Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: July 22, 2023 by Crystal Uys

black bombay cat sitting on grass

August 17 is Black Cat Appreciation Day. This “holiday” was created to help dispel some of the myths and ridiculous prejudices that surround these beautiful cats. If you share your life with one or more of these black beauties, every day is Black Cat Appreciation Day, because you already know just how special they are.

Black cat superstitions

Prejudices and misconceptions about black cats range from the ridiculous to the bizarre. They have played a major role in superstitions, folklore and mythology for centuries. In the Middle Ages, black cats were believed to be witches’ familiars, and many even believed that black cats were reincarnated witches or messengers of witches or demons. This association of black cats with witches has become so ingrained in our culture that they’ve become synonymous with Halloween.

Black cats in different cultures

Interestingly, the folklore surrounding black cats varies from culture to culture. In Britain and Japan, having a black cat cross your path is considered good luck; in the United States and several European countries, having a black cat walk by is considered bad luck. It even seems to make a difference from which direction the black cat comes from: In Germany, some believe that black cats crossing a person’s path from right to left is a bad omen, but from left to right brings good luck.

a black cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: EvgenicFox, Shutterstock

Black cats help us find romance

In Japan, young women are encouraged to own a black cat to attract romance. I suppose attracting a guy who loves black cats is a pretty good start to a relationship!

Black cats can “color shift”

Due to a special pigment called melanin in their fur, many black cats will temporarily turn a dark brown color if they’re in the sun.

Black cat with a naughty facial expression
Image Credit: milesz, Pixabay

Black cats may be more resistant to disease

Research suggests that two genes associated with melanism may cause black cats to be more resistant to bugs.

Thankfully, despite all of the myths and superstitions these black house panthers have a large, loyal following of people who appreciate these sleek, gorgeous house panthers in all their beauty.

Featured Image Credit: xiclography, Pixabay

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18 Comments on Black Cat Appreciation Day 2023: Facts & What it Is

  1. What a lot of lovely comments regarding black cats…. all very interesting and very true. We have two black cats and they are SO different… one thing I’m always hearing people say that cats of this colour get passed by in animal rescue centres because “they are boring” – which never ceases to amazeme; NO CAT is boring, whatever it’s colour. Long may they reign. Referring to a less recent article about the cats of DowningStreet ….. another has now joined them, Cromwell by name, so the fur should really flow with four of them. Larry, being the first one in residence and now, I believe nine years old, maybe ten, is only defending his territory after all (he apparently starts the fights and seems to come off worst (from the UK)

  2. wonderful Black Cat Appreciation Day post! Love the eyes of black cats, they seem exceptionally beautiful!

  3. Merlin is my beautiful black buddy! He loves to walk outside on his leash & harness. Well, he loves the walk part & puts up w/ the harness & leash part! I would be lost without him! I would easily say that he is my closest, dearest, very bestest friend!

  4. I have two black cats. Willow is the sweetest cat imaginable, and Misha is exactly the opposite–very opinionated (which is why I call her a stealth torti.) She can be very sweet and affectionate, but it’s all on HER terms, and if you try to pet her when she is not in the mood, you WILL be swatted. Several weeks ago when I gave her her “breakfast” (small amount of wet food) it happened to be the chunk kind. Misha prefers pate, and she gave me a look that clearly said “What is THIS crap?” Then, as I started to walk away, she ran after me and swatted me on the leg. That, however, was not sufficient for her to show her displeasure with the “wrong” food because she then ran back and bit me (not hard, but hard enough to let me know that she was NOT pleased with my offering.)

  5. So glad to have found your web site. I had a black cat named Toto that I list in March. I’m still devastated everyday. He was the best kitty ever. Five years ago I was in unknown kidney failure for a year. Toto never left my side. I would love to share a pic of my boy.
    Thank you, Karen

  6. I’ve had the pleasure to be a Mom to 2 black cats in my lifetime, gracious loving and the sweetest. Loverboy was 18 when he passed 12 yrs ago and Edwina was 17 when she passed in 1989…..

  7. Had 3 black cats in my life. Blackie & Midnight were short haired. Onyx was long haired.

    Blackie came from a shelter. Midnight was a abused cat. Onyx was a stray, that a friend caught & gave to me.

    Sadly, all 3 are gone in my life. But their cremated remains are with me, long with their spirits.

  8. My black cat, Mary Read, is such a loving, sweet angel. She is all black except for a very tiny patch of white on her neck.

  9. I adore our tortie, Sophie. She is four years old and I love nothing more than when she decides to grace me with her presence by sitting on my lap. She’s such a love.

  10. I have two black cats, just happen to be Persians, and they’re the best! I have had other wonderful black cats in the past. I have always admired their regal beauty; they look like mini-panthers! I love to look at their black fur in the sunshine, the black fur has a rainbow of colors in it. Black cats (and dogs) are the least adopted in shelters across the country. There have been shelters and rescues that have had special adoption events for just black cats and black dogs – God bless them! We need more of these events!

  11. I am sending this information to my cousin, she has two beautiful black cats (”brothers” from the same litter) and growing up, I learned that a black cat that crosses your path means bad luck, no matter if it crosses left to right or the other way. Stupid and silly, I walk under ladders and embrace all black cats that cross my path! If it haven’t been for you Ingrid, I never would have known that there are prejudices and misconception about Torties as well.

  12. I wish more people appreciated them. I have 4 fosters that I have had for 2 years, no takers. Two had been kittens that never got adopted. My son has a black tuxedo cat, and I have 2 tuxedos as well. Love them!

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