At Sanicat, we believe all our feline friends are beautiful, no matter their breed or colour. Unfortunately, not everyone shares our views. Black cats have built up an unnecessarily bad rep and, because of this, don’t always get the loving recognition they deserve.
They’ve long been seen as unlucky, a symbol for Halloween and a no go for the superstitious. But us cat-loving folk know how lucky we are to have black cats in our lives. That’s why we want to celebrate them every October with Black Cat Awareness Month.
What is Black Cat Awareness Month?
October is Black Cat Awareness Month, a favourite among us at Sanicat.
All breeds deserve a loving home, but black cats are often overlooked when it comes to being adopted. Sadly, they’re often the last to find a home, and have lower adoption rates than other breeds.
Black Cat Awareness Month is all about showing the world how cute and loveable black cats really are—and that we got it all wrong by calling them unlucky. Black cats deserve a place in your home just as much as any other cat.
How did such a cute creature get such a bad reputation?
As early as the 13th century, black cats were tied to their unlucky reputation.
One of the oldest superstitions surrounding black cats is that crossing paths with one will bring bad luck. As a result, they’ve been linked with Halloween and all things spooky.
However, this hasn’t always been the case. In ancient Egypt, cats were seen as divine symbols, where they were worshipped and considered extremely powerful. They were even frequently mentioned in Greek mythology. Hecate, the goddess of magic, sorcery, the moon and witchcraft, was described as having a cat.
So what happened that made everyone so superstitious of black cats?
Back in the 13th century, Pope Gregory IX issued an official church document saying that black cats were an incarnation of Satan. We know—we can’t believe it either!
After that, cats became linked with evil and witchcraft. The old woman with cats—just like in the fairytales—would have been declared a witch and her cat as her assistant. Over time, the connotation of cats and witchcraft narrowed down to just black cats (look, even then they were special!) and the fear of black cats spread across the world.
Common superstitions of black cats
Many people think black cats aren’t as friendly or playful as other breeds, but that’s not the case. All cats have unique personalities, and getting to know them is one of the joys of being a cat parent.
There’s a common superstition that a black cat crossing your path will bring you bad luck. But, where did this superstition come from? It turns out that during the Mediaeval times, people believed that witches could take on the form of a cat, and you wouldn’t want something crossing your path that was on an evil mission.
So, why should you adopt a black cat?
If you’re still unsure about adding a black cat to your family, here are a few reasons why they make the perfect pets.
They bring good luck
Despite popular belief, they’re not bad luck. While we think any black cat parent is pretty lucky, black cats are also seen as good luck in many cultures around the world.
In Scotland, if a black cat arrives on your doorstep, it’s a sign of prosperity to come. While in parts of England, black cats supposedly bring good luck to the happy couple if they spot one on their wedding day.
Across Asia, owning a black cat is seen as extremely lucky. In Japan specifically, black cats are seen as a symbol of good luck, and if you see a black cat cross your path, it’s customary to greet it and say “konnichiwa.”
Over in the South of France, black cats are referred to as “matagot” or “magician cats.” Local superstition states that respecting and caring for black cats bring good luck to the owner. This one sounds like a pretty good deal to us!
In many cultures, people keep figurines of black cats to guard their homes thanks to their power of warding off evil spirits. We think there’s nothing quite as powerful as a real black cat lounging on your sofa though.
Their shedding is less noticeable
There’s nothing worse than your clothes being noticeably covered in cat hair. Luckily, black cat fur is far less noticeable than white or ginger fur. Consider the black cat a considerate one when it comes to their shedding.
Their black coat also makes them experts at camouflaging themselves. So fear not when they don’t come back until late as they’ll be hiding safely from any potential dangers. It also means they’re pros at hiding in dark corners and cupboards around your house!
They’re a medical miracle
Researchers at the National Institute of Health in the United States found that black cats have genetic mutations giving them extra protection against some diseases. It turns out their black fur actually protects them against certain illnesses and keeps them healthy—something all cat parents dream of. A happy and healthy cat sounds pretty lucky if you ask us!
The Halloween bonus
With a black cat by your side or sitting in your window, you’ll be particularly festive around Halloween. Black cats are Halloween icons. Despite earning this reputation due to people thinking they were working on behalf of witches, it’s pretty cool that they had us all fooled for so long.
However, remember that black cats are to adopt and love all year round, not just in the spooky season.
And please, keep your black cat safe around Halloween time. Unfortunately, some still believe black cats are unlucky and mistreat them.
They’re always up for adoption!
If you choose to adopt a black cat, you’ll be met with a clowder of black cats awaiting a new home. The difficult part will be leaving any of them behind.
So, if you’re thinking of adopting a feline friend soon, please consider giving a beautiful black cat their forever home.
Your lucky charm
It turns out black cats and their parents are pretty lucky: Lower vet bills and less shedding. What’s unlucky about that? Not to mention all the evil spirits they’ll ward off this Halloween.
All breeds deserve a loving home. Celebrate Black Cat Awareness Month by showing your black cats some extra love or giving a home to a black shelter cat.