While reading a programming article which had nothing to do with cats or Halloween, it was mentioned that it's "obvious" for a cat store to not sell black cats in October.

Why exactly is this? Does it have something to do with Halloween? My mind immediately wanders to dark places, such as there being some horrific "tradition" of hurting/killing black cats in Halloween or something like that. Witches, black cats, etc. I'm not very familiar with that holiday. It's a very American thing.

Do evil people really buy black cats to hurt them? Is that what's implied here? Or is there any other reason for not selling black cats specifically in October?

  • Hi, welcome to Pets, please take a look at this answer pets.stackexchange.com/a/15627/17671 it is different question than yours, but the linked answer directly addresses your concern, in short yes shelters avoid giving/selling black cats near Halloween to save them from being used in sacrificial rituals. – lila Sep 5 '20 at 0:21
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    it reminds me of "bunny break" at easter's time (known from Germany), when much people seeing rabbits as a nice present for Easter and some month further, when they are to much effort, they all repeat to the shelters... – Allerleirauh Sep 5 '20 at 15:29

Your supposition is correct that in America, there is a fairly commonly held belief that people will obtain black cats around Halloween in order to do them harm. Some shelters may even restrict black cat adoptions for this reason. However, the statement that this is "common sense" advice is fallacious. I am American, and I never heard of such a thing until I saw it being discussed on the Pets Stack Exchange. Furthermore, the idea that people harm cats around Halloween is most likely a urban legend, as stated on many websites such as Snopes, though it is true that shelters very well may limit adoptions because of it.

Honestly, it's extra strange to me that such an urban legend persists when the American culture around Halloween seems to be changing pretty radically over the past several years. It used to be that kids would go out trick-or-treating to private homes, with entrepeneuring older kids going unsupervised into the late hours trick-or-treating and pulling pranks or generally getting up to mischief, but these days door-to-door trick-or-treaters are becoming more and more rare in favor of going to events deemed "safe."

  • I tried to find any statistics or reliable souces that show that either cats were harmed in context of Halloween or that the number of cat adoptions in october drops significantly, but I couldn' find anything. I agree that it's probably no more than an urban legend. – Elmy Sep 5 '20 at 18:40

People can get pretty weird ideas about things, superstitions and such. Some get ideas that black cats are bad luck, or an evil omen there is said to be an increase of black cats sustaining injuries around the Halloween holiday by individuals, and reports of missing black cats as well. People like to obtain black cats for whatever purposes around that time of year, maybe for novelty or dark reasons. It is just safer for black cats not to be put in jeopardy to potentially bad situations because there all sorts who have no scruples.

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