Black Cat Syndrome

This is probably something you’ve never heard of but it refers to the phenomenom that many shelters experience when it comes to adopting out black cats and black dogs. Sadly, they are often the last to find forever homes.

Why Black Cats and Black Dogs Are Often Left Behind

There are probably many reasons why these animals are the last to be adopted. Many who work in shelters believe it has to do with the fact that it’s harder for people to read the expressions on the faces of the black cats and dogs. Additionally for cats, they carry the baggage of ridiculous superstition and being referred to as bad luck. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression about not letting a black cat cross your path. All you have to do is take a quick glance at Halloween decorations to see the abundance of scary black cats represented there. Hollywood has also contributed to black cat and black dog syndrome by usually casting the black cat as a villain and the black dog as the ferocious four-footed devil in disguise. It’s certainly an uphill battle for these beautiful creatures.My cat, Pearl

A Life Enriched

Several years ago a few black cats were dumped in the field behind my house. One of them found her way to my back porch in the middle of one of Nashville’s coldest winters in years. When I saw the others I tried to trap them but was unsuccessful. I was only able to bring in the one cat who approached my house. She turned out to be a melanistic Bengal. I fear that the trio of cats were dumped there by a breeder who maybe no longer wanted the expense of having to care for the cats. When people want a Bengal they usually want that wild look – not an ordinary looking black cat

My beautiful black cat, named Pearl, has been an incredible blessing in my family. I am so fortunate to have been able to capture her but my heart breaks for the two other cats. Every time I look out onto my field, I think of them.

Don’t Overlook Black Cats and Black Dogs

If you’re considering adding a cat or dog to your family, please don’t pass up the opportunity to provide a forever home for a black cat or a black dog. You’ll receive a gift of love beyond your expectations.




We’re sorry but Pam is unable to respond to questions or remarks posted in the comment section. If you have a question about cat behavior, you can find many answers in the articles Pam writes for the website as well as in her best-selling books.

About Pam Johnson-Bennett

Pam Johnson-Bennett is the host of Animal Planet UK's PSYCHO KITTY, She is a best-selling author of nine books, including Think Like a Cat: how to raise a well-adjusted cat – not a sour puss. For over 25 years, her books have been called cat bibles by veterinarians, behavior experts, shelters and cat parents worldwide. Pam is considered a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting. Pam owns Cat Behavior Associates, a private veterinarian-referred behavior company in Nashville, TN.

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