This week the MK and District Cats Protection branch has spoken out about the common misconceptions, which even linked black cats to Satan in the Middle Ages.
Later, in European folklore, the darker felines were considered a bad omen, a symbol of misfortune and the companions of witches.
An ancient superstition is that crossing paths with a black cat will bring on bad luck, and even now black cats are used as ‘spooky’ symbols at Halloween.
But experts at Cats Protection are urging people to forget the falsehoods and concentrate upon the reality.
They say people should think of the ancient Egyptians, who considered black cats extremely lucky and treated them like royalty due to their resemblance to the Goddess Bastet.
The charity, which takes in strays and unwanted cats from all over the city, sadly notices that black or black and white cats are distinctly harder to rehome than their more colourful counterparts.
One example is Lucy, all black apart from her tummy and a patch on her face. At the age of nine, she has been under the care of Cats Protection for a considerable time and nobody has shown an interest in adopting her.
Yet she is loving, calm and enjoys sitting on laps to be fussed. She would make a perfect pet in a home with no animals or children.
Her fosterers describe her as “chirpy” cat who loves her playtimes but enjoys a quiet morning lie in. She uses a litter tray happily but also enjoys exploring outdoors.
Branch member Belle O’Connor said: “Black and black and white cats make up over half the cats in our care. They are cats like Lucy, who has been patiently waiting for her forever home for some time now”.
Interestingly, scientists are discovering that black cats have definite advantages. The same gene that causes black coats, or melanism, affects a cat’s immunity. Black cats have stronger immune systems and increased resistance to diseases such as FIV. This gene may even help humans find a cure for certain diseases.
To adopt Lucy or any of the other cats at Cats Protection, call 01908 984 799 or email [email protected]