What do John Lennon, Marlon Brando and Patti Smith have in common? They all owned a black cat. Also, did you know that black coats have evolved separately in many species of cat? This indicates that black fur has survival benefits. Eleven out of 37 species of feline can have black coats. Not only that, but the fact the Cat Fanciers Association recognises that 22 cat breeds can have solid black coats, plus studies suggest that the gene that gives the colouring can indicate that the cat may be more resistant to disease.
Why, then, are cats not adopted?
In the UK, black dogs and cats take longer to be adopted. The reason? They are perceived to be less friendly. In 2015, The Cats Protection found that black or black and white cats made up 45% of the more than 5,000 cats in their care across the UK. Not only that, but cats of this colouring took, on average, 22% longer to find a home compared to their peers.*
It is perhaps not surprising to many of us that the charity considers a cat’s colouring has no influence on the pet’s temperament, yet ginger and tabbies are the felines who are deemed the most fun.
Last year, many newspapers suggested that black cats do not take good selfies. This appears to be caused by photographs not showing how beautiful they are and washing out their features. It may also be the case that black cats do not stand out when potential owners visit rescue centres, with ginger and tortoiseshell being some of the most popular.
Danielle Draper, the charity’s National Cat Adoption Centre Manager said that “these findings seem to suggest that people find black cats a little dull when compared to other colours, but the reality is that you really can’t predict what a cat’s temperament will be like based on the colour of its fur.”
The Cats Protection launched this day in 2011 to raise the profile of their monochrome moggies from across the UK through an excellent video that shows just how superficial judging a cat by its looks can be. Share your support for black cats by visiting the Cats Protection social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. Alternatively, visit their website if you would like to adopt a black cat!
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat welfare charity and helps around 500 cats a day – or 200,000 cats and kittens each year – through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.
*Figures taken from Cats Protection’s 32 adoption centres during 2015.