These felines have striking looks because their eyes contrast with their fur. You can choose from a variety of breeds if you are raring to own an exquisite black cat. However, take extra caution if you are prone to allergic reactions.
Are black cats hypoallergenic?
No, black cats are not hypoallergenic, and there is actually no evidence to suggest that any cats are hypoallergenic. All cats produce the Fel d 1 protein, the allergen responsible for cat allergies, and a study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that the color of a cat’s coat does not affect how many allergens it can produce.
Some fast facts about cat allergy
- Some people who have allergies are still able to live with cats.
- Most people only develop mild to moderate symptoms.
- Researchers cannot fully explain why some people develop cat allergies while some do not.
Cat allergy symptoms
These are the common cat allergy symptoms:
- Respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing or stuffy nose
- Red and irritated eyes
- Itchy skin
- Asthma attack in people with asthma
- Skin rashes on areas that came in contact with allergens
Some people could develop a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis which is characterized by difficulty in breathing, low blood pressure and can induce shock. It is a life-threatening situation and the person should be brought to the hospital at the earliest signs.
If you are prone to cat allergies, you will likely continue to have symptoms even if the cat is not present. This happens due to cat allergens that can linger on furniture and rugs, fabrics and unwashed clothes.
To determine if you are allergic to cats there are certain tests that doctors administer. These include allergy-specific tests like blood tests or a skin prick test. In administering a skin prick test, a tiny amount of cat allergen is placed underneath the skin to check for a reaction. Blood tests are made to test for specific immune substances associated with cat allergies.
Ways to manage cat allergy
Here are some ways to manage cat allergies:
- Keep the air in your home fresh by leaving the windows open.
- Vacuum your home at least every few days to minimize allergens.
- Bathe your cat at least every four weeks, or use cat wipes or a wet towel.
- Keep your cat healthy.
- Have someone brush your cat regularly.
- Play with care and avoid being licked, scratched or rubbed by your cat.
- Wash your hands after handling your cat.
- Place a high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA air purifier in your home.
What cat breeds have a black coat color?
According to the Cat Fanciers Association, at least 22 cat breeds feature a solid black coat. These cat breeds are the following:
1. American Bobtail
This breed is said to be a cross between the Siamese and a short-tailed tabby. The distinct features of this breed are its elongated hind legs, and a tail that is less than one-third to one-half the length compared to a regular cat’s tail. Rumpies are Bobtails born with no tail. These cats are playful, friendly and energetic. They are easy to groom and their long or medium coats need to be brushed twice a week.
2. American Curl
The American Curl breed has distinctively curled-back ears. Their ears start to curl at around three weeks old and continue to form for the next four months before it settles to a permanent shape. These cats are outgoing, affectionate and get along well with kids. Their coats are easy to maintain and need to be groomed at least twice a week.
3. American Shorthair
This breed descended from European felines and was brought along on ships to guard property against rodents. They are quiet, versatile, sociable and adapt well in a home with kids and other pets. These cats have dense coats that need to be brushed at least weekly.
4. American Wirehair
This breed originated from upstate New York, USA and their distinctive looks are rounded ears and crimped inner fur. They have a relaxed, loving and sweet personality. Their fur requires almost no brushing except during springtime when they shed old fur.
This breed developed from a sable Burmese and American Shorthair cat. These cats are recognizable by their solid black coats and striking blue eyes. They are active, friendly, affectionate and get along well with children. Their coats are easy to maintain and need to be brushed weekly.
6. British Shorthair
This breed’s origin can be traced back to the Roman Empire. They are loving, calm, cuddly and love to be with their humans. Their coats are easy to maintain and should be brushed weekly.
7. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex cat breed has short, curly hair, prominent ears and wavy whiskers. These cats are active, curious, playful and adventurous. Their coats need to be groomed at least every other week.
8. Devon Rex
This breed originated from Devon, England and has distinctive pixie-like features. They are sociable, entertaining and clown-like. Their coats need special maintenance and should be bathed at least weekly.
9. Exotic Shorthair
This breed has a short and plush coat but with the features of an aristocratic Persian cat. These cats are famous for their teddy bear looks and shiny, dense coat. They are athletic, sensitive and fun-loving. Their coats need special maintenance and should be bathed and brushed regularly.
10. Japanese Bobtail
This breed is considered one of the oldest cat breeds. They are believed to bring good luck and prosperity to their owners. These cats are bold, vocal, alert and highly intelligent. They have undercoats and their fur needs to be brushed at least twice a week.
LaPerm cats have curly fur and the tightest curls are on the belly, throat and the base of the ears. They come in many colors and patterns. These cats are affectionate, clever and have a sense of humor. Their coats need to be brushed at least thrice a week to prevent mats and tangles.
12. Maine Coon
These gentle giants are famous for their mousing skills during the colonial years and they were used to guard homes, barns and ships against rodents. They have thick and water-repellent coats that are well-adapted to the severe climate of Maine. They are loving and curious, and their shaggy coats need weekly brushing to prevent tangles and mats.
The Manx breed is sociable and gregarious. They are attached to their humans, very intelligent, playful and have dog-like qualities. These cats have thick and dense coats that need to be groomed regularly.
14. Norwegian Forest
This breed is considered an ancient one and kept by their owners to guard ships and farms against rodents. These cats are athletic, mellow, people-loving and get along well with kids. They have long, double, water-resistant coats that need to be groomed at least twice a week.
Long and short-haired Oriental cats have almond-shaped eyes, large ears and descended from the Siamese breed. These cats are vocal, curious, lively and tend to bond with one family member. Their coats need to be brushed regularly.
This elegant breed is famous for its long and silky coat, snub nose, flat face and bright, golden eyes. Persian cats are sweet-tempered, docile and a good addition to quiet households. Their coats need daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles.
This breed is notable for its thick, rabbit-like fur and friendly personality. They are sweet, docile and like the company of children and other pets. These cats have semi-long to long coats that need to be brushed regularly to prevent the formation of mats and tangles.
18. Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold cat breed has large, wide eyes and forward-folding ears. These cats have an owl-like or teddy bear look and have either long or short hair. They are intelligent, adapt well to new places and tend to bond with one family member. Their coats are easy to maintain and need to be brushed at least twice a week.
19. Selkirk Rex
This breed is the result of crossbreeding Persian, Exotic and British Shorthair breeds. These cats have curly coats and are named after the Selkirk Mountains in Montana. They are sociable, devoted and playful. Their coats need special combing techniques so that the curls are not stretched out.
The Siberian cat breed is fascinated with running water and has thick, triple-layered, water-resistant coats. These cats are agile jumpers, friendly and smart. Their coats grow thicker in winter and they shed seasonally. They should be brushed weekly to prevent tangles and mats.
This hairless cat breed has distinctive wrinkly skin, but although it has no coat, it still sheds dander and produces allergens. Sphynx cats originated from Canada in the 1960s. They are inquisitive, good-natured and crave companionship. They need weekly sponge baths to remove sebaceous oils from their skin.
22. Turkish Angora
This ancient cat breed is graceful, entertaining, good at swimming, and has an extroverted personality. Their coats need weekly brushing and they should be bathed at least once a month.
Black cats have distinctive and striking looks that make them stand out. There are at least 22 cat breeds that feature a black coat color. These cats are not hypoallergenic, as there is no cat that is truly hypoallergenic and all of them produce Fel d 1 protein, the allergen that is responsible for cat allergies.
Image: istockphoto.com / Jozsef Zoltan Varga