Thursday, August 17, 2017

Black Cat Appreciation Day



Every year on Black Cat Appreciation Day, people are faced with the erroneous "fact" that black cats are overlooked in shelters and that they are less likely to be adopted when they are in shelters. I accepted this 'fact' for years but yet never really saw it in practice in my local shelter. I would have whole bunches of black kittens that would be snatched right up on adoption day.


Then I stumbled upon an article that actually turned that myth on its ear. Dr. Emily Weiss did a study to find out if black cats really were not being adopted. She looked at the data from the ASPCA's A Comprehensive Animal Risk Database, which pulled numbers from 14 communities and nearly 300,000 dogs and cats. She wondered if it could be that there are simply more black dogs and cats entering the system, making it appear that they are more at risk? A quote from her blog post: "Let’s say 4 black dogs and 1 white dog enter the shelter, and the next day 1 white dog and 1 black dog are adopted—that leaves just 3 black dogs in kennels, shifting a perception of risk. However, the same number of black and white dogs were adopted!"

Her post has some wonderful charts looking at the actual data of intakes and adoptions and those figures appear to support her theory. You can read a few more stories on this phenomenon at VetStreet.comNYMag.com, and OregonLive.com.


I recognize that a lot of people have superstitions about black cats that harken back to the dark ages, but people who subscribe to that generally aren't adopting cats anyway. Personally, I swore to never adopt another black cat after adopting Ollie because taking photos of him was so hard. Fortunately, my photography skills increased quite a deal since 2010, and I now look forward to the challenge of adopting black kitties.


I do not want to diminish the need to adopt black cats and I am all for any adoption promotions that make use of Black Cat Appreciation Day,  I just think we need to not fall prey to myth and misinformation when it comes to kitties.


I learned from A Tonk's Tail that black cats are genetically prone to be more friendly. She quoted what Dr. Temple Grandin wrote in her book "Animals Make Us Human": "black cats are friendlier than other cats, are better able to deal with crowding and urban life, and have greater aggregative tendencies" and "black cats are more social overall, whether it’s with other cats or with humans."

This may, or may not, be your experiences with black cats, but regardless of our personal feelings on coat colors, all cats deserve appreciation - but today is the day we stop to appreciate the black ones.



15 comments:

  1. I've always preffered black animals, they are so elegant! I have 3 black cats and 1 black dog and I adore them.

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  2. My human's parents were serial black cat owners! My human has only had one, but only because it just worked out that way. I just want every cat to find homes.

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  3. That study sounds very interesting and makes total sense. I will have to read up on it.

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  4. This is so interesting! I'm glad to read black kitties are being loved and adopted. And I loved the pictures of all the stunning black kitties, especially the ladycat with the crown. :)

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  5. Mo is definitely the most outgoing cat here. They are hard to photograph...we get lots of ink spots. :) It is interesting about the study. I wonder if the birth rate of black animals is just higher making them more likely to show up in greater numbers in shelters....

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  6. Interesting results from the study! I'm just happy when any kitties find homes :-)

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  7. I've never understood why anyone chooses a cat based on color. They are all beautiful.

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  8. Great post! I love ALL cats, and although black cats may be harder to photograph, that just means I need to sharpen my photography skills! I hope to have a black cat in my life forever; right now we've got Chuck and Sweetie. Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day!

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  9. I'm with Summer. I want all the kitties to be adopted.

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  10. They are definitely gorgeous. And we learned something new today. We always thought the myth was real.

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  11. We love black cats here. Happy Black Cat Day!

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  12. Black Cats have super catitude.

    Emma and Buster

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  13. We're big black cat fans here. Of course, we may be just a leeetle biased because of our housepanthers, Gracie and Zoe.

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  14. I've also run across info dispelling the myth that black cats are adopted at lower rates. But I don't doubt that black cats do face the hardship of having to overcome superstitious people and people who want a photogenic cat/kitten with cute markings. It's just like the people who won't consider adopting an animal with any type of physical difference or health problem. When I was volunteering at our shelter, I vividly recall one woman who wouldn't even consider adopting a super-sweet cat who had its tail amputated. Who knows, maybe she had a thing for tails. Anyway, we're not all that keen on black cat appreciation day because we believe all cats, regardless of color, deserve a great home.

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  15. I'm dark grey, does that count?
    Black cats rule...

    Noodle and crew

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