As anyone who’s ever seen
Sabrina The Teenage Witch knows, black cats and sorcery go hand-in-hand, which makes these inky creatures the perfect (unofficial) Halloween mascot. Nothing gets a spooky celebration going on Oct 31 like wowing your friends with fascinating facts about black cats, and this year you’ll be the life of the party.
Legend has is that
witches could shapeshift into black cats, and maybe even come back to Earth after their deaths in the form of felines, according to Bustle. Cats are nocturnal creatures that roam freely at night (this kind of creeps me out to think about, but I’m not really a cat person so… sorry). The thought was that black cats could easily sneak around because they blended so seamlessly into the dark night.
So whether or not you’re one of those people that dresses as a cat every single year (guilty), or you're the type to cross the street when you see a black cat roaming freely, having this collection of 8 black cat facts at your disposal can come in handy.
1 Black cats can gray with age
Cats, they're just like us! As they age,
a black cat's fur may start to look gray or even white, per Catster. This is caused by a loss of pigmentation in the hair follicle, which is what happens to humans, too. 2 They're considered good luck in some cultures
Black cats sometimes get a bad rap, but certain cultures consider them good luck. For example, in Japan, if a single person owns a black cat, it's thought to
attract a mate, per Four Paws. Legend also has it that the wives of fisherman would keep a black cat at home, which they thought would help ensure their spouse's safe return, according to Animal Foundation. 3 It's not true that black cats are less likely to be adopted
It used to be a widely held belief that black cats had a tougher time getting adopted due to their spooky nature. That isn't totally true, however the genes that make up black coats are dominant, so there may just be
more black cats in shelters than any other kind. 31 percent of cats adopted are black, according to a 2014 article in The Cut. 4 It matters what direction they cross you, according to Germans (and pirates).
In Germany, if a cat crosses in front of you from right to left, that's a bad omen, but crossing left to right is a good sign.
Pirates thought a black cat walking toward you was bad luck, per Petco, but walking away from you was good luck (and I think I agree with the pirates on the one). 5 There are a ton of superstitions about them 6 There's more than one breed of black cat
Most black cats look basically the same, but there are actually many different breeds. The Cat Fanciers' Association (a must read for anyone who does indeed fancy cats) lists
19 distinct cat breeds that may be black. Now try to spot the differences. 7 They may make you rich, according to Scots
In Scotland it's said that
if a black cat shows up on your porch or by your front door, it will bring you wealth, per Reuters. I actually have a cat that keeps showing up at my house, but it's orange, and I have a suspicion my fiancé is feeding him... Anyway, if you see a black cat at your door, consider yourself lucky, at least in Scotland. 8 There's a black cat café
Cat cafés have been popping up all over, but there's only one devoted entirely to black cats called
Nekobiyaka in Himeji, Japan. You can look at the cats, but not pick them up, according to Mental Floss, and they each wear a different color bandana. Is that not the cutest thing ever?
The point is, cats with black coats are definitely more fascinating than creepy, as these fascinating facts show, so don't feel like you need to run away the next time you cross one's path.
9 They may have stronger immune system than other cats
Some research indicates that the same genetic mutation that gives cats their dark coats also makes
black cats have stronger immune systems than other breeds. They may be more resistant to certain conditions like feline HIV. 10 They can rust in the sun
If you notice your black cat looking a little orange after an afternoon of laying in the sun, they’re probably “rusting.” Their coat can get a reddish brown tint, and this could also be because their diet is lacking the amino acid known as tyrosine, which is needed to produce melanin.
11 Black cats have their own day NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images
It seems like most things have a special day of appreciation, and black cats are no exception. If you love all things about the inky cat, then mark your calendar for Aug. 17, which is National Black Cat Appreciation Day (yes, it’s a real thing).
12 The only truly black cat is the Bombay feline
If you look closely at most black cats, you’ll see a shock of gray or bits of orange or brown hairs mixed in their coat. The only truly fully black cat is the Bombay feline, and even their noses and paw pads are black. They were bred in the ‘50s to look like little panthers.
13 Most black cats are male
Here’s a bizarre black cat fact: the majority of them are male. It’s a little mysterious as to why this is so, but it seems like all black-fur pigmentation is a trait that’s more common in male cats, though of course there are female black cats as well.