The Myth of the Black Cat
Handsome and affectionate Amadeus is as nice a cat as you’ll ever meet. Anyone would be lucky to adopt him. Why then is Amadeus one of the cats who have been in our shelter the longest?
Perhaps it’s because of his color. Amadeus is an all-black cat. In case you think I’m making this up, you should know that a research study in the academically rigorous Journal of Applied Animal Welfare noted that black cats are much less likely to be adopted than other cats. Three times less likely, in fact, than white cats.
The reason? The study doesn’t include that, but two theories are prominent. One holds that the old superstition about black cats bringing bad luck is not as dead as it should be. The other theory posits that black cats are less noticeable, and their photographs (like on a shelter’s Web site) do not show their features as clearly as other cats’ pictures do. (For the record, black dogs have the same problem.)
That’s why at the League we try to give our black cats a little extra attention to make up for their adoption handicap. In Amadeus’s case, our behavior and training team taught him to sit and fetch on command.
Now that Halloween is upon us, we’d like to offer all of our black kittens an extra advantage in the hopes that they can find a home by the 31st, a day that is partially dedicated to them. It’s our attempt to turn the old bad-luck myth upside down.
Between now and the end of the month, we’re cutting the adoption fees on black kittens by half. So any cat who has any black fur whatsoever can be adopted for $25. That’s a total of 39 cats, three-quarters of all the felines we have. There is never an adoption fee for adult cats (over a year), so technically this only applies to kittens.
Help us overcome a harmful myth: adopt a black cat this week. You can even adopt Amadeus on Halloween and treat yourself to a cat who does tricks! That’s a treat in itself.