What are Black Cat Myths and Superstitions?

Alison Gaynor | August 17, 2021
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Black Cat Photo
Photo by: Marek Kupiec on Pexels

When my mother and I moved into our new house when I was in high school, we had an unexpected visitor come to our door. A completely black cat welcomed herself into our home with his soft fur and lovable character. Over time, Oliver has become a full member of our family and gets along great with our other pets. Oliver, along with tons of other black cats, have dealt with the myths over the years that portray black cats as less desirable than other cats.

Black Cat Oliver by A. Gaynor

(Author) Alison Gaynor, of her cat, Oliver

Black Cat Superstitions

Are black cats good luck or bad luck? These questions have been asked over and over again and the myths change overtime.

Black cats have had a bad reputation since the Middle Ages when they were believed to be witches that could shapeshift into cats. One of the most popular stories is of a black cat that was beaten by a man with rocks. The cat ran into the home of a woman believed to be a witch and the next day the woman was limping—thus leading the town to believe that the woman was the black cat that was hurt by the man.

Their black fur is similar to crows and ravens that are also symbolic for death and bad luck, again connecting black cats to these same symbols. Another myth is that a black cat crossing your path means you will have something bad happen to you that day.

Even years and centuries later, some people still believe black cats are bad luck or a negative omen and will refuse to care for them. Sometime this can cause a decrease in black cat adoption, although this trend has been decreasing in recent years.

However, there are some positive superstitions about black cats. Finding a white hair on a completely black cat is said to give you good luck, kind of like finding a four-leaf clover. Dreaming about a black cat at night is lucky, as well. If a black cat walks up to you and allows you to pet it, it is said you have a kind heart and are being protected by the cat.

Not all superstitions are negative, but unfortunately for black cats, the negative myths often outweigh the positives.

Holding a Black Cat

Helena Lopes on Pexels

Black Cat Breeds

Black cats come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own unique personalities. Here’s a list of the most common breeds:

  •  Black tabby cat
  •  British Short Hair cat
  •  Black Persian cat
  •  American Short Hair
  •  Black Bombay cat
  •  Maine Coon

All Cats Deserve Loving Homes

Regardless of breed or color, all cats deserve a safe home that can provide them security and lots of love. Black cats, regardless of the myths, are lovable and kind animals that fit into any family.

About the Author
Black Cat Photo

Alison Gaynor

My two dogs are the loves of my life! My Golden Retriever, Cody, is the sweetest dog you’d ever meet and Ziva, my Border Collie, is so smart. Learning more about dogs and sharing my experiences is why... Learn More

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