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National Cat Day: The History & Superstition of Black Cats

by Jessica Weber | Oct 24, 2017

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(Photo: Pinterest)

October 29th is National Cat Day. It was created to celebrate your cat and spoil them (even more than you already do). But it was also started to bring awareness about cats and kittens in shelters.

Did you know there are over 3.4 million cats entering shelters every year and about 1.4 million being euthanized? Please consider adopting when looking for a new cat to add to your family. 

Black Cats:

Black cats are less likely to be adopted from animal shelters and rescues because of our superstitions! In honor of National Cat Day and Halloween, check out these interesting facts about black cats.

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Black cats are among the most common of all cat colors – with good reason. The gene for black is dominate in cats, meaning that black cats will always pass their color gene along to their offspring. Although the kitten of a black cat might not appear to be black, he carries the black gene.  

According to the CFA publication "Understanding the Basic genetics of Cat colors", breeding a black male to a black female results in 50% chance of black kittens and 50% chance a blue kitten. (blue is a dilute of the black color and breeding two blue cats results in all blue kittens.) 

The male kitten of a black female will always be black or blue, since male kittens inherit their color genes from their mother. 

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In England (except Yorkshire) and Ireland, should a black cat cross your path, it's good luck. 

G
iving a cat to a bride in the English Midlands is good luck. 

In Scotland a
strange black cat arriving at your home means you may win the jackpot! (A stray black cat arriving on your doorstep signals prosperity.). 

If you're German, you have to pay attention. If the cat crosses your path from right to left, that's bad; left to right is good. Directionally challenged? We can't help. 

If you're a pirate, it gets even more complicated. If the black cat is walking toward you, it's bad luck. If it's walking away, that's good. If the cat walks onto the ship and then back off—get off the ship, it's going to sink. If you can get a cat to do any of those things on command, that's impressive. 

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Fishermen (and their wives) saw black cats as good luck, with many keeping them on their ships or in their homes. Black cats became so highly valued that some could not afford them. 

In Japan, black cats are considered symbols of good luck, especially for single women. Owning a black cat is thought to attract potential suitors. 

In Russia, all cats are viewed as lucky.

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