Why Black Cats Don’t Get Adopted: 3 Sad & Shocking Reasons

why black cats don't get adopted

The question is often asked “why black cats don’t get adopted?” and a history of negativity associated with black cats is the main reason.

Black cats have been linked with witchcraft and superstition historically which to this day has an impact on adoption rates.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the bad reputation that black cats have…

Black Cats and Witches

The reputation of black cats is definitely tarnished and many including myself feel that this is unfair.

Spanning a wide portion of history black cats have been linked to witchcraft and superstition and for the most part, it has a negative connotation.

How did this reputation come about?

Looking back all the way to the 14th-century things were a lot different in the sense that black cats were held in extremely high regard.

In fact, they were worshiped and seen as gods.

Going into the middle ages, things started to change and the association with dark forces started to creep in.

As I’m sure you know, the domestic cat is a nocturnal animal, and coming out at night doesn’t do you the best of favors when it comes to reputation.

Our boy Coco 1
Our boy Coco 1

Being in touch with the natural world is commonplace in witchcraft and for this reason, witches would often keep a cat by their side.

With the nature of cats coming out at night, a link started to be formed suggesting that black cats were somehow assistants of witches.

At this point in history, black cats had an association with the devil and evil and were actually blamed for the spread of the Black Death.

In fact, black cats were helping to contain the illness as they were keeping the rat population down.

Unfortunately, people’s beliefs lead to the murder of black cats.

Witches were seen as a threat to the Christian Church and by the association to witches, the black cat reputation was in tatters.

The origins of people’s negative superstitions towards black cats can be directly traced back to this point in history.

why black cats don't get adopted

Black Cats and Superstition

As touched upon above, black cats have a long history of being linked to bad luck and dark forces.

Since medieval times, black cat cats have been tied in with all animals that have a very dark coat.

Crows, ravens, and the black cat have all been linked with death.

Looking back to Italy, during the 16th-century people believed that a death was near when a black cat was to lie down at the bedside of an ill person.

Fast forward to modern times, still to this day, some North Americans have a dim view of black cats.

A Black cat crossing your path in this part of the world is very much seen as bad luck.

Some believe that someone in the family will soon die if a black feline is seen nearby a funeral.

Some also believe that if a black cat walks away from you that this is a symbol of bad luck.

Black Cats and Halloween

There is a very long-lasting association with black cats and Halloween.

Sacrifices of black cats on October the 31st stretch back around 2,000 years.

Going back to the link with witches, during the Middle Ages people believed that black cats were actually witches in disguise!

It’s not hard to see how the link between black cats and Halloween was made.

Witches were burned at the stake in many parts of Europe and black cats were often burnt at the same time.

Why Black Cats Don’t Get Adopted – My Thoughts

Jeeeez, that makes for a depressing read and it breaks my heart to hear of the pain and misery that can be caused due to people’s beliefs.

To end this blog post on more of a positive note, it does appear that people’s perceptions of black cats are starting to shift.

The superstitions are dying out with the past generations that were perpetuating them.

A greater awareness of the need to love and take better care of black cats is taking place.

Some are reporting that black cat adoption is way up in their part of the world.

It seems that in some places, a lot of progress is being made but in others, a lot of work is still to be done.

So what is the reason why black cats don’t get adopted? It’s complicated, deep-rooted but it looks like things are changing…

I’ve written another blog post going more in-depth into the superstition surrounding black cats that you can read here.

Also have you liked the My Mini Panther Facebook page?

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Lee Harris

I'm a Brit living in the sunny Canary Islands with my beautiful wife and my wonderful black cat called Coco. I love to blog, build businesses, look after my body, and enjoy nature...
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