Why Are There So Many BLACK CATS in Shelters?

If you’ve ever visited a shelter, you may have noticed a disproportionate amount of black cats.

But why are there so many black cats in shelters?

Many people believe that black cats are unlucky and this superstition is one of the reasons they end up in shelters. More colorful cats are also often chosen over plain black.

In this post, we’re going to learn more about why there are so many black cats in shelters and how you can help change this trend.

Why Are Black Cats Less Likely to Be Adopted?

Believe it or not, there are still those who are superstitious about black cats.
Due to superstition, black cats are often surrendered to or overlooked by adopters at animal shelters.


There are quite a few myths and superstitions surrounding black cats.

Black cats are believed to be unlucky. As a result, black cats are often the last to be adopted from shelters.

However, this belief is just that – a belief – and black cats make just as loving and loyal pets as any other cat color.

According to a study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, black cats are 3 times less likely to be adopted than cats of other colors.

Additionally, black cats are more likely to be euthanized than their lighter-colored counterparts.

Read More: Can Animal Shelters Refuse Animals? Shelters may refuse to take an animal in. Here are the reasons why.

They Don’t Stand Out

Black cats are often overlooked in shelters because they don’t stand out as much as other cats.

With so many cats in shelters, potential adopters often look for a cat that catches their eye or has a unique pattern or color combination.

Whatever the reason, the overrepresentation of black cats in shelters is a severe problem that needs to be addressed.

Read More: Why Are There So Many German Shepherds in Shelters? See why these popular dogs often end up in shelters.

Why Adopt a Black Cat?

There are several benefits to owning a black cat:

  • You’ll give them a forever home and help to reduce the population in shelters.
  • Black cats are low maintenance. Their fur doesn’t show dirt as quickly as lighter-colored cats.
  • Black cats make great companions. They are often very affectionate and loyal and have a mysterious air that many people find intriguing.

If you’re looking for a new feline friend, consider adopting a black cat. You won’t regret it!

Read More: How Do Non Profit Animal Shelters Make Money? Follow the money trail of shelters to see what goes into caring for homeless animals.

Tips for Adopting a Black Cat

Go into adoption prepared with all the knowledge you need to own a cat
If you’re new to cat ownership, you’ll want to do your research on care, veterinary costs, and other needs.

Here are some tips for adopting a black cat from a shelter:

Do Your Research

Know what you’re getting into before you head to the shelter.

Understand all of the costs of adopting and owning a cat, as well as its dietary, health, and other needs.

Visit Multiple Shelters

Visit a variety of shelters to increase your chances of finding the perfect black cat for your home.

Read More: How Long Does it Take a Rescue Dog to Adjust? See the factors that affect time and how you can help your new pet.

Talk To The Staff

The shelter staff are experts on animal behavior and can help you find a black cat that is right for you.

Talking to the staff gives you the opportunity to ask questions about temperament, health, age, background, and more.

Don’t Be Discouraged

Even if you don’t find the perfect cat immediately, keep looking. There are plenty of amazing black cats out there waiting to be adopted!

Read More: Why Are There So Many Chihuahuas in Shelters? These little dogs are a common sight in shelters. Here’s why.

Caring for Cats

Give your cat plenty of care and attention.
While cats are generally low maintenance, they still require some engagement through play.

If you’re willing to open your heart and home to a black cat, there are a few things you need to do to make sure they thrive:

  • Create a safe space to hide if they feel scared or overwhelmed. Cats can be easily frightened by loud noises or sudden movements.
  • Give them plenty of time to adjust to their new home and get comfortable with you and your family.
  • Consider getting two black cats so they can keep each other company.

Another essential consideration is nutrition. To avoid health problems like diabetes or obesity, feed them a healthy diet.

Ask your vet for recommendations on the best food for your black cat.

Finally, don’t forget about exercise!

Black cats need plenty of play time to stay healthy and happy.

A scratching post is also a good idea to help keep their claws healthy and prevent them from damaging your furniture.

If you need any more reasons to adopt a black cat, watch this video:

Read More: Why Are There So Many Huskies in Shelters? These rambunctious dogs often end up in shelters. Learn more.


Black cats may have a more challenging time getting adopted from shelters because of the negative associations people have with them.

However, by changing these perceptions and promoting black cats as unique and extraordinary animals, we can help reduce the number of black cats euthanized annually.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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