of his life and he always knew when I was sick or sad and would cuddle up with me. If I was sitting down, he was right there. If I was taking a shower he was just behind the shower curtain. I cannot say how much he meant to me. He was truly my baby but unfortunately he passed away earlier this year from an inoperable brain tumor. Last month I adopted a black cat from a shelter that I named Malcolm. He shares many, many traits with Bob and I can’t help but feel this is due to the fact that both are black. There is something so loveable and tender about a black cat. I urge anyone considering getting a cat to get a black cat.

  6. I had the most beautiful, loving, smart black girl named Pepper. We lost her a few years ago at age 15. She was the most amazing cat I have ever known. I know she could read my mind. She may be downstairs keeping my dad company and if I woke up and thought about her, she would come in my room within a few minutes. I could talk to her and she knew what I was saying and she was so comforting with her soft touches on my face and her constant warm purr. She did leave me feeling like there is something special about black cats, although our tabby girl Buddy, who just passed at age 18 was also very smart. She was “raised” by Pepper, coming from another litter when she was just 6 weeks old and Pepper was almost a year old then.

  7. I have 2 black cats! One of them did actually come to me…he followed my sister inside my apartment. Boo Radley loves being outside, but unfortunately his previous (non)care-takers took out all of his claws- ALL OF THEM! It was around Halloween. I was already a mom to 2 cats and I agreed to foster him but he had to find another home. Yea, that did not happen. He does have some behavioral issues, but he is truly my baby. He loves to curl up next to me and give me kisses all of my face.
    My other black cat, Gavin, is truly my “kiddy”. I adopted him as a kitten. He is super fierce, but he loves like crazy- on his own time. He definitely chirps when I call his name and then curls in and out of my legs, sometimes giving me kisses and love bites. He will also climb me wanting me to pick him up and put him on top of the fridge and he never wants to be held. When he is doing this he purrs so much!
    I am now a mom to 4 cats! Yep, crazy cat lady status! But, I love them all so much and love having my black babies in my life.