Black cats are probably the most controversial domesticated animals in Western culture. Black cat breeds were associated with black magic, bad luck, and otherworldly evil. Through the dark ages, these beautiful creatures were fiercely hunted down and stigmatized just because of their color.
Even to this day, you can hear people saying that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck. What nonsense! There is hardly anything more graceful and beautiful than a cat clad in black.
Research showed that black cats are the most effective predators among domestic cat breeds, and it’s hardly a surprise. Under the cover of darkness they are practically invisible, with the exception of their shiny eyes.
In this article, we are going to celebrate these magnificent creatures by giving you a comprehensive list of black cat breeds—both for those who come exclusively in black and others which have a black coat variant. We are also going to dig a bit further and explore breeds with green, yellow, and blue eyes, as well as black cat breeds with long coat.
Top Black Cat Breeds
Even though black cats had a turbulent and tragic history here in the West, recent research shows that their highest adoption rates among shelter kitties are increasing. We have obviously left our prejudice aside and decided to give credit where credit is due.
There is something intrinsically beautiful about black cats. The way their shiny fur accents the muscular built, the contrast of the eyes and coat color, and the character—it all goes into the pro bucket, leaving every cat lover completely smitten.
So let us take a look at some beautiful breeds dressed in black.
#1: Russian Black Cat
From Russia, with love! Russians call this breed the Russian black, but if you are in Europe or the States, you might have a bureaucracy problem. To be more precise, some think of them as a black variation of the Russian Blue (well, isn’t that counterintuitive?), and some just say that the Russian shorthair breed comes in black, blue, and white. Call them what you want, they are amazing nonetheless.
Love black cat breeds with green eyes? Russian Black cats have beautiful green eyes to contrast their plush, silky, and very short fur. It’s like suede to the touch. They are very healthy and long-lived, probably thanks to their happy attitude. They will gladly be the house clown, entertaining everyone with their stunts and goofs. On the other hand, they are very gentle and eager to please.
The intelligence of a Russian Black is also something to admire, so if you think the door will stop them, think again. They will find a way to get into closets, drawers, and cupboards easily. Some people even say they are prone to training dogs.
In any case, these small black gems are a wonderful addition to any family, but they are the happiest in big households with a lot of animals and children. Their mission is to make as many humans as happy as possible.
#2: York Chocolate Cat
Chocolate? Maybe very, very dark chocolate, but we’d call her black. This lovely American breed has medium to long coat and wonderful eyes that can be green, gold, or hazel.
Yorkies are big and muscular cats with a lot of strength and energy. Although they like to play and interact with humans, they are not hyperactive and destructive by nature (looking at you, Siamese cats!). We wouldn’t really call them docile, but a good playing session once a day will make them very happy and cooperative.
That being said, keep in mind that these cats are very social. Loneliness hits them hard, and they don’t know how to cope with it. They will not become vengeful or mischievous, but might pout and hide a lot, even run away from home. It’s best to keep them in pairs, preferably male and female combination.
#3: Bombay Cat
This breed owes its striking looks to the Burmese and the American Shorthair. The name was inspired by the beautiful city in India, home of the black panthers. Righteously so, because this small cat is a true miniature panther.
Bombays are recognizable by their short, silky, jet black fur. They are also famous for being one of the black cat breeds with yellow eyes. The short snout gives them a very unique wild look. Their body is relatively small but very muscular. Hence, the Bombay cat is incredibly graceful and agile, making it a perfect addition to an active home.
Bombays are very active and love to play, especially with children and other cats. They are also very easy to leash train and will gladly accompany you on walks, cycling tours, or car rides. When it comes to maintenance, the Burmese wins again—an occasional brushing will do, and there are no hereditary health issues.
#4: American Bobtail
This breed is famous for its short tail, and no two tails are alike! It’s essentially a fingerprint for every member of the breed. Although they can seem a bit wild and rugged in physical appearance, these cats are very gentle and affectionate.
American Bobtails are also very intelligent, known to strongly bond to their family members. Some owners say that this breed has a very strong sense of empathy, and knows how to help those who are stressed. No wonder—have you ever heard an American Bobtail chirp? The sounds this cat can make are absolutely fantastic.
But don’t be fooled by their loving nature. American Bobtails are great mousers, and their hunting instincts are very strong. Make sure to give them plenty of toys and puzzles, and you’ll have a very happy cat.
#5: Scottish Fold
Floppy ears and a boisterous posterior—no, it’s not a dog we’re talking about; it’s a Scottish Fold cat. Although, some people will tell you this breed resembles an owl more than a feline. This cat was discovered in the ‘60s in Scotland and has been charming humans ever since.
The folded ears are caused by a natural mutation that affects the cartilage. Combined with the huge eyes and the breed’s trademark “Buddha pose,” you might mistake this cat for a barn owl, seriously. But the cuteness has a price. This cat needs to be bred responsibly because too much of that specific gene can cause skull defects and early death.
Scottish Folds are very intelligent and loyal cats, known to bond to that one special human. Social almost to the point where you’d call them dogs, Scotts love a household with a bunch of unruly toddlers and romping canines.
#6: Ojos Azules Cat
This is a relatively new breed, and all American. The eye color of this breed is absolutely striking! The deep, azure (hence the name) color is the trademark of the breed, no matter the coat color. Although we still think they look best clad in black, because the contrast is just amazing. This is one of the most beautiful long haired black cat breeds.
What makes this breed especially appealing is that they love family life. They are also unusually keen to following rules (hardly ever said for a cat), in a sense that they can be trained and will respect boundaries.
You have a family dog? Lovely! The Ojos Azules will gladly be his best friend. No matter if it’s a kid, a ferret, or a giant dog, the Ojos Azules will be happy as long as there is someone to chase it around. This breed is very active and has an optimistic view on life.
Add to that their very low grooming requirements, good health, and a long lifespan, and you just found a perfect cat for your active family.
#7: Oriental Cat
Want a black cat blue eyes breed? This breed is a very close relative to the Siamese cat, so think all the rambunctiousness packet in a different coat.
The black variant is somewhat common, but blue eyes are more frequent in combination with black fur than with other breeds. But this is not a surprise, because Orientals come in more than 300 color combinations and patterns. Basically, whatever you imagine, someone is breeding it.
What to say about Orientals and not spend the whole article on them? Firstly, they are very unusual looking. The head is triangular, accented with piercing almond eyes and huge ears. And we really mean huge.
What’s also huge is their intellect, and this breed is usually considered to be one of the most intelligent cat breeds out there. They absolutely adore people and love to be the center of attention. They will also prank you and the kids regularly, but it’s all in good spirit.
Orientals are very verbose. They talk all the time, and are very loud. If you don’t like someone yapping 24/7, don’t go for this breed. Some owners swear left and right about their Orientals even talking in their sleep.
#8: Maine Coon Cat
This breed comes from the United States, and was first documented in Maine. Records from around 1850 tell a story about strongly built, large cats originating from long-haired European cats and domestic American cats.
They come in almost all colors and patterns, but a black Maine Coon is really something to look at. They have a long, black overcoat and a dark to light grey undercoat that give them protection from harsh weather conditions.
Maine Coons have big, round eyes and big ears with tufts on the top. They also have large paws (black claws included!) and a beautiful, fluffy tail.
The character of this breed matches the exterior; Coons have a big heart and love their family very much. They will happily spend time with humans, guests, and other domestic animals. In fact, they were mousers in the past, so farm life is the perfect ambient for this breed.
Even if you don’t live in a rural area, make sure that your Maine Coon has a lot of space to roam because they are a very active breed.
#9: Norwegian Forest Cat
When we imagine a Norwegian Forest Cat, we usually envision a tabby ball of fluff sitting in a pile of snow. But this is far from the standard. Due to the large gene pool of this breed, they come in all possible color variations.
There are many black Norwegians, but for some reason, they weren’t really popular in the States until just recently. In the Scandinavian countries, which is their place of origin, one can find black Norwegians as easily as any other coat color.
The Norwegian Forest cat has a very lush, thick coat. The overcoat is water repellent, and the undercoat is woolly and thick, protecting this breed from harsh and cold weather conditions. Norwegians are famous mousers, and they were originally kept just as that—working cats who can tend to themselves.
This is why it’s very important to think twice before choosing this breed. Although they really like people and are incredibly social. They need a lot of space to roam freely and do what they are made for.
A lonely Norwegian cat, confined to a small apartment, is going to be utterly miserable. We know they are hard to resist, but an unhappy cat of this proportion can cause serious damage.
#10: Persian Cat
Persian cats are definitely the most popular of all cat breeds. It’s not a surprise, really. Today, when everybody has a busy life and spends time in small living spaces, the need for a meek and docile companion is greater than ever.
Persians really have a beautiful temperament—loving, sweet, and loyal, but not needy or demanding. They will gladly be a loveable couch potato waiting for you to come home from work. But when you do, they need all the love and affection they can get.
The Persian breed has a long history in its place of origin—what we know today as Iran. It was brought to Europe somewhere around the 15th century by Phoenician traders, and it quickly gained popularity in high social circles. They lived like royalty, and were treated as such.
Nowadays things are a bit different, but Persians still need a lot of care. Grooming needs to be daily because their long fur gets matted super easily. Because of their popularity, there was a lot of irresponsible breeding over the centuries, so gingivitis and digestion problems are frequent.
Siberian cats are considered Russia’s national treasure. No wonder, because these cats are unbelievably gorgeous. They are fully prepared to wrestle with inhumanely rough Siberian winters. The triple coat of this breed is water resistant and practically impenetrable; even fleas will rarely try to mess with them.
Siberian cats are friendly and outgoing but do need a lot of space and love to hunt. Don’t fence this beauty down. Those who live in a colder climate and have a big yard are perfect candidates. If you live in a hot and/or arid area, tough luck, because this beauty doesn’t tolerate heat well.
When it comes to maintenance, shedding is a thing. That triple coat has to go somewhere in the spring, and you bet that somewhere is going to be your sofa, carpet, keyboard, and all the clothing that you own. So grooming is a hard must.
Black cats have always inspired humans. In the East, they were considered lucky and even incarnations of divinity. In the West, we couldn’t handle their mystical beauty and feared their esoteric powers. But that fact is changing today. Wherever they show their pretty faces, black cats inspire awe.
If you want to get a beautiful black cat as a companion, make sure to visit your local shelter first. There are many lovely cats waiting for a perfect home, and one of them might just be a perfect match for you. Need guidance on how to adopt a cat? Check out our article about that here.
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