Saturday, August 17, 2013

Black Cat Appreciation Day

My name is Maxwell, and I am a black cat.

I know it doesn't look like it, but at my genetic core, I am.
I'm a black cat with a dilute gene that makes the fur on my face and paws look grey.

And I'm a black cat with a temperature-sensitive albino gene, which is why I look cream where my body heat is over a certain temperature. That's because the albino gene blocks the color - but only where I'm warm (you can read all about it in our post "da boyz are albinos!" from last year).

But underneath it all, I'm a black cat.

My name is Allie, and I am a black cat.

Yes, I have a gorgeous coat of grey fur - but it's due to the same dilute gene that Maxwell has.  It lightens my black fur.

And the white on my face and paws is only there because the black is covered by a masking gene. It's called the Spotting gene, and it gives me that striking tuxedo pattern.

But at heart, this glam girl is a black kitty.

Meet Spider, a 1 year old girl waiting for
her very own forever family at Wayside Waifs

So we're expecting a bit of appreciation from our humans today: you see, it's  
Black Cat Appreciation Day.

This day was created because a disproportionate number of black cats go homeless and are euthanized in shelters across the U.S.  In fact, statistics show this occurs five times more frequently than any other color of cat!

And we'll bet you may not have known these cats are genetically well suited for pet ownership - and reputed to be far more congenial than cats of another color!

Sadly, superstition has a lot to do with these statistics. Black cats simply cannot seem to shake the stigma of being "bad luck." It's something they've been unfairly saddled with for too long.

So we're raising our voices 
to help bust this myth today.

Heidi, looking anxiously to see if the family who
just walked in might be the one for her at Wayside.
We'd like to share something with you that Dr. Temple Grandin wrote in her book Animals Make Us Human.

(In case you're unfamiliar with her work, Dr. Grandin has a Ph.D. in animal science and is a well respected consultant on animal behavior.)

According to Dr. Grandin, "black cats are friendlier than other cats, are better able to deal with crowding and urban life, and have greater aggregative tendencies".

(That's aggregative - not aggressive - which basically means they’re more inclined to live in groups of cats.)

She goes on to state that "black cats are more social overall, whether it’s with other cats or with humans."

Elegant Moon, a 3 year old girl
awaiting her heart match
But wait! These gorgeous house panthers have even more going for them!

Dr. Grandin quotes Stephen J. O’Brien (of the Feline genome Project) who believes the mutation that causes black fur might also make cats resistant to viruses in the HIV family.

So black cats are also healthier in some respects than other cats.

(- excerpted from Dr. Grandin's book,
Animals Make Us Human
, pp. 77-78

Right now there are almost 2 dozen black cats waiting for adoption at Allie's Alma Mater, Wayside Waifs.

And most of these little guys are kittens.

Take a look at these adorable faces, squee just a tiny bit, and stand with us today in busting the myths about black cats and in supporting their adoption!

Black cats make fantastic pets! Why, in Asia and the U.K., a black cat is generally considered lucky!

Temple Grandin's web site
7 Facts about Black Cats
Google Books: Animals Make Us Human


  1. Great post! We love black house panthers!

  2. Thanks for all the great info about black cats - my human already knew black cats were friendlier and had better personalities from anecdotal experience - in other words, she figured it out from all the black cats she has known!

  3. Well, Mom loves us ginger cats, but after reading this, her next kitty will be a black one! Very interesting about the genetics of color too.

  4. Wow - I really didn't know any of that! That's so interesting! It's just a personal observation and I have no real facts to back it up, but some of the oldest cats I've ever met were black ones.

  5. Brilliant post - we are all black in spirit. And Ruska really is black. Sad to report though in the UK black cats are only considered lucky if they 'cross your path' - the animal rescues there are also full of black beauties.
    We love the book you have quoted and encourage everyone to adopt a house panther.

  6. Now black cats are lucky over here so we say thank you for bringing us good luck today. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. Mommy remembers being told that a dog or cat that's black with white socks is considered "bad luck" as it is a sign of mourning.
    But she can't remember and isn't bothered to find out as it's not important to her. ;)

  8. Black cats are awesome - I should know cuz I'm black too. he he

  9. We didn't know there was any such thing as a dilute gene. Thanks for posting the information. We like black cats (or any color cats) here.

  10. The Grandpeeps SPECIFICALLY looked for a black kitty cos of the low adoption rate. HURRAH for black cats!

  11. We are so thankful this informative and important post, dear friends. Just look at all those beautiful house panthers at Wayside Waifs. Paws crossed that they all find forever homes real soon.

  12. I have the joy of living with them every day! I don't necessarily think they are friendlier or more affectionate, but there is certainly nothing to be afraid of about them, or I'd be in deep trouble.

  13. Wonderful post..."we" had no idea dat I was also a black cat! I bet yoor scientific daddy is proud of yoo today fer all da factoids(*wink wink* to yoor mommy).

  14. Mommy wants to gather up every one of those beautiful black kitties in her arms and bring them home. Alas, Dad won't let her. He says that eight is a full house. Two black kitties lived here long before most of us were born, and mom says that another one will again in the future. Good luck to all those black kitties. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Guilietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  15. Wonderful post! I had heard of the black cats are more friendly, but I had never heard the attribution of the quote.. Thank you for sharing!!

  16. Excellent post! Black cats ROCK!! And BTW, Ernie thinks every day is Black Cat Appreciation Day. ;)

  17. How GRAND you are....AND how incredibly dear all those black kitty faces are - we pray and pray that Wayside Waifs can find homes for all those most handsome "panthers" !!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  18. YAY! I'm a black cat too!!! We must all stick together!! :)

  19. Mo is our resident house panther and is does tend to be the first to make friends when people come over! Great post.

  20. Toby here and I am a black cat. Some of us have little bits of white but unless you know us and we roll over no one knows. Buttons has a smidge of white in each let pit.
    Meow Dad says we are super wonderfur

    Thanks for this into

  21. Does that mean that Candy's actually a black cat underneath? Cool!

  22. Moon looks exactly like the black mancat Sixten that lived here before me , say´s my mom-person :)

  23. What a cool post and really neat stuff we didn't know about black kitties. My Human adores black kitties and in the past had 2 of them. Wow that "Elegant Moon" is a gorgeous kitty, purrs for her to find an amazing forever home shortly.

  24. If I ever tolerate a sibling, it will be a black cat

  25. Good way of explaining, and good post to take
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