Animal Welfare

Black Cat Luck

A nocturnal feline, the black cat has been the victim of many negative superstitions, but do they deserve their bad reputation?

‘Tis the season of witches and all things frightful. Black cats have been demonized along with witches and the underworld, and to some it is considered a bad omen if a black cat crosses your path. The fact is black cats are the same loving family pet as any other color of cat. Contrary to the bad reputation of the black cat, we found some instances where black cats actually represent good luck, romance, and safe travels.

  • The Scottish believe that if a black cat appears at your home, you will gain prosperity.
  • In Japan, they believe a black cat will bring good luck, and many suitors to the single woman who owns a black cat.
  • In ancient Egypt, the black cat personified Bast, the goddess of protection and blessing, and the protector of women, children, and domestic cats.
  • In the United Kingdom, crossing paths with a black cat is considered a good omen
  • Black cats were welcome aboard British vessels as the sailors thought they would ensure a safe return home.
  • It is said that fishermen’s wives would keep a black cat at home believing it would protect their husband at sea.
  • In England, it is believed that black cats can capture negativity and ill fortune in a home, making way for good fortune and happy marriage.

In the world of science, the mutation which causes the cat’s fur to be black is related to the genes known to give humans resistance to serious diseases such as HIV. Scientist Stephen O’Brien believes the solid color has more to do with disease resistance than it has to do with camouflage. Scientists are hopeful as more cat genomes are mapped, they will get a step closer to curing HIV.


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