Jennifer Wilber is a life-long animal lover. She currently has two black cats and has had many dogs and small pets throughout her life.
What Is Black Cat Appreciation Day?
Since 2011, cat lovers around the world have celebrated Black Cat Appreciation Day on August 17th. It is a day to celebrate and appreciate the black cats in your life. If you don’t already have a black-furred feline friend but have been thinking about adopting one, Black Cat Appreciation Day is an excellent day to visit shelters; many animal shelters, including the ASPCA, run adoption specials for black cats on this day.
How Did Black Cat Appreciation Day Begin?
This holiday was created by a man named Wayne H. Morris, in honor of his late sister, June, who passed away at age 33, a few years before the first official Black Cat Appreciation Day. This date was chosen in memorial of June’s passing. June deeply loved her own black cat, Sinbad, who lived to be 20 years old. Sadly, Sinbad was reunited with June two months after her passing.
Wayne Morris declared August 17th to be Black Cat Appreciation Day. This day symbolizes the bond between cat lovers and their black cat companions, and is a day to appreciate the black cats in your life.
Wayne Morris works to spread awareness for black cats online via social media. He also volunteers at the animal rescue shelter Rikki’s Refuge in Orange, Virginia. Rikki’s Refuge is a division of Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc., a nonprofit corporation.
Why Do They Need Their Own Special Day?
Black cats are often the least adopted and most overlooked cats in animal shelters, resulting in many of these wonderful animals being euthanized when they can’t find a loving home. Because they are less likely to be adopted from shelters, they need a special holiday in their honor to bring awareness to this issue, and to encourage people to adopt these amazing animals.
Black cats are often misunderstood and overlooked because of their coat color. There are several reasons why people looking to adopt a cat are less likely to adopt black cats.
- They have long been associated with bad luck, misfortune, and witchcraft. Even in our modern times, there are still people who believe these silly superstitions. You would be surprised to learn how many people still believe that black cats bring bad luck or cause misfortune to anyone who crosses their path. Many religious people also fear them because of their association with witchcraft. These superstitions are not only silly and untrue but are also harmful to beautiful black cats who are in search of forever homes.
- Another reason why people may be less inclined to want to adopt a black cat is that they consider dark solid coats to be “boring,” and prefer a flashier tabby, calico, or other uniquely-marked cat. This is an unfair assessment, as black cats are beautiful creatures with luxurious black coats. They look like majestic miniature black panthers roaming around your home, and are just as beautiful and charming as any other cat. Besides, black matches almost anything, so you will always look fashionable next to your black cat friend.
- In our social media-obsessed world, some people also shy away from adopting black cats because they believe that they don’t show up as well in pictures. Many people today want pets that they feel they can show off on the internet. Black cats can be just as photogenic as any other cat. With the proper lighting, background, and photography technique, your cat will look stunning on your Instagram feed!
- Many prospective pet owners use the internet to find their new furry friends, so they are likely to overlook animals that are not photographed well. Because black cats are a bit harder to photograph than pets with lighter coat colors, they may be overlooked by prospective owners browsing online adoptable pet listings. It is important for shelters to photograph the adoptable pets in their best light to help them to find their forever homes.
What Makes Black Cats So Special?
Black cats are beautiful creatures than make a wonderful addition to any home. In some countries, including England, Scotland, and Japan, they are considered good luck:
- In Japan, it is believed that a single woman who owns a black cat will have many suitors.
- In England, they are commonly thought to bring good luck to anyone who crosses their path.
- In Scotland, it is said that a strange black cat arriving at your home will bring good fortune and prosperity.
Black cats also look like tiny panthers. The all-black breed, Bombay cats, were originally bred specifically to resemble panthers. These cats are also known as “parlor panthers.” Even randomly-bred domestic shorthairs with black coats resemble miniature panthers. Who wouldn’t want a small black panther for a house pet?
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Many cat owners agree that their black cats are often the most affectionate and playful cats they’ve ever had. They are known for their unique personalities and cuddly dispositions. If you want a cuddly lap cat or a playful kitty who’s always up to amusing antics, look no further than a black cat.
Some researchers also claim that black cats are more resistant to disease. There is some research to suggest that at least two genes associated with melanism may also help them resist certain diseases.
What Can You Do to Celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day?
There are a number of ways to celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day. The most obvious thing to do to celebrate this holiday is to shower your black cat with extra love and affection. Give them extra treats and pets today. You may wish to get him or her a special gift—perhaps a new catnip toy, or a simple cardboard box.
If you don’t have a black cat in your life yet, this holiday is a great time to adopt a new furry friend. Some animal shelters even run adoption specials on August 17th for Black Cat Appreciation Day.
You can also post on social media to tell your friends and followers about Black Cat Appreciation Day to help spread awareness for these fabulous felines. Though black cats get some bad press, they are wonderful pets who deserve loving homes just as much as cats with other coat colors.
© 2018 Jennifer Wilber
Jennifer Wilber (author) from Cleveland, Ohio on July 20, 2018:
I think black cats are the best cats, though I may be biased (I have two black cats).
K S Lane from Melbourne, Australia on July 18, 2018:
I didn't realise there was a 'black cat appreciation day!' I'll need to get my fur baby (who's a gorgeous black cat) a special treat! Really sad to hear that black cats are less likely to be adopted- they're so incredibly loveable!