When it comes to cats, we love hard here at KatKin. We say all cats deserve hardcore cat parents, who go hell for leather for their wellbeing.
But not every cat gets the treatment they deserve. Some cats are more likely to be neglected. Black cats are right at the top of that list. They’re more likely to be left at shelters. Less likely to be adopted. In 2019, Battersea reported that 43% of their rescue cats were black. And the RSPCA reported that black cats take an average 50% longer to be adopted than ginger cats. We want to change all that and help black cats find their hardcore cat parents.
Why are black cats neglected?
Black cats and superstition
People often see black cats as bad luck. That dates back to medieval times, when black cats were associated with witchcraft, and seen as bad omens. In fact, in the 13th Century, Pope Gregory IX issued an official document where he said that black cats were an incarnation of the devil. It was even thought that black cats spread the Black Death.
Today, our superstitions aren’t so extreme. We know now that cats were heroes during the plague, catching the rats that were really causing the problem. But even so, some people still think there’s something spooky about black cats.
Luckily, that’s not the case everywhere. In some cultures, black cats are considered good luck. In Latvia, they’re a sign of a good harvest. In Italy, if a black cat sneezes, it signifies imminent wealth and success in marriage. And best of all, in southern France, a well-fed black cat is meant to bring wealth to your home. And we all know the best way to feed a cat is with our 100% fresh-cooked meat. So, get adopting and crack out the KatKin, people.
Black cats and Instagram
Today, black cat neglect is less about superstition, and more about social media. People think black cats are trickier to photograph. That their fur doesn’t look as striking on Instagram feeds. Personally, we think that couldn’t be more wrong. Here's some of the KatKin cats of our Club House to prove it:
The stunning Kenny and Dolly. But the numbers don’t lie: for six years after Facebook and Instagram launched, the Blue Cross and RSPCA saw a 65% rise in black cats left at their shelters. The reason? These cats weren’t ‘selfie-friendly’.
First of all, let’s say this: if you’re a hardcore cat parent, you love your cat no matter what. Even if all you ever capture is a moving blur, or a cat who consistently turns its butt to the camera, that’s your cat. You give them the best life.
But if you have a black cat, and you want to get better photographs, the solution isn’t to just get a new cat. There are plenty of guides online to help you with capturing black cats on camera – like this one from our friends at Supakit. As an example, did you know that with black cats, it’s best not to take their picture against a white background? Your phone camera can struggle with the contrast. For a great photo, try capturing your cat against green grass, or take a photo from below to see your cat against blue sky. Voila – beautiful photos of beautiful black cats. (Oh, and don’t forget to tag us @katkin.club on Instagram or share on the KatKin Club House.)
The advantages of black cats
Fun fact: having a black cat definitely isn’t bad luck when it comes to their health. There are around 37 species of cat in the world – ranging from domestic cats to lions and tigers – and 11 of those species can have black coats. That means the genes for black fur evolved 11 separate times, which scientists suggest means dark fur has survival benefits. There’s also evidence, as published in the New Scientist, that cats with black fur are resistant to certain diseases.
What you can do to help black cats
The big thing: adopt. Get to your local rescue centre and open your heart to the black cats there. Don’t go in thinking you can only have a ginger cat or only have a particular breed: every cat there deserves love. And they’ll give you love in return.
And if you don’t have space to adopt a rescue right now? Share your knowledge. Share this blog. Share your local shelter’s cats on your own social media. The more publicity for black cats, the more we can help them find their forever homes faster. And don’t forget to check out our Instagram page. This Black Cat Appreciation Day, we’ll be showcasing some beautiful black rescue cats – all of them in need of a hardcore cat parent like you.