Black Cat Breeds and History
Throughout history, black cats have brought luck, both good and bad, to all types of cat owners.
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Black Cats in History
Although mentions of black cats appear throughout history, the dark-colored companions are not always bestowed with an unlucky reputation. In fact, many cultures and communities consider black cats tokens of good luck.
- Ancient Egypt: People paid homage to Bastet, the cat goddess who represented prosperity and truth. Bastet often was depicted as a woman with the head of a cat, frequently with dark or black coloration. To gain favor from the goddess, Egyptian households kept black cats as pets.
- England & Ireland: Celtic folklore contains stories of Cat Sith, a mythological creature that took the form of a large black cat with a white spot on its chest. And here is one instance where bad luck enters the black cat’s past. While some believed Cat Sith was a fairy in cat’s clothing, others believed the creature was another form of a witch.
- North America: Black cats were associated with witches throughout history, with many of the tales originating during early settlement of North America. Folklore includes stories of witches assuming the shape of black cats or of the feline companions acting as witches’ familiars. Rationale for the association likely stemmed from the cats’ nocturnal nature and was heightened by a black cat’s natural and obvious ability to be nearly invisible at night. Added to uncertainty brought about by unfamiliar surroundings and suspicion of anything unusual, the tales grew more elaborate.
- Continental Europe: Similar stories of the black cat’s relationship with witches may have led people to seek out and kill the dark-colored companions during the Middle Ages. Some speculate that this led to an increase in the rat population, eventually allowing diseases carried by rodents to spread throughout Europe.
Other cultures held — and continue to hold — similar views about the positive influence of black cats. Sailors considered the companions good luck on long voyages, beyond the cats’ rodent-catching skills. In Japan, black cats often are considered symbols of good luck. The same holds true in England and Ireland.
Black Cat Breeds
Today, black cats add festive touches to Halloween celebrations—but they also enjoy popularity with cat lovers. Felix gained immediate popularity when he first appeared in the 1920s, and black cats continue to attract positive attention. Remember Shirley’s pet cat, Booboo Kitty, on the television sitcom “Laverne and Shirley”? Isis, a black cat, appeared on an episode of “Star Trek” during the original series second season.ying the drone and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.
Persian cats can come in several coat colors, including black.
What, me scary? Many cultures believed black cats brought good luck, not bad. Learn about their history and the black cat breeds that bring good luck today
Oriental cats, similar to Siamese cats, are often bred to bear a beautiful shade of black