Black cats have long been known as an iconic Halloween symbol. This is not just because of their dark coats, but also their centuries-old association with witchcraft and Satan. They were even believed by some to be witches who had been transformed into cats. Unfortunately, this superstitious belief has resulted in mass killings of these ebony felines in the past – and even of their beloved owners.
Although the spooky stories and myths about black cats have diminished in the modern era, superstition still has an impact on these adorable felines, even today. Due to their black color, many people believe that they bring negativity and bad luck. Others even associate their black coats with aggression and other bad behavior.
On the contrary, if you are thinking of adopting a black cat, there is no need for superstition. In fact, these pets can be just as loving and affectionate as cats of any other color, provided they are loved and well cared for.
So, let us debunk this myth and prove how loving and affectionate these fur babies actually are.
Black cats and witches – a short history
For centuries, black cats have suffered a reputation for bringing bad luck. These felines are often perceived as evil omens due to their historical connection with witches and Satan back in medieval Europe. During this time, early Christians considered any women who did not follow their doctrines to be witches and a threat to Christianity. According to history, a vast number of these early pagan practitioners were persecuted, tortured, and killed.
At the same time, religions began to view black cats as witches’ supernatural helpers, since these creatures used to roam at night, under cover of darkness. For many years people also believed that witches could transform themselves into cats nine times, hence the myth about cats having nine lives.
Centuries later, this superstitious story has lost support. Unfortunately, however, the connection between black cats and broomstick-riding witches remains, and the two are an iconic Halloween pair. It is perhaps inevitable, then, that many people still associate black cats with demonic symbols and bad luck.
Despite their bad reputation, our black feline friends are no different from other cats. They share quirks and personality traits that are also common to other colors of their species. As a cat lover, it is important to know these traits, and that the color of the cat does not influence his character or the fate of his human in general.
Pawsitive black cat traits
Aside from their negative past and somewhat mysterious appearance, you might be wondering what makes black cats special. Some of their amazing traits are summarized below:
1. They have beautiful black coats
Despite the negativity associated with the color black in many religions, this beautiful color also symbolizes elegance, infinity, and sophistication. Hence, you should definitely cut the superstitious beliefs associated with the cat’s black coat. Besides, black goes perfectly with everything!
2. They are loyal to their owners
Although black cats may appear mysterious and antisocial, they turn out to be extremely loyal to their human family. They are just as likely to meow, purr, and follow you around as their other-colored brethren. If you shower them with lots of love and affection, they will likely reciprocate and return the love ten-fold.
3. They are resistant to diseases
Experts have discovered that the genes responsible for a black cat’s color also make him disease-resistant. In fact, the effects of this genetic mutation can combat several feline diseases that commonly affect various breeds of cats. The same mutation is being studied by researchers and is hoped to protect humans from HIV and other diseases.
4. They are affectionate and playful
Despite being seen as diabolical or devilish for many years, black cats tend to be very affectionate and friendly. These amazing fur babies can easily develop a close relationship with their human caretakers, and, like most other cats, they love cuddling in bed with their owners and reciprocating the affection they receive.
Black cats can also be playful and enjoy the company of their humans. Since their predatory instinct is hard-wired in their brains, it is difficult for them to resist small moving creatures or the sounds of birds. And, like most felines, black cats also enjoy playing with interactive toys to satisfy their natural desire to hunt.
It is important to know that every cat is different, regardless of their coat color. Some cats can be introverts, while others are sociable and friendly. They can also be calm, mischievous, dominant, or aggressive. Perhaps the biggest influence on these traits is not the coat color, but the breed of the cat and how it was raised.
How black cats show their affection
Black cats have many ways of showing affection, and these gestures are common in the cat world – meaning that black cats are no different from others when expressing their love.
Have you noticed your cat emitting a murmuring or rumbling sound when he is around you? That means that he is happy and feels secure with his special human. A happy and contented kitty purrs when he receives cuddles and love from his owner.
2. Head bunting
Bunting is one of the many unique forms of body language that cats use to express love for their humans. It is also a way for them to mix their scent with yours, so they tend to do this to let other cats know that you are their human.
Kneading is first learned by a kitten when he wants to induce milk production in his mother’s breasts. As he grows to adulthood, the behavior may continue, but becomes a way to express general happiness and contentment.
4. Gifting prey
It might seem odd and a bit disgusting to receive a dead mouse or bird at your bedside in the morning, but this gesture is a sign of feline love. They might look fluffy and adorable, but cats’ hunting instinct is still deeply ingrained. And, when they find an amazing catch, these tiny carnivores are only too happy to share their prize with the people they love most.
5. Staring and slowly blinking
A cat’s eyes are extremely vulnerable, so, if they stare and blink at you, it means they are expressing trust. Most cat owners believe a slow eye blink to be the equivalent of a cat kiss.
Cats love grooming each other when they have established a strong bond or friendship, and this gesture of love may also be extended to their favorite humans. Expect your furry friend to lick your skin or suck on your clothing while he is bonding with you – this simply means that you are an important person in his life.
Are black cats aggressive?
Due to the color of their coats, black cats have earned an unfair reputation for being aggressive. Contrary to this common belief, black cats are actually calmer and more approachable than many other-colored cats. The time has come to break this stereotype because, in reality, aggression is often most influenced by a cat’s traumatic past.
The next time you see an aggressive black cat, know that his behavior has nothing to do with his color. In fact, any cat might display aggressive tendencies if deprived of love and affection.
Wrapping it up
Despite their spooky history, black cats can be as loving and affectionate as cats of any other color. Shower them with love and care, and these adorable creatures are sure to reciprocate.
The next time you encounter one of these dark beauties, hopefully you will not judge them by the color of their fur. You may even consider adopting one from your local shelter, since black cats are less likely to be adopted than cats of other colors. Like any other cat, a black cat is sure to bring joy to your life as you find great companionship in a special furry friend.
Image: istockphoto.com / bennymarty