What is This Ridiculous Stigma Surrounding Black Cats?


What is this ridiculous stigma surrounding black cats? Even today, as silly as it sounds, black cats are associated with superstitions, black magic, and Pagan holidays. Black cats’ undeserved bad rep leaves them with the lowest adoption rates (and, sadly, the highest euthanasia rates) in shelters all across the country.

Well, it’s time to squash the stigma – once and for all! 

So, why are black cats considered bad luck?

black cat

True cat lovers will agree that all cats are lovely – regardless of the color of their fur! But, we’ve all heard the superstition that black cats bring bad luck to those whose paths they cross. Where on earth did that silly idea come from? Black cats weren’t always considered bad luck. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages, when people began fearing witchcraft, that black cats fell out of favor.

Old English folklore held that witches could shape shift into black cats and roam the nights, spying on people and wreaking havoc. That belief crossed the seas with the American settlers and was firmly-held during the Salem witch hunts. Early American settlers viewed the black cat as a companion to witches. Anyone caught with a black cat would be severely punished or even killed. They viewed the black cat as part demon and part sorcery. Even today, the association between witches and black cats can be seen at Halloween in many of the decorations sold in stores everywhere.

Black cat with witches hat.

And, though logic would tell us the idea that black cats being unlucky is a completely absurd notion, black cats are the least likely to get adopted from a shelter and hold the highest euthanasia rate – a likely side-effect of this silly superstition.

Black cats aren’t always viewed as unlucky, though. The supernatural powers ascribed to black cats were sometimes viewed positively. For example, sailors considering a “ship’s cat” would want a black one because it would bring good luck.

Black Cat sitting and looking at the camera, isolated

Let’s go back a few centuries, to the Egyptian times of 3000 BC, when black cats were actually held in the highest esteem and to harm one was considered a capital crime!

In the United Kingdom if a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.

If you have the love of a black cat, we think you’re the lucky one! There are countless reasons to bring home a black cat – but what’s the most important one? Black cats are still least likely to be adopted, and they need people like you to give them a chance!

Hopefully, with an increase of awareness, this trend will soon be a thing of the past. Why not visit your local animal shelter and add a black furry friend to your family?



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