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I got 3 kittens 16 years ago. I used the "Want Advertiser" which was a paper classifieds magazine for the local area (Massachusetts). There were tons of ads for free kittens, so I picked one and ended up taking all three that the family had, which were 3 all-black male American shorthairs.

Fast forward 16 years. One of my cats has died and the other 2 are getting older, so I am looking to get a new cat. I want to get the same type, which is an all-black American shorthair. Unfortunately, this seems impossible to do.

The Want Advertiser went out of business, so that is no longer an option. I have been checking Craigslist for 3 months and have found only 3 female black kittens, and none of the sellers returned my phone calls. Not only that there are literally 10 ISO (in search of) ads WANTING kittens for every kitten being offered. I tried going to a "shelter" named "Buddy Dog" but that was useless because they had no black kittens and all their kittens were sexually mutilated, which I do not want.

I am willing to pay any amount of money to get a local all-black kitten, but apparently that does not matter because noone breeds them. They only breed "exotic" cats like Bombays and Persians, so I can't buy one from a breeder.

My question is: Has something changed in the last 16 years that is making cats harder to find and obtain? If so, what changed?

  • I am not aware of anything changing. There were a ton of stray cats and dogs during the last recession when people lost their homes etc. If you don't mind driving a bit to get one, you could try calling a shelter or the humane society in nearby or larger towns / cities. You can check back too - they get new cats all the time. – Beo May 29 '17 at 12:57
  • The happiest and most active cat I've ever known was “sexually mutilated”. Sexuality for cats is not a matter of happy cuddling. – Anton Sherwood Mar 10 at 4:36
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As Rebecca suggests, no reputable shelter will adopt out black kittens near Halloween. But furthermore, no reputable shelter will adopt out kittens that aren't spayed or neutered. Your use of the phrase "sexually mutilated" indicates that you find this policy abhorrent.

I can understand how spaying and neutering might seem cruel. But if you do a little research into the subject, you may change your mind. Here's a good place to start: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/spayneuter-your-pet

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    not sure about the US (it may of course even be different across states of even counties), but in several countries at least shelters are required by law to spay/neuter and chip any pet before it gets adopted out. – jwenting May 31 '17 at 9:47
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Try looking after Halloween, a lot of shelters will NOT adopt out black kittens because of cults using them for sacrifices. The shelter I volunteered at would not even post that they had some for the month of October.

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  • I forgot about the Halloween thing. I just want to have the same kind of cat because I want them to get along. – Tyler Durden Oct 30 '16 at 23:03
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    Cats will get along, or won't, independent of their appearance. Don't worry about that. – keshlam Oct 30 '16 at 23:14
  • Is there any evidence of cults actually using black cats for sacrifices, or is this just an urban legend? – StephenS Sep 5 at 3:18
  • @StephenS no clue! – Rebecca RVT Nov 7 at 20:24
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There are no shortage of Massacusetts shelters with kittens and cats looking for homes. Some will have all-black cats. You may have to settle for one a bit older than a kitten, especially at this time of year.

Try looking for organizations with "cat" in their name rather than "dog," Ask your vet for suggestions. Ask local pet stores; most no longer sell kittens but many have arrangements with local shelters. One of the churches in my area hosts a monthly cat adoption day. The MSPCA also has many cats looking for homes, mostly adults but occasionally kittens.

If you go out looking, rather than waiting for a cat to come to you, I think you'll find one you can't resist... black or not.

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I know this is an old post, but you have some strange and misconceived views.

First, you probably want a domestic short-hair and not an American short-hair. A domestic is your run of the mill non-pedigreed cat, whereas an american short-hair is a rare cat that will cost a lot of money to get.

Second, those cats in shelters usually have plenty of black cats and kittens, unless they put them down because no one will adopt them because they are black. And those poor cats in shelters are going to be killed unless someone adopts them, usually in gas chambers filled with other crying and screaming kittens and cats.

Third, cats should be "sexually mutilated" as you call it to prevent the murdering in pounds and shelters of unwanted and unadopted cats and kittens.

Black cats are a dominant color and there are plenty of them born. You have done some things right though because your cats lived to be 17 years old. That is a great job. Also you are right about black cats they are the best, most lovable, and loyal friends you could get.

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Kitten Availability

This question was originally asked in October. Rescue groups generally consider "kitten season" to last from spring to summer, and peak in late spring. During "kitten season" shelters and rescues are often overwhelmed with kittens. If you absolutely must adopt a kitten, late spring is the best time to head to the shelter.

If it's not kitten season, please consider adopting an older cat! Cat's personalities are not 'set' until about 2 years old, so if you're concerned about training the cat to fit into your household, a year old cat is still a good choice! I prefer older cats (at least 5 years old) because they tend to be more snuggly and require less focused play time to wear them out.

Black Cat Availability

In addition to the concerns about Halloween, there are stories that black cats are currently (Feb-March 2018) hard to find due to popularity of the movie Black Panther.

This has been anecdotally reported on social media such as this tumblr post:

Unexpected Benefit of Black Panther: my local pet shelters went from having something like 50-60 black cats between them to having NONE, becuase they’ve all been adopted out and named after the characters. “T’challa” is the most popular, but there are a fair number of “Okoye”s and “Shuri”s as well.

…and one very confused Elderly Humane Society Volunteer wondering why someone would name such a sweet cat “Killmonger”.

I haven't seen any formal reporting, but it seems logical. Adoption/purchase of specific animals often increase after they are featured in popular culture (followed by a boom in shelter surrender as folks realize that their new pet required more care than they could offer).

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