As we get closer and closer to the end of October, we’ll be used to seeing pumpkins, skeletons and skulls all over the place as children and adults alike don their best spooky outfits and get ready to go on their “Trick or Treat” adventures. There’s something else, though – something much less deserved – that has become synonymous with spooks and scares and Halloween. We're talking, of course, about black cats.
The History of the Black Cat
Growing up, we’ll all have heard tales of witches dressed up in black hats, stripey socks and pointed boots. More often than not these witches are joined by a witch’s cat – typically black.
These days, black cats are a classic symbol of Halloween. It hasn’t always been this way, though. Going back centuries ago, the ancient Egyptians worshipped black cats as gods – and rightly so, if you ask us!
During the Middle Ages, though, their reputation began to change… and fast! Becoming affiliated with “evil”, black cats became an important part of witchcraft folklore and were even linked to the devil, leading to a mass culling of these gorgeous creatures during the Black Death pandemic which swept across Europe in the 1300s.
What Does This Mean for Black Cats Today?
There are numerous statistics out there that prove their these superstitions about black cats remain. Here are just a few:
Black cats spend 40% more time in shelters than any other colour
They are half as likely to be adopted as white cats
An estimated 1.2 million cats enter UK animal shelters each year
Some shelters actively stop adoptions of black cats during October for fear of animal cruelty
Black cats are more likely to be given up for adoption than any other colour of cat
They are almost the most likely to be euthanised
Some truly heartbreaking stats here – a lot of which seem to be based on the unfounded notion that black cats are less friendly, less affectionate, and less loveable than others. Thankfully, though, things are looking up and many of these stats are now moving in the right direction.
Help Us Change Perceptions This October
The 27th October is National Black Cat Day and we want you to help us celebrate the wonderfulness, and the majesty of black cats everywhere. We want to hear your stories, see your pictures and share the joy that black cats give us each and every day – don’t forget to use #BlackCatDay
We look after cats of all colours, shapes and sizes here at The Cat Butler, and it’s fair to say that we really do have a soft spot for monochrome beauties. Here are just some of the gorgeous black cats that we are lucky enough to serve:
Six Interesting Facts about Black Cats
1. Giving a black cat to a bride in the English Midlands is considered good luck.
2. In Scotland, if a stray black cat shows up on your doorstep, he brings prosperity with it.
3. Fishermen and their wives believed that seeing a black cat would bring good luck while fishing.
4. Black cats in Japan are considered good luck.
5. Black cats can be male or female, but more than often not, they are male.
6. Black cats go with everything - you can't see their fur on your furniture or your clothing!
Don't judge a cat by its fur. Cats come in many shapes, sizes and colours and black cats are just as wonderful as any other cat you share your life with.
Owner & Founder
The Cat Butler was set up by Sandra James in recognition of the fact that a stay in a cattery can be unsettling for many cats and also their owners.