Sometime around the Middle Ages, things took a rough turn for kitties of the black-coated variety, generally due to no more than their tendency to hang out with old ladies who offered them food. When said old ladies began to be unjustly accused of being witches, their unassuming four-legged companions began to get tagged with a bad reputation by association; one that, bizarrely, has lasted to this day in many parts of North America. Even in the modern era, studies show that black cats are among the least likely to be adopted due to nothing more than the color of their fur.
That’s why every November, animal advocacy groups such as Meow Mix, Petco, and iHeartCats.com ban together to help spread awareness for the misunderstood little guys during National Animal Awareness Month. Throughout the month, these groups and others like them work to spread the word about why you shouldn't hesitate to cuddle up with fur balls of the dark, mysterious variety. Check out these fun, lesser known facts about black cats that are making their rounds online as a result!
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In Many Parts Of The World, Black Cats Are Actually Good Luck
In parts of England, Ireland, and many Asian countries, a black cat crossing your path is actually a sign of good luck rather than bad. In the English Midlands, some people even give black cats to brides for good luck in their upcoming marriages and in Scotland a stray black cat found chillin' on your doorstep is a sign that prosperity is soon to follow.
Fishermen were also traditionally so fond of black cats that many kept them on board their ships for good luck- a tradition that became so popular that at certain times in history they actually became quite pricey. Even pirates considered them fortune tellers- a black cat boarding and then jump back off of a ship was considered a friendly head's up that the vessel was about to sink! Last but certainly not least, in Japan black cats are often owned by single ladies as they are said to attract potential suitors.
Some Black Cats Aren't Actually Black At All
Many Black cats are merely tabbies whose inherent colors are just repressed due to a recessive gene. In fact, if you look closely, many times you can see faint traces of their tabby patterns in the right light. This recessive gene may even be a blessing, as research shows that black cats may have developed their fur color to help fight off disease and as a result have stronger immune systems. Their unique little features also include a special pigment called "melanin" that sometimes causes their fur to turn a dark brownish color in the sun, a phenomenon known as "rusting."
Black Cats Come In Many Shapes and Sizes
While some people tend to think of black cats as a breed of their own, the Cat Fanciers Association directory actually lists over 20 different breeds that they've been found to belong to.
There's a Reason For Their Gorgeous Golden Eyes
Remember the high melanin pigment content in their bodies that causes black cats to "rust?" It's also responsible for their beautiful golden gaze.
Black Cats' Fur Can Turn White With Age
Just like humans, many cats experience graying hair as they age. It's just especially noticeable on darker cats due to the resulting color contrast.
They're No Different At All Behaviorally From Other Cats
If you've ever seen a black cat look at you sideways when you look alarmed that he just crossed your path, keep in mind that he's probably just confused. After all, black cats have no idea that select humans have hung onto old, outdated superstitions about them and if anything are probably just offended that they aren't approached as often with friendly offers to pet their heads.
Black Cats Tend To Be Boys
While black cats can be of either gender, the coloring is usually more prevalent in males.
Black Cats Tend To Be Better Hunters
After all, what better way to stealthily move in the shadows than to be the same color as them?