Black cats have a rich history particularly in folklore, and can represent anything from bad luck to fortune and prosperity.
This mystique has captured the hearts of many cat lovers abound, yourself likely among them.
The sheer amount of black cat breeds and personalities is just as extensive and rich as their history, giving future cat parents a lot of wonderful raven-cloaked options!
The Color Black
For a cat to be born black, both Mama and Papa Meows-a-lot must both carry the proper color genes called alleles.
If both parents both carry the B allele for black fur, it will prove to be the most dominant color gene, resulting in a dark and mysterious colored kitten. However, most cats aren’t 100% pitch black through and through.
Depending on what breed you end up with and your particular kitty’s genetics, there are three different variations.
Some black cats have a more midnight blue-black coat while others are on the browner end in either chocolate or cinnamon, and others still are more of an ashen charcoal just a touch too dark to consider grey.
Oftentimes black cats will still have pale patterns underneath, such as tabby stripes, that are regularly invisible, but just like with a jaguar’s spots, such patterns will appear when your cat basks in bright sunlight.
To prevent such patterns from disrupting the solid coloration, your kitten will also need to carry a recessive gene called non-agouti (a), which again will need to come from both the kitten’s Mom and Pop.
An important side note is that as cats age they can grey, just like any other cat.
This is completely normal the older your cat gets, but may be more noticeable on these inky fur balls.
Also worthy of noting is that black cats can rust over time, their dark coats progressively growing more and more rusty mahogany.
This can simply be due to prolonged sun exposure dulling the coat, or it can be a result of a deficiency in an enzyme called tyrosine.
If your kitty begins to show signs of rusting, reach out to your veterinarian to be sure your four-legged companion is healthy and happy.
If your vet believes they’d prove beneficial, you might leave the clinic with some vitamins to boost the darker hue in your kitty’s fur.
Days of Recognition
In the United States, Black Cat Appreciation Day is August 17th. However, in the UK and Ireland, this day of appreciation actually falls on October 27th.
Nationally, October is Black Cat Awareness Month.
Many shelters offer special deals during these times to help find good homes for abandoned black cats.
If you’d rather look for a breeder, or simply want to keep your eye out for a particular breed at your local shelter, then below is a list of a variety of different options that come clad in dark fuzz:
These sweet kitties are considered the classic black cat breed considering they’re the only domestic feline that’s always born black; all other listed breeds simply have black as one among many color possibilities, but not this one!
Originally bred to appear like miniature panthers, the Bombay has a glossy coat and a characteristic sway to their walk much like their wild counterpart.
They have golden or copper toned eyes and rounded features, and while they’re medium in size, they’re heavy-boned, feeling heavier in weight than expected despite their compact size.
With their friendly demeanor and affectionate personality, these loving cats make for great family pets.
Another plus of this short-hair breed is their low grooming requirements, requiring brushing only once a week or so.
Considered the most popular cat breed in the world, it’s no wonder that the docile Persian breed is rife with black cats too!
There are two Persian versions – show and traditional – which both display round heads with golden, emerald, or copper eyes and small ears, stocky legs and bodies with heavy bones, as well as thick and flowing tails.
Show Persians have more extreme features and shorter noses than their traditional “Doll Face” counterparts, nicknamed based on their sweet expressions.
In personality, these sweet lap cats are content to lounge and cuddle.
Considering they’re quiet and not the biggest fans of jumping and climbing, they typically make for the ideal pet for a variety of people including lively families, apartment dwellers, and those in between.
An overall healthy cat, the biggest downfall of this placid breed is their high grooming needs, requiring daily brushing and regular bathing.
Exotic Short Hair
Did you read about the Persian only to be disappointed by their grooming requirements?
Well you’re in luck, because the Exotic Short Hair is otherwise known as the “Lazy Man’s Persian”!
Effectively just the short haired Persian, this sweet kitty is much the same in appearance and personality.
The primary difference is the Exotic’s plush, thick coat, which is shorter and requires brushing only on a weekly basis.
Their personalities are additionally very similar to the favored Persian, but due to their American Short Hair heritage, they tend to be a little more playful and lively.
Also read: What is a tabby cat?
Uniquely topped with backwards-facing shell-curved ears and walnut-shaped eyes, this medium-size cat breed is lively, loyal, and people-loving.
This feline comes as short hair or long hair, but even long haired Curls have hair that’s more medium-length than long, and as a result require only weekly brushing.
Despite their elongated bodies, they have medium-bones and are a bit hardier than they appear, but their ears should be handled gently so as not to damage the cartilage.
These cats aren’t considered lap cats, but they do enjoy the company of people and don’t like to be left alone.
They get along with other cats, friendly dogs, and children as well, so this adaptable kitty is a suitable companion for a variety of different families and lifestyles.
This intelligent breed is very playful, and can often be found perched up high or exuberantly batting around a toy.
Overall rather healthy, this feline’s biggest issue is with obesity, so be sure to maintain your cat’s weight with daily exercise and a balanced, healthy diet.
Do you love black cats but unfortunately are afflicted with allergies? Then the Sphynx just might be right for you!
While they still produce the “Fel d1” protein, the allergen found in their dander and saliva, Sphynxes don’t shed like regular cats so this significantly reduces the amount of it this kitty drops.
As a result, those who don’t suffer severe cat allergies may be able to tolerate living with this mostly bald kitty.
This hairless cat that comes in a surprising variety of colors, but never fail to look their most elegant in a sleek deep black.
They are named Sphynx as a shout out to their Ancient Egyptian cousins, on account of their triangle-shaped heads with wide-set lemon-shaped eyes, sharp and high cheekbones, and huge, bat-shaped ears.
While they seem completely hairless, in truth they have very fine, short fur that leaves their skin feeling more like suede than leather.
While they look regal, this is no more than a facade, because this cat is very energetic and outgoing with a rather dog-like personality. They love to jump and play, to climb and scratch, and are as mischievous as they are loyal, often greeting strangers with a friendly curiosity.
As a result, daily exercise is a must. Generally speaking, they require the same type of compassion and care any other cat would with the exception of brushing their peach fuzz.
However, since they are practically hairless, there are a few key differences.
In the sun they may require sunscreen, in the cold they’ll likely need a sweater, and because their high metabolisms warm their bodies where their fur fails to, they require a little bit more food than other breeds.
They will also require regular bathing about once a week to keep the oils from building up on their skin.
This newly recognized breed of cat is very unique, and is known as the “Wolf Cat” for it’s appearance, which strongly resembles the classic idea of a werewolf.
Born completely black, these strange little cuties grow into their roan coats, their most common color being peppered black.
The most prominent feature of this kitty is its mask – this were-cat has patches on it’s face along the eyes and long nose.
Additionally, they have no undercoat, so their fur sticks out in a wild fashion, and often will have patches of missing fur across their leathery bodies, most oftentimes the toes and tail.
Shedding frequently, sometimes these patches can make the Lykoi appear as bald as a Sphynx, but the two are distinctly different cat breeds with entirely different genetic makeups.
As a result, Lykoi are not considered hypoallergenic. Skin underneath this partial fur coat is typically pink, but can darken in the sun.
The name Lykoi is actually Greek for “wolves” and was bestowed to this cat not only for it’s odd look, but also for it’s dog-like personality.
Unlike most cats of whom solo hunt and more like the wolves they resemble, if a few of these kitties get together, it’s not beyond them to work together to hunt prey as a team.
Because they derive from feral cats, they have a strong prey drive and lots of independence.
This doesn’t make them lap cats and means smaller pet owners should beware, but any home struggling with rodent issues can rely on this feline to protect the house.
To take care of your Wolf Cat, you’ll want to clip their claws weekly and groom their coats very gently so as not to burn their skin.
Most of the time they’ll only require a soft brushing once or twice a week, but during their bi-annual molting season they’ll require this care daily.
It is much better to keep your kitty indoors, but should this cat spend time outside on a sunny day, definitely don’t forget to put some sunblock on the hairless, exposed skin!
As a newer breed, research has yet to reflect health and lifespan information accurately, so should you find yourself with one, definitely be sure to bring your new furry friend to the vet for regular check ups to keep them healthy and happy.
More Black Cat Breeds
Are none of the listed breeds tickling your fancy?
Do you simply want to know what other types of felines come in black? Below is a list of even more breeds that can display this particular hue:
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Selkirk Rex
- American Short Hair
- American Long Hair
- Japanese Bobtail
- American Bobtail
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- York Chocolate
- Russian Black
- Ojos Azules
- Turkish Angora
- American Wirehair
- Scottish Fold
Did you enjoy reading “what breed are black cats?”, and about all the types of black cats? Let us know in the comments below.
Especially if you already have a dark furry fellow in your home.