I watched YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK9s67TsICs

At 5:59

He said black cat is hard to get adopted. Is black cat ugly or something? Actually, where I live, some people do not like black dogs and cats, especially elder. It's because they believe they will bring them misfortune. But I don't know how do people think in Western culture.

  • 1
    this question is related pets.stackexchange.com/questions/15608/… Sep 11, 2018 at 4:47
  • As a side note: in medieval european culture black cats were seen as as sign of bad luck or of witchcraft, but people today don't believe in these things anymore, so black cats are loved just as much as cats with different colors.
    – Elmy
    Sep 11, 2018 at 6:49
  • Some people do still think of black cats as "unlucky" or "evil," but it's a lot simpler than that: the first place people will often look for a new pet is online, and black animals don't photograph as well as other colors, so black cats (and dogs) are less likely to catch someone's eye from an online listing.
    – Allison C
    Sep 11, 2018 at 16:19

2 Answers 2


People will say that black cats go unadopted more often anecdotally, but from articles on the subject, it seems to be not necessarily the case that black cats are less wanted than other colors of cats.

From http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/is-it-a-myth-that-black-shelter-pets-are-less-likely-to-be-adopted

Weiss found that, although euthanasia numbers for black animals are at or near the top (both black and white dogs were near 19 percent; black cats were at 30 percent, with gray cats and white cats coming in just under that, at 28 percent and 26 percent, respectively), their total adoption numbers were also the highest of any color.

Black is simply a common color for cats, probably in part because it helps camouflage them from predators in the case that they are a stray or feral cat. As a result, people observe that there are many more black cats not being adopted, and don't consider that they are just plain more of them, it seems.

The idea of black cats being less wanted is also something of an urban myth. People will very, very commonly repeat this information without stopping to check whether it is true or not, probably in part because they've heard it said so often.

People in western countries also are commonly aware of the superstition that a black cat will bring bad luck, which most people assume is the reason for the claim that black cats are not wanted as pets. However, despite the awareness of the superstition, nearly everyone in Western countries do not actually believe it. I think people would find anyone who said they actually believed it to be very odd.

I think if there is any truth to black cats being less wanted, it's because black cats are common and, though not considered ugly, it's not particularly striking compared to certain other coat colors or patterns that a cat might have either. That is to say, a black cat might seem boring compared to another unique looking cat.


Some shelters also suspend or limit adoptions of black cats around Halloween for fear they will be tortured, or used as "living decorations" for the holiday and then abandoned

Source: Wiki - Black Cats Delegated from CNN - To be a Black Cat on Halloween

It seems there exist cases where black cats explicitly have lowered rates of adoption.

However, as already mentioned, superstition isn't the only factor.

From a previous answer:

it seems to be not necessarily the case that black cats are less wanted than other colors of cats

This was backed by:

total adoption numbers [for black cats] were also the highest of any color.

And followed with:

Black is simply a common color for cats

This could be why the supersistion was conjured (don't take my word for it). With a higher amount of black animals, there's higher chance for an unwanted situation to occur while being around a black animal.

We also tend to associate the color black with darkness. Darkness tends to be associated with evil. Even black dogs have their own lore.

Without enough proper concrete data, it'll be hard to truly answer this question. Black is extremely common, and the reason for someone adopting an animal differs.

With that said, there do exist systems that prevent the adoption of black cats during certain times.

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