What really happens to black cats during October?
Well, nothing that doesn’t happen during the rest of the year.
As exciting as the fast approach of Halloween is, it also sparks concerns for many people, and one of those is the safety of black cats. Due to black cats being associated with the supernatural and poor luck, many well-meaning kitty lovers fear that during “spooky season” their feline friends will be harmed. Despite worries about the potential for violence towards black cats, it’s a relief to know that there isn’t actually any evidence that black cats are in more danger during the month of October. (For example, see Who’s afraid of a big black cat by the HSUS.) The truth is that any feline misfortune we need to worry about regarding black cats is them waiting longer for homes if their adoptions aren’t encouraged year-round.
What can I do to help black cats this Halloween?
The best way to protect kitties during this time of the year is to carry on caring for them the way you would any other time of the year. The outdoors can be a dangerous place for our feline companions regardless of the season or the color of their fur, so it is safest to keep them indoors! (For tips, see our blog Keeping Your Indoor Cat Happy.)
Another step you can take to help black cats is to advocate for pet adoption. For example, you can like and share posting of kitties available at your local shelter to give them a boost!
Black Cats Through History
Though false, the belief that black cats are bad luck can be traced back as early as the 13th century. At the time, belief in witches was present in communities all over Europe. It was thought that so-called witches kept black cats (as well as other animals) as “familiar spirits” who would help them in their magic. The rising fear of witches resulted in the accused and their midnight-colored furr-iends being subjected to persecution. To this day, some people still believe that crossing paths with black cats is bad luck because they are on their way to do a witch’s bidding.
Black cats can even symbolize good health and prosperity! According to the National Institute of Health, black cats are anything but unlucky. Research has linked their fur color to a gene that may provide better immunity against a number of diseases including FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). Because cats and humans experience a number of similar health issues, including immunodeficiency viruses and cancer, scientists believe that they could help us gain more insight to combat other human illnesses. (More can be found here.)