Black cats are typically associated with bad luck and Halloween, am I right? Well, I’m here to tell you that there is way more to this dark feline than bad luck and pumpkins. Here are some amazing black cat facts and busted myths that will most certainly change your view on this so-called spooky pet!
In most of the U.S., superstitious people go out of their way to avoid crossing paths with a black cat, but in other parts of the world, that isn’t the case at all! In parts of places like England, Asia and Ireland, when a black cat crosses your path it signifies good luck.
Melanism is basically the opposite of Albinism. An excessive amount of melanin in these cats is what causes their fur to be so black. Essentially, these cats have so much melanin that it causes their irises to be golden/yellow!
Anyone remember the smart-mouthing black cat named Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch? This folklore and association comes from people believing cats turned themselves into black cats or used them as their familiar. Black cats were most commonly believed to be witches because they’re nearly invisible in the dark of night!
There are many types of black cats, but there are limited amounts of breeds who can officially list “black” as a color option, according to Cat Fanciers’ Association. Only an estimated 22 breeds can list black as a color option.
Like I said, black cats are closely tied to Halloween. In some parts of the world, black cats are seen as threats or animals to be sacrificed around Halloween. How messed up is that? Because of this, many animal shelters won’t re-home black cats in the weeks surrounding Halloween or in the month of October.
The black gene is dominant, but the dominant fur pattern is tabby. This means two dominant black color genes have to be present in order to overpower the tabby pattern that leads to multiple fur colors!
With age, white fur can start to appear on black cats. Just like when a human’s hair goes gray over time, all cats tend to have fur color changes with age. It’s most obvious with black cats, however, because of their dark fur.
Well, not literally, but If your black cat spends too much time in the sun, its fur can begin to turn a reddish dark brown. This is known as “rusting.” This is only temporary–once the cat’s melanin levels return to the normal state, so will its fur color!
According to research, it’s very likely that cats with black fur have a higher resiliency against illness and are more resistant against diseases like Feline HIV.
Even though their history is linked with anarchy and witches, these cats are not bad luck and have nothing to do with black magic! The behavioral pattern of these cats are just like the pattern of any other feline. So, next time a black cat crosses your path you have no reason to be concerned.
Article by Paige Diflore
Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let's face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips.
1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.
All forms of chocolate -- especially baking or dark chocolate -- can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it's better to be safe than sorry.
2. Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.
Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.
3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.
4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.
Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.
5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins …
6. Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets.
Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.
7. Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.
If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
8. Don't dress your pet in a costume unless you know they'll love it.
If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark and meow.
9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.
If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.
10. IDs, please!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.
We wish you all a happy and safe Halloween!
Article by PetMD
Unfortunately, in many multi-cat households, feuds between felines are common. Not only are these fights distressing for the cats, they can be very upsetting to human family members as well. No one wants to see beloved pets hissing and shrieking at one another, or worse, lashing out with teeth or claws.
The FDA has issued a warning to alert pet owners and veterinarians that pets, especially cats, can become ill or even die when exposed to topical pain medications containing flurbiprofen, an anti-inflammatory agent.
Spot on (topical) flea and tick control products are deservedly popular among pet owners. They’re fast and easy to use, and they are considered safe – as long as they are used according to label instructions. But when flea products designed for use only on dogs are applied to cats, the cats can become very ill and even die.