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Black Cat Tradition and Myths

Are Black Cats Bad Luck?

Picture of a black cat

Black cat

Everyone has heard the superstition that you will have bad luck if a black cat crosses your path. Is there any truth to that idea, or any of the other myths about cats? And where did these ideas come from in the first place?


The idea that black cats cause bad luck goes back to the association between cats and witchcraft. Because of their color, black cats remain unseen in the dark and that's why they are considered to be ideal pets for witches. It is also said that witches possess the ability to shape-shift into a cat.


Regarding the bad luck caused by black cats, did you know that black cats are considered good luck in Japan and in England? In fact, in Scotland a strange black cat coming to visit your porch means you'll prosper. It has also been said that if you see a white cat in the evening, you will have bad luck! But if you dream about that white cat, you'll have good luck.


One humorous myth about cats of any color, not just a black cat, is that they will spread the family gossip. This is an old wives' tale sometimes heard in the Netherlands. Sometimes cats are not allowed in the room when gossip is going on.


Of course, most people don't believe any of these superstitions about black and white cats anymore. Instead, they enjoy black cat breeds for their beauty and charm. Some of the domestic cat breeds that can include a black cat are the short tailed Manx, the long-haired Persian, and the Scottish Fold, with its unusual ears. Munchkins, with their abnormally short legs, are sometimes black cats, too. Most of the domestic cat breeds, however, do not include black cats, although there are many breeds that include a class for white cats.


Black and white cats are some of the most commonly seen house cats. They are often patterned with black tuxedo coats and white paws. A white blaze down the face is common, too. These familiar cats often make good-natured pets. Black and white cats sometimes have white bodies with black patches or a black tail.


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