Are Black Cats Really Bad Luck?

Pet a black cat for a second and you’ll create a lifelong buddy. However, these black, gorgeous, and sociable felines have weathered the stigma of cultural and historical myths, superstitions, and legends that have made them either loved or feared throughout the years.

Due to persisting stereotypes, shelter staff may observe a bias against black cats. You might be shocked to hear that, despite the bad tales about black cats, there are also favorable views about them. You could even consider it auspicious if one of these majestic beasts crosses your way at any time of day or night.

Introduction to Black Cats

Different cultures have different reasoning of black cats and their associated superstitions.

Black cat superstition in Western culture extends back to Ancient Greece. According to Greek mythology, Zeus’s wife Hera once changed her servant, Galinthias, into a black cat as punishment for hindering the birth of Hercules. Galinthias went on to become an aide to Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, and black cats have had distinct significance in numerous civilizations ever since.

Meanwhile, in India, it is seen to be a negative omen because the color black is often connected with Lord Shani. According to astrology, Lord Shani may be attempting to warn you not to go outside. or that the work will be postponed. It is stated that if a black cat crosses your path, you should avoid following it. It is also thought that you should let someone else go first. You can hold bad luck at bay in this manner, and the first person will suffer as a result.

Associated Superstitions

A lot of superstitions surround black cats originating in different parts of the world at different times. In some cultures, they are considered bad/evil and some they are considered bearers of good fortune. Here are some of the superstitions surrounding our cutest little munchkins:

1. Black Cats are disguised, witches.

If you become scared when you encounter a black cat, it’s probably because of medieval mythology, which still shrouds the reputation of these dignified felines. Witches and witchcraft have long been connected with black cats. The legend arose when a black cat was observed racing inside a house said to be haunted by a witch. Dark cats were associated with black magic throughout the Middle Ages. Roaming nocturnal black cats were considered to be witches in disguise, witches’ pets or witches’ demons dispatched to spy on humanity. From the early 13th century in Europe until the 17th-century Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts, black cats were executed alongside witches. Black cats have grown into symbols of witchcraft, particularly during the Halloween season.

2. Black Cats Are Unlucky.

A black cat is also connected with death and ill luck. This dread of black cats appears to have originated in medieval times when an animal with dark feathers or hair, such as a crow or raven, meant death. If a black cat rested on someone’s sickbed in 16th-century Italy, it was thought that death was impending. In modern-day North America, black cats are still associated with bad luck: it’s considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your route, and good luck if a white cat crosses your path. If you see a black cat during a funeral procession, it could mean another family member will perish. A black cat going away from you is also a negative sign.

3. You Should Not Get a Black Cat.

In shelters around the United States, black cats have among the lowest adoption rates and the highest euthanasia rates. It’s also more difficult to find adopters since rescues and shelters frequently post images of their available cats online, and black cats are more difficult to shoot than lighter-coated cats. Potential adopters have been known to regard black pets as less sociable than lighter-coated pets based only on image. Some shelters even avoid adopting black cats entirely in October, fearing that they may be used as Halloween props.

4. Black Cats Bring Good Fortune.

Black cats are also said to bring good luck in a variety of ways. Black cats were revered in ancient Egypt because they resembled Bastet, the cat-headed Egyptian goddess of the home, fertility, and illness prevention. Black cats are also regarded as lucky in various regions of the world.

  • If you possess a black cat, you will be lucky in life in Asia and the United Kingdom.

  • If you see a black cat, you’ll have luck finding love in Japan.

  • A bride will have good luck in her marriage if she receives a black cat as a present in some regions of England.

  • Sailors in Europe will enjoy a safe trip if they have a black cat on board.

  • If a black cat comes to your doorstep or on your porch in Scotland, you will be prosperous.

  • If you encounter a black cat in France, something fantastic is going to happen.

  • If you dream about a black cat, see one approaching you, or locate a stray white hair on its glistening ebony fur, it’s a symbol of good luck in different civilizations throughout the world.

The Court of Public Opinion

Over the last decade, black cats have been part in a number of study initiatives, including one conducted this autumn by ACANA Pet Food and market research firm OnePoll.

The firms performed a poll of around 2,000 American cat owners and discovered:

  • 41% of respondents believe that black cats bring good luck.

  • 21% of those polled believe black cats bring ill luck.

  • 30% believe black cats do not bring good luck.

  • 8% are unsure about how they feel.

Research regarding cat coat colors and perceptions headed by Robert Carini, associate professor of sociology at the University of Louisville, was peer-reviewed and published in September 2020.

According to him, the team investigated coat color and its relationship to adoptions, transfers, and euthanasia. Although the numbers were small, cats with black coats had some of the worst outcomes, he noted.

“They didn’t have a substantially better chance,” he added, but “there is still a statistically discernible, larger fraction of them being killed rather than adopted or moved, which includes fostering.”


With all this being said and done, let us all remember that these are living beings as well and we should treat them with the love and respect they deserve. Regardless of the superstitions, let us be kind and helpful to these bundles of joy.

Happy Mood and Health to your Cat and lots of Love and Licks to you!


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