According to rescue centers, black cats are undeniably the least likely to be adopted. Regardless of whether the cat is an adult or a kitten, black felines are often left for months – if not years – in shelters.
Professionals aren’t sure why, but they’ve got a few ideas.
The first is simply that a black cat isn’t as visually appealing as a multi-colored breed. Black cats tend to blend into the shadows in a home, and don’t “pop” quite as much in pictures. Also, some folks find it disconcerting to see two eyes peering out at them while the body of the cat is obscured by evening shadows.
Another reason black cats are less popular is they carry a stigma about them. Various cultures possess superstitions about black cats, and some of them are downright scary. Here in the U.S., black felines have been long associated with witches. (Then again, so are brooms, and you’ve probably got at least one of those in your house.)
In 14th century Europe, there was a widespread belief that the plague was the result of witchcraft, including the presence of black cats. In fact, many of these felines were destroyed during that time in history, which – ironically — allowed the rat population to grow. Most experts say that humans were infected by fleas on rats.
Certain parts of the world have legends about cats that include good luck, and even worship, in some cases. Ancient Egypt, for one, honored the exotic black cat. And as for the old adage that if a black cat crosses your path, it means bad luck – in countries such as Japan and Germany, certain beliefs consider your encounter with a cat good luck.
If you’re thinking of adopting a cat, try to look past the coat, and whatever superstitions you may hold, see the animal for what it really is: a cat. Black cats have the same personality, charm, and general, all-around feline authenticity that cats of other colors possess. Black cats are capable of comforting you when you’re sad, playing with you when you’re happy, and knocking your water glass off the edge of the counter, only to turn around and give you a quizzical look like it’s your fault for putting it there.
If you think you’re ready to bring a black cat (or two or three, for that matter) into your home, there are numerous shelters in your area that have cats of all ages for you to adopt. Why not take a trip over to one and see for yourself?
National Black Cat Appreciation Day is August 17