The Absurd Reason Why People Won’t Adopt Black Cats

Felines are a traditionally misunderstood lot, but no one gets it worse than black cats.

The poor little furballs are much less likely to find forever homes because of superstitions that won’t die, including claims that black cats are bad luck or agents of the devil.

While today is National Black Cat Day, many shelters across the US won’t adopt black cats out around Halloween, and sometimes for the entire month of October. The temporary moratorium is for the safety of black cats, who are much likely to be abducted, abused, killed or ritually sacrificed this time of year, according to animal welfare groups.

As if black cats didn’t have it bad enough, the age of social media has given people another reason to avoid black cats, this time for the most vapid of reasons: They supposedly don’t look good in selfies and Instagram shots.

Handsome Black Cat

Christine Bayka, who founded a rescue shelter more than two decades ago, tells the Telegraph that potential adoptees admit they’re passing on black cats for that reason.

“It happens all the time, I will go through all the questions and say ‘are you flexible about colour?'” Bayka said. “Then they will say, ‘Yes, as long as it’s not black.'”

As usual the fault lies with humans, not cats: If you can’t take a decent shot of a black cat it’s because you don’t know how to use your camera, not because the cat is impossible to photograph properly. After all, we never hear of nature photographers passing up opportunities to snap melanistic jaguars because it’s too difficult.

Black Jaguar
A melanistic jaguar.

But we’re in luck thanks to pro photographers sharing tips on how to capture the sublime beauty of these little panthers. Fuss with a few settings, make sure the lighting is right, choose a high-contrast background and you’re well on your way. There are even tips for getting better shots using your iPhone.

In honor of National Black Cat Day, here’s ample proof that they can look spectacular in photographs:

blackcat1
Focusing on the eyes and adjusting the contrast can yield some fantastic results, capturing the regal side of black cats.
cuteblackcat
Kittens don’t need help looking cute. Just make sure you’re allowing enough light into the scene.
blackcat4
This kitty looks like a legit panther thanks to a dramatic contrast between the black fur and the stone in the background, as well as an emphasis on his piercing yellow eyes.
blackcat5
A dramatic contrast with the background helps this close-up pop.
blackcat2
The classic black on black: This cat is not to be messed with!
blackcat7
With a healthy contrast in colors, details like whiskers and the cat’s tongue stand out.
Black Kitten
Okay, maybe this kitten looks like he’s planning world domination from his secret lair, but he’s looking quite handsome while doing it.

And last but not least, from reader Anna K and her handsome little panther, Frank:

Frank the Cat
Look at those eyes!

 

7 thoughts on “The Absurd Reason Why People Won’t Adopt Black Cats”

  1. This post hasn’t appeared on Quora yet, and I can’t leave an image here, but Frank looks very photogenic on his Black Cat Day card. I’ll post the picture when (I hope!) you publish this article.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hesitate to make generalizations, but black cats are often so beautiful. Glossy and sleek, or fluffy and well-coiffed. I used to volunteer at a cat shelter where there were a lot of FIV+ cats, several of them black. Knowing they would be the hardest to adopt out, I thought I’d choose one of them when I was ready to adopt. When that time came in a few months, there was only one left, b/c the shelter did such a good job adopting them out! So we came home with another FIV+ cat who had some other health issues, instead. He was my heart, but that’s another story.

    Liked by 2 people

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