Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day! This special day of the year, marked every August 17th, was launched in efforts to raise awareness about black cats and debunk countless misconceptions about these fantastic pets. Often associated with bad luck, witchcraft and evil, black cats still seem to be hunted by the spooky myths ever since the ancient times and to this very day. Interestingly, long before the tales about evil black cats even began to spread, Ancient Egyptians actually believed that they were symbols of luck, wealth and strength and the Japanese that they were a symbol of prosperity.
On Black Cat Appreciation Day, cat enthusiasts mark their fight against the evil superstitions about black cats by spreading awareness and showing to people these fantastic cats make just as purrfect and kind life companions as any other pets. While the elegant black coat is common among domestic cats, did you know that there are at least 22 cat breeds recognized by Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) that can dress in black too? Yep! And for this special occasion, we gathered all 22 of them in one place to celebrate the pawesomeness of their glossy coats! Read up to see if you know them all!
1. American Bobtail
The American Bobtail is a peculiar and uncommon feline breed characterized by a “bobbed” tail. The tail is a result of a body type genetic mutation, similar to that observed in the Manx cats. The breed is not related to Japanese Bobtails, despite the similar name and appearance. A curious myth has it that the Bobtail is the result of a cross between a domestic cat and a wild bobcat. They have short, dense coat that varies in colors and textures. They are known to be playful. Social and extremely intelligent.
2. American Curl
The American Curl is a breed characterized by unusual ears curled back from the face toward the center of the back of the skull . The kittens are born with straight ears, which begin to curl within forty-eight hours. The ears of the adults curl in an arc between 90 and 180 degrees. The breed originated from a spontaneous mutation in California in 1981. Both long-haired and short-haired American Curls have soft, silky coats which lie flat against their bodies and varies in colors. These cats are friendly, loving and sweet-natured.
3. American Shorthair
Notorious for being a skilled hunter and a loving life companion, American Shorthair is an agile, outgoing and friendly cat. These beauties have short, dense coat that comes in various colors and captivating, large and distinctive eyes that can be blue, copper, hazel or gold. The first American Shorthairs were believed to have accompanied European settlers who left Europe to make a life in North America.
4. American Wirehair
The American Wirehair, as of 2003, is ranked as the most rare of the 41 Cat Fanciers’ Association breeds, with only 22 registered, down from 39 in 2002. The breed occurred as a spontaneous mutation of the American Shorthair. It’s characterized by springy, wiry coat and whiskers. Their peculiar fur is often quoted to resemble the coat of some dog breeds such as terriers. Aside from their curls, they are essentially identical to their ancestor breed in every other way. Their eyes and coat come in a variety
of colors and they have a friendly, balanced temperament.
The Bombay cat is a short-haired cat dat come exclusively in black. The breed was developed by Nikki Horner from the Burmese and American Shorthair cats. Nikki started the breed development in attempts to create a cat that will resemble a miniature black panther. The elegant Bombay has a medium and muscular body build, glossy black, short coat and copper or green eyes The breed was officially recognized by the CFA in 1970 and The International Cat Association in 1979. Bombay cats are very social and loving. They often demand attention from their favorite humans and hate being left alone. They are intelligent, playful and have a distinctive, loud and delightful purr.
6. British Shorthair
The British Shorthair is a version of the traditional British domestic cat with chunky body and a broad head. The most common coat color among this breed is the “British Blue”, but the breed has developed a wide range of coat colors and patterns including the elegant glossy black tone. This clever feline is famous for its calm and friendly temperament.
7. Cornish Rex
Most cat breeds have three types of hair in their fur: the guard hairs, the awn hairs and the down hairs. The guard hairs build the outer layer of the fur, the awn hair the middle layer and the down hair is the undercoat. The Cornish Rex is a peculiar feline breed that has only the undercoat or the down hair. They are prone to hair loss and many will develop a very thin coat or even go bald over large parts of their body. Their coat is fine, sometimes curly, and comes in a variety of colors. They are very playful and tend to keep the kittenish personality throughout their whole lives.
8. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is an unusual cat breed known for its large eyes and curly coat. Their most prominent features are their bright, wide-set eyes and large ears. Because of their unusual appearance, the Devon Rex is often referred to as the Pixie cat. Mischievous, playful and intelligent, these lovable kitties will never get tired of getting into trouble.
9. Exotic Shorthair
Developed as a short-haired version of the Persian, the Exotic is similar to its ancestor breed in many ways. They have a similar flat nose and face, body conformation and a gentle, calm temperament. They have short, dense coat and all Persian colors are recognized in this breed too. They are very friendly, kind and affectionate and hate being left alone for long periods of time. They tend to be more energetic than Persians.
10. Japanese Bobtail
A medium-sized breed, the Japanese Bobtail is an ancient cat breed that was originally gifted to the emperor of Japan over 1000 years ago. The most distinctive feature of the Bobtail is a short, pom-pom tail, making it one of the rare cat breeds with a naturally occurring stubby tail that isn’t associated with skeletal disorders. Their fur can short, long and different in color, but it is always very soft and dense. They are friendly, quiet and affectionate.
The unique combination of delightful appearance and lovely personality of LaPerms truly captivates nearly anyone who has the pleasure of meeting them. Although always distinctly unique for each cat, their iconic, sensuous coat is pompously curly and soft in texture. They can be both short-haired and long-haired and can come in many colors and coat patterns. LaPerms are friendly, loyal and affectionate and make for the typical “lap-cats” many of us dream of.
12. Maine Coon
Termed as one of the few “water loving cats”, the Maine Coon is one of the largest cat breeds adored for its gentle, playful dog-like nature. They tend to be very muscular, agile and heavily boned. Their fur is thick, long and double coated and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. And did you know that Main Coons have the longest whiskers of all cats out there? How marvelous!
Originating on the Isle of Man, the Manx is a cat breed that carries a naturally occurring mutation which shortens their tail. Many Manx have a small stub of a tail or are entirely tailless. They come in all coat colors and patterns, and can be both short and long haired. They are said to be social, tame and active. An old local term for the cats on their home island is stubbin.
14. Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest cat or the “mystic wildcat of the fairy tales” the cat of the Vikings, so popular and beloved in Northern Europe that it is a frequent muse in numerous Norwegian urban stories and myths. Although usually identified by their tabby-white medium-long coat, Norwegian kitties come in all possible coat colors and patterns. They are friendly, social and independent.
A close relative of the royal Siamese, the Oriental Shorthair maintains the same head and body type of its parent breed, but sports various coat colors and patterns. There are over 300 coat color and pattern combinations approved by CFA for this breed. As opposed to the deep blue eyes of the Siamese, their almond-shaped eyes are green and just as captivating. Another variety of the breed is the Oriental Longhair – who simply carries a pair of recessive long hair genes. These cats are social, vocal, very friendly and high in energy.
Persian’s exceptionally beautiful and graceful coat, chubby cheeks, expressive eyes and affectionate personality make them one of the world’s most popular feline breeds of all time. Their flowing coat comes in various colors and patterns. These cats are calm, restful and cuddly, and they prefer serene environments. Surprisingly, these delightful creatures are not as athletic as you’d expect from a cat. They enjoy lounging on a sofa much more.
Ragamuffin is a crossbreed of the Ragdoll with various other breeds, mostly Persian and Himalayan. They are muscular, strong and agile cats notorious for their medium-long, plush coat that comes in all possible colors and patterns. Colorpoint variants are not approved by CFA standards. They have beautiful and vivid eyes, sometimes exhibiting heterochromia . They are sweet-natured, friendly and affectionate.
18. Scottish Fold
Scottish Folds are captivating felines who carry of a distinctive feature of forward-folded ears and bear a reputation of unusually loving companions. The folded ears of the breed are caused by an autosomal incompletely dominant mutation. They come in all coat colors, patterns and lengths. Interestingly, they are notorious for sleeping in very peculiar positions. Scottish Fold is a very social and friendly cat who hates being left alone.
19. Selkirk Rex
The Selkirk Rex is a highly-curled cat distinct from all the other Rex breeds. Unlike Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, their coat is not partly missing and it is of the normal lengths. In comparison to LaPerms, their coat is thicker and plusher. Their curls are the result of an incompletely dominant gene marked as Selkirk gene (Se). The breed is accepted in all colors, including the pointed, sepia, and mink varieties of albinism; bicolors; silver/smoke; and the chocolate and lilac series. They are laid-back, somewhat reserved but cuddly and playful.
The Siberians are considered to be ancient cats, believed to be the ancestors of all long-haired modern cats. The Siberians are Russian national animals, characterized by a luxurious, dense and long coat. They express three natural types of fur: guard hairs, awn hairs and down. The coat colors can vary from tabby, solid, tortoiseshell and color-point. Known as the exceptional jumpers, the Siberians are strong and powerfully-built cats with large and rounded paws. They are brave and strong, but easygoing and affectionate.
The Sphynx cats are the utmost loving cats who demand attention, love entertaining their families and treasure meeting new humans. These curious bundles don’t have a coat and their skin is the color their fur would have been if they had it – solid, point, tabby, tortie or, van. Sphynx aren’t always completely hairless though, and there are different degrees of hairlessness. They are characterized with expressive, lemon-shaped eyes, large ears, prominent cheekbones and paw pads noticeably thicker than in other cat breeds. Sphynx are very outgoing, energetic and playful.
22. Turkish Angora
Turkish Angora is an ancient cat breed originating from Turkey. It is believed that this breed is the origin of the mutations for white coat and long hair. Turkish Angora cats have long, silky coats and elegant, sinuous bodies. Though it is known for a shimmery white coat, Turkish angora cats can display a variety of colors including black, brown, smoke and tabby-white. Their eyes are blue, green amber or yellow and can often be heterochromatic. They are very intelligent, playful, agile and affectionate.
Regardless their breed, size or shape, all black cats are equally gorgeous, elegant and loving. Do you have a black cat and you would like to help share awareness about them? Snap a few photos of your fantastic pet and share them on social media to show off what a purrfect companion you have. Don’t forget to tag us and share you love with the rest of the Basepaws community!