Hair-raising facts (and myths) about our favorite black-furred creatures

Celebrities of social media, the rulers of the internet, cats seem to easily be one of the most popular pets present in many households around the world. These loving fur-babies seem to have an array of personalities, ranging from quiet and affectionate to sassy and stand-offish. Like our friends and family, cats come in all personalities, shades and colors.

We have two black cats at Basepaws, Nessie and Suffie. They are our friends, our mascots and our marketing geniuses. We LOVE them both, and we love their beautiful black coats, yet many cat-lovers often frown upon adopting a black cat because of the strange stigma that suggests black cats are a symbol of bad luck or are the associate of evil (enter spooky music here…)

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Anna Skaya, Shan Zhao, cats Nessie and Suffie

We scratch our heads with wonder..WHY?

As we gear up for Halloween next week, Basepaws would like to celebrate and show our love for black cats by sharing some awesome facts and busting some myths about them.

Myth: Black cats are ‘bad luck’. This myth is often the main reason why we see many black cats left back in animal shelters. It’s been speculated that this silly myth seemed to have been started during the Middle ages where people often consider black cats as being a reincarnation of the devil or associates of witches. Silly people.

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Fact: Black cats were symbols of luck and wealth in many other cultures. Between 3100 BC and 390 AD, long before the tales of the evil black cat began to spread, Ancient Egyptians considered black cats as symbols of luck, wealth and strength. Cats of Ancient Egypt often hunted down rodents in order to reduce the vermin population, and so were prized as skilled hunters. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians even had a goddess named Bastet who was seen as fearless and cunning, and was in the form of a cat.

The Japanese similarly consider black cuts to be a symbol of prosperity. In fact, the Maneki Neko is an iconic figurine of a black cat which is often seen in many stores across the country. Furthermore, according to the art of Feng Shui, black cats are considered powerful animals that are very good at keeping away evil spirits.

Science Fact: Black fur may actually be an evolutionary advantage. Researchers have discovered that the mutated gene that codes for melanism (black fur) seen in both wild, large cats such as Jaguars, as well as domestic cats, may be advantageous to the animal. For example; Jaguars hunt at night and so having black fur allows them to easily camouflaged into the dark surroundings.

Geneticists have also discovered that a mutated gene known as MC1R may be responsible for making Jaguars black. The purpose of the unmutated gene is to regulate what goes into and out of the cell, which makes it an excellent target for bacterial and viral infections. Thus, in theory, geneticists believe that a mutated gene may be able to prevent the flow of various viral genes such as HIV into the cell.

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Science Fact: Black coats can change into a dark rustic color. Here’s another interesting Meowgic fact! Tyrosine is an important amino acid which is required for the production of the black pigment known as eumelanin. Thus, if your black cat lacks adequate animal protein in their diet then they may be deficient in the amino acid Tyrosine, as a result you will notice your cat’s beautiful black fur redding over time.One more reason to feed your kitty good animal protein!

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We love our two black kitties, and we wish you a very happy and safe Halloween, black cats and all!

Do you or your friends have a beautiful black cat? Share this article and tell your story too!

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