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October 1, 2023

Celebrate the Black Cats

Celebrate the Black Cats

By Kathy McChesney, board member

I sit here now admiring the beauty of my latest “rescue” cat. Panther is one of our favorite cats, and he is solid black. Three of our cats are black, and they are all beautiful, delightful family members.

a black cat peeks over a computer screen
Kathy’s cat, Panther

Why do we have so many black cats? I have always loved all cats, regardless of color, so I was surprised to learn that some people avoid taking in black cats. This fact first became apparent to me years ago in Texas when I found a litter of 12-week-old kittens, one of which was black. The multi-colored kittens were quickly adopted into good homes, but no one seemed to be interested in “Blackie.” We already had a house full, so I contacted a reputable cat shelter. I was surprised to hear that they would not take in a black kitten! They told me that black cats were simply too hard to place. It turned out to be my good fortune, as Blackie became a cherished addition to my family.

When I started my own cat rescue years later, I discovered that what I had been told was true. Black kittens and cats were far less likely to be adopted than others. We once took in a group of 20 kittens, born from feral cats. Within a couple of months, we found homes for 18, but were left with two sweet, adorable black kittens who are still with us today. While there is some dispute, the statistics do seem to support that my experience is the norm. See National Library of Medicine, Coat Color and Cat Outcomes in a US Urban Shelter, as well as The Truth About Black Cats.  

a black cat sits in a windowsill
Kathy’s cat, Squeaker

Why are black cats adopted less often than others? Apparently, many people, particularly those who tend to be superstitious, view black cats as more aggressive, less friendly and less adoptable than other cats. Studies reveal the bias stems from superstitions and difficulty of reading facial expressions of black cats.
Black cats are not scary. They are beautiful, sweet, sociable, playful and quite expressive. I can attest that my black cats have brought me nothing but good luck, love and joy.

October is Black Cat Awareness Month, so let’s all celebrate these special kitties! As part of our celebration at Cat Care Society, we will be offering reduced adoption fees on black cats and kittens. While you might have heard some myths creating fears of adopting out black cats during the Halloween season, research has shown that ceasing adoption of black cats during this time actually does more harm than good, because it increases their time in shelters.

There is zero evidence that placing black cats for adoption before Halloween puts them at risk.

The key to keeping cats safe is finding them good homes. Cat Care Society has a thorough adoption screening process to ensure that every cat — no matter what color — finds a safe and happy forever home.

So come to Cat Care Society and take advantage of the celebration! I promise that the addition of an ebony cat or kitten will bring you years of joy!

About the Author: Kathy McChesney is a board member for Cat Care Society, serving since 2022. She is a retired airline pilot and attorney, and founded an animal rescue in Texas in 2014.


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