Halloween is fast approaching, and as we prepare for all things spooky, black cats suddenly come to mind: one of our favourite creatures and yet, one that can still be associated with bad luck and old myths.
Where did the superstition begin?
This goes back to medieval times, when people believed animals were on earth solely to serve humans, and cats' independent nature challenged these ideas. Black cats, in particular, were thought of as witches' pet and symbols of bad luck.
Fast-forward to today, and not only are these fears a thing of the past, but there are even days dedicated to celebrating black felines, like National Black Cat Day on the 27th of October.
There's still much to be done, though: studies show black cats and dogs are less likely to be adopted than pets of other colours. So here at Pet Supermarket, we want to help dispel harmful myths like black pets are less friendly, tame or beautiful. Fun fact: did you know Queen Victoria and John Lennon both had black cats as pets?
So, how can we help?
By spreading awareness, that's what Black Cat Day is all about: talking about how all animals are special. Whether it's by using hashtags like #BlackCatDay to shed light on how these animals get overlooked at shelters, or by opening your home to one.
If you're looking to expand your pet family, give the RSPCA or your local rescue centre a call. Animal shelters are overrun with black cats and other less favoured pets waiting for a chance at adoption, like senior pets and animals with special needs: all loving by nature and in desperate need of a home.
Celebrating black cats
Are you lucky enough to have a tiny house panther in your life? Make the 27th of October special! Surprise them with a new toy or their favourite treat. No harm in showering them with love and cuddles all the way to Halloween, right? This is a time when black cats take centre stage and become one of the protagonists; so if you’re dressing up as one this Halloween, we'll take that as another way to raise awareness!
Looking ahead to the future
Ultimately, days like Black Cat Day should be a reminder of how crucial it is to protect all animals and how, as a society, we are becoming more inclusive, kind and open-minded. At a time when so many animal species are on the brink of extinction, we have the responsibility to drive positive change through knowledge and compassion.
As Sam Watson (cat behaviour and welfare expert at RSPCA) said: "We would urge people to look beyond an animal's appearance. Their coat colour makes no difference to how much love they have to give".