New figures from the RSPCA reveal the plight of black cats as they take double the amount of time than other cats to find their forever home.
The RSPCA has released the figures for National Black Cat Day (October 27) which comes just days before Halloween when some people may see black cats as something ‘spooky’ or superstitious.
From 2019 to 2021, more than 2,000 black cats came into the charity’s 14 national animal centres (this does not include the RSPCA’s large network of branches so actual figures will be higher). The charity rehomed 2,260 black cats during the same period and on average it took 30 days for a black cat to find their forever home compared to 16 days for a grey tabby cat.*
Black and white cats are the felines who are more likely to come into the charity’s care (2,770) and they took an average of 28 days to find their forever homes compared to a calico cat which took just 17 days.
The higher numbers of black or black and white cats ending up in rescue centres and their longer length of stay could be in part due to myths around black cats, especially at this time of year.
In UK folklore, black cats actually traditionally symbolise good luck but around Halloween many associate black cats with superstitions or witches. Others say that black cats aren’t ‘Instagrammable’ and don’t look good in pictures whilst some people prefer ‘different’ coat colours such as blue or grey cats.
Sam Watson, RSPCA cat welfare expert, explains this further. She said: “It is a sad fact that black cats really don’t have much luck because we see more of them coming through our doors than any other colour of cat, other than black and white cats, possibly because they are more common.
“A few studies show that some people believe black cats are less affectionate, but they really are no different to any other cat. Researchers have also found that some superstitious people find them less appealing. Other cats, such as tabbies, have distinctive markings making them look more attractive to some. We think black cats are just beautiful – but would urge people to look beyond their perceptions of what an animal looks like. Their fur colour makes no difference to how much affection they have to give.
“Black cats won’t bring you good luck or bad luck but they do need forever homes. If you can bring some magic into their lives they are sure to bring some joy into yours. We would love to see those who are looking to adopt a cat this Adoptober to please consider adopting a black cat.”
Black cats looking for homes
Salem and Sabrina
Salem and Sabrina are a pair of two-year-old black cats who came into the RSPCA’s care in July last year from a multi-cat household and are sadly still looking for a home 15-months later.
They missed out on vital socialisation with people as they were living with so many cats and so they both lacked a bit of confidence when they first arrived at the RSPCA Warrington Branch. Salem, who has a rather fetching ‘snaggle tooth’, was very frightened of his new surroundings at first but will now happily come out for strokes, although he can get ‘spooked’ sometimes.
Sabrina is an independent lady who will quite happily spend time on her own – and her favourite pastime is sleeping. She is totally different now compared to when she first arrived at the cattery and will now happily come out for fuss and attention, although she can sometimes still be a little unsure of new people.
They will both need an owner who is willing to take things slowly to continue to make progress and build-up their confidence. They would benefit from a quiet home and despite being pals on TV and in the comics, Salem and Sabrina would like to be rehomed separately and would prefer to be the only pet in the home.
For more information contact RSPCA Warrington, Halton and St Helens Animal Centre on
Loki, the God of Trickery, (pictured right and above) came into the care of the RSPCA Canterbury Branch in Kent in September and has been looking for a home for 27 days. The two-year-old cat is a real character. Not much is known about Loki’s past but he’s very friendly and chatty with the staff at the cattery.
He could live with a family with children and could also live with a friendly cat or dog.
He’s definitely less trick and all treat – despite his namesake.
For more information contact the RSPCA Canterbury and District Branch on firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyra has been in RSPCA care for over 130 days waiting patiently for her forever home. She came into the care of RSPCA Manchester and Salford in June and has been in foster care since July. The one-year-old cat arrived heavily pregnant after her previous owner had sadly passed away.
Lyra was a brilliant mum to her subsequent litter of five kittens but now it is her turn to shine.
She forms a strong attachment to her caregiver and is an affectionate and loving cat. She loves to play and this is the way to win her heart, along with treats! Lyra will thrive in a quiet, adult-only home with a cat-savvy adopter and no other pets.
For more information contact the RSPCA Manchester and Salford Adoption Centre on Adoptions@rspca-manchesterandsalford.org.uk.
Senior cat Milly has been in the RSPCA’s care in Suffolk for 148 days after her owner sadly passed away.
The 13-year-old moggy hasn’t had much interest from potential adopters, despite being a sweet-natured golden oldie. Milly can be a little timid at times especially around strangers or new situations but now that she is settling into cattery life, she enjoys a bit of fuss.
Her new owner will need to be patient and understanding and give her the time she needs to build-up her confidence. Milly is looking for a chilled retirement pad where she can be the only pet in the home and would prefer to live with families with older children.
For more information contact RSPCA Suffolk Central in Martlesham on email@example.com.
Four-year-old Binx is looking for a forever home after coming into the care of the RSPCA as an injured stray.
He was brought into a local vet practice in March by a concerned member of the public as he was suffering from an abscess on his head. Thankfully, Binx has now been treated and given the all-clear.
This panther has been looking for a home for over 200 days and is hoping to meet his new spook-tacular family this Halloween. Binx loves food, treats and catnip and these are definitely the way to his heart.
He is an independent cat but does enjoy some fuss. He would like a home where he can be set-up in a shed or garage initially, with the opportunity to come inside the house should he wish.
He could also live with families with older, secondary school aged children or older.
If you think you can give Binx a loving home please download an application form and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The RSPCA’s annual Adoptober rehoming drive is running throughout this month, promoting adoption and highlighting the many animals the charity has waiting to find their perfect match.
As part of this, the animal welfare charity – which operates 14 national rehoming centres across England and Wales, while supporting a network of branches with an additional 45 animal shelters – has released new figures that show rehoming has dropped 8% while animal intake is up 8.4% year-on-year.
The charity fears that the cost of living crisis means more animals are coming into its care while less people are considering taking on a new pet.
Could you offer a black cat a loving new home? Please visit Find A Pet to see all of the animals currently in our care who are looking for their paw-fect match.
If you can’t offer a rescue pet a new home perhaps you could help in a different way?
- Become a fosterer for a sick pet recovering from surgery or a youngster who needs to learn how to behave in a home;
- Help us continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming by donating online or calling our donation line on 0300 123 8181;
- Sponsor a cat pod or a dog kennel and help take care of the animals during their stay with us;
- Support the work of your local centre or branch by becoming a volunteer or donating to them directly.