black cats, bad rap
Black Cats are Overlooked in Shelters
As Halloween approaches, it reminds us of spiders, bats, pumpkins and black cats- the animals who get a bad rap, and have even worse adoption rates!
Millions of cats enter animal shelters nationwide every year because of the pet overpopulation crisis, of which are euthanized at alarming rates. Unfortunately a large percentage of these animals are black. Why?
Somewhere during the Middle Ages, Europeans began associating black cats with witchcraft. The elderly, solitary women who often fed and cared for stray cats were often misidentified as witches- and cats as their conspirators. Since, black cats are featured in spooky stories and horror tales, often depicted as bad luck. This negative stereotype certainly doesn't help their adoption rates, but like black dogs, black cats are often overlooked simply based upon the way they look.
Are black cats any different?
At some point during their evolution, a genetic mutation caused the ordinary patterned/tabby fur seen in many cats not to be expressed- making black cats a solid color. Many black cats also have golden eyes, a result of high melanin pigment content in their bodies. Unlike calico cats, who are only females, black cats can be either sex, but more are found to be male than female.
These dark felines are beautiful, just like their orange, white and tabby friends, and shouldn't be condemned to a longer wait time in shelters and higher euthanasia rates just because of the way they look.
To help counter the cliché which hurts their adoption rates, rescue organizations often offer discounts or hold adoption events specifically to find homes for their black animals, and photographers have dedicated special projects to showcase the beauty of these dreamy creatures. But we can do more.
How you can help black cats.
Advocate for black cats to others. Share their plight, and encourage others to consider giving a black cat a loving home. Always spay and neuter your animals, ensuring they're not contributing to the pet-overpopulation crisis.
Consider fostering black kittens or a black cat through the busy season to help with space at the shelter. Each open cage can be filled with another- fostering saves lives!
Photos feature Perseus and Orion, fostered by Carly Sutherland and Carrots&Carlos. Adoptable in North Carolina, contact us for information on adopting these boys!