Halloween often reminds us of spiders, bats, and black cats. October is their time to shine—and rightfully so! They are unique animals. But unfortunately, black cats get a bad rap, and they have even worse adoption rates.
Three to 4 million cats enter animal shelters each year. Some go to loving homes, but because of the animal-overpopulation crisis, nearly 71 percent of them are euthanized (put to sleep)—the majority of which are black cats. Why?
For centuries, black cats have been associated with bad luck and witchcraft. They have long been at the center of spooky stories and mystic folklore and are known as being a witch’s BFF. This negative stereotype is one explanation—but one study suggests that even when people don’t think about black cats negatively, they still have a tendency to walk right past them at shelters.
Black cats are two-thirds less likely to get adopted than white cats and only half as likely to be adopted as tabby cats. Could it be that an aesthetic spell has bewitched us humans? Several studies have shown the staggering preference people have for patterned and white cats. For whatever reason, a solid black coat isn’t seen as more appealing or doesn’t stand out to adopters.
At some point, a genetic mutation caused the typical patterned fur seen in many cats not to be expressed, making black cats all one color. But we think black cats are beautiful—and this cool trait shouldn’t condemn them to spending 40 percent more time in shelters than their white or orange friends!
Help make this Halloween magical for black cats!
- Tell your friends and family about black cats’ plight and remind them that they’re just as lovable and loving as colorful cats. It’s also important to remember that they are not props and should not be adopted just for Halloween. Companion animals are a lifelong commitment and should be treated like a member of your family.
- ALL cats should always be kept indoors, especially around Halloween, when many pranksters go on the prowl for roaming kitties.
- Last but not least, always be sure to spay or neuter your animal companions to make sure that they aren’t contributing to the animal-overpopulation crisis. There simply aren’t enough good homes for all the animals waiting in shelters.