While pet ownership in the UK shows no signs of slowing, one particular group of charming felines are frequently overlooked.
Despite their undeniable charm and affection, the RSPCA in Kent recently confirmed that black cats take double the amount of time to find their forever home than their grey or tabby counterparts.
With many theories, myths, and centuries-old superstitions, we look to debunk the most popular misconceptions of lovable black cats ahead of Black Cat Appreciation Day. So are black cats bad luck? Let’s find out!
Why are black cats considered bad luck?
Black cats being “unlucky” is a widespread misconception derived from many historic medieval superstitions. For instance, black cats in some cultures centuries ago in medieval Europe were linked to witches and dark magic. As ridiculous as this now sounds today, some cultural superstitions may have unfortunately stuck today.
Of course, today, we know that the only magic oh-so-lovely black cats possess is to make us fall in love with them. This article will review some of the most bizarre black cat myths, folklore, and superstitions, all of which we can safely say are well and truly debunked!
Seeing a black cat is bad luck
In certain cultures seeing a black cat cross your path, believe it or not, is still considered unlucky by some. The belief is that this could bring bad luck or misfortune if a black cat crosses your path from left to right.
Unfortunately for our adorable black feline friends, it is believed that this superstition may have also wrongly contributed to the negative perception of black cats.
Below are some further black cat myths and superstitions we can easily debunk!
Witchcraft and magic
Black cats have often been wrongly associated with witches and magic, falsely believing they were involved in dark rituals or possessed supernatural powers.
The link between black cats and witchcraft has historical roots that date back to ancient Pagan beliefs. In many ancient cultures, as wild as it sounds now, black cats were thought to possess supernatural powers and have connections to the spirit world.
Halloween and the supernatural
Black cats are sometimes associated with Halloween and the supernatural, adding to their mysterious aura and reinforcing the belief that they’re somehow connected to spooky occurrences.
In case you missed it, there is even a famous photo of black cats doing the rounds on social media, waiting to be auditioned for the role in Edgar Allen Poe’s 1843 short story The Black Cat. Of course, just like the story, the myth that black cats are supernatural is pure fiction.
Sadly, a lingering myth suggests that adopting a black cat could bring bad luck into a household, discouraging potential adopters from giving these wonderful companions a loving forever home.
Why not bust this myth yourself by taking the first step to adoption by looking at some of the black cats looking for homes across the UK you won’t regret it!
Black cats are wrongly sometimes thought to have more aggressive or unpredictable personalities when, in reality, many colleagues here at Perfect Pet can testify first-hand that black cats make sweet loving furry family members.
Black cats are not photogenic
While we have explored centuries-old medieval folklore, this current myth belongs in the 21st century. With the rise of social media, some people believe that black cats are not ‘Instagrammable’, which is sadly also believed to be one of the reasons they are overlooked at many rehoming centres.
This is another common misconception, as black cats can be captured beautifully in their surroundings with the proper lighting and the right angles. Still not convinced? Ask any professional photographer or black cat lover!
Are black cats lucky?
If history taught us anything, black cats were not always unlucky. In fact, the ancient Egyptians considered black cats to be lucky and a symbol of protection and good fortune.
During this time, black cats were associated with the goddess Bastet (also spelt Bast), the goddess of home, fertility, domesticity, and the protector of the home!
In Italian culture, black cats are considered lucky, particularly for newlyweds. Seeing a black cat on your wedding day is a positive sign of a prosperous and happy marriage.
In Scottish lore, a black cat appearing on your porch is thought to bring prosperity. They are also associated with the arrival of guests and good weather!
Finally, in Japanese folklore, black cats symbolise good luck and prosperity. A black cat crossing your path is believed to bring positive outcomes, and owning a black cat is thought to attract good fortune.
It’s crucial to recognise that these myths are mere superstitions and misconceptions. Black cats are lovely, affectionate, and deserving of the same love and care as cats of any other colour. Let’s appreciate these charming companions for their individuality rather than some baseless beliefs.
Of course, today, we know that black cats, like any cat, make fantastic loving companions. Many black cat myths today belong precisely where they originated from in the past!