The Black and Sleek Bombay Cat

Bombay cat is renowned for being the blackest cat among the feline breeds, with a walk resembling that of a black panther. Its coat is entirely black, from head to tail, short, tight, and incredibly glossy. Accentuated by their golden eyes, their look is undeniably stunning. While small, they are muscular, and heavy, surprising anyone who picks them up with their heft. This cat has an easy-going and affectionate demeanor, talking in a distinct voice, often asking for her master’s attention.


Origin of the Bombay Cat

Cat breeders love to explore and experiment, giving birth to new feline breeds, either by relying on natural and harmful genetic mutations or crossing different breeds to attain a specific look, pattern, or color. The Bombay cat is a product of such exploratory endeavors, and was created by crossing two breeds to produce a miniature Indian black panther.

While its name refers to the largest and port city of India, this stunning feline actually hails from Louisville, Kentucky. Nikki Horner, a long-time exhibitor, and cat-breeder, is credited for developing the breed in the late 1950s. Her dream was to create a silken, glossy black cat, with a muscular build, but a friendly demeanor, achieving it by crossing the Burmese and the black American Shorthairs. The Bombay cat gots its full recognition from the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1978 and is now accepted by all other cat associations.

Physical Characteristics of the Bombay Cat

  • Length: 13 to 20 inches
  • Weight: 8 to 15 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years
  • Coat Color: Black, tight, sleek coat down to the roots
  • Type of Coat: Short
  • Eye Color: Gold

The Bombays are fairish-sized cats, renowned for its entirely black, shiny coat. However, they look dull as kittens, as their silken, fur, conspicuous golden eyes, and other distinct features only develop after they reach four months old.

As an adult, they are deceptively hefty, picking them up will surprise anyone with their heft. They have a muscular build, appearing stocky but compact, and boast a heavy boning structure. They are generally round all over, from the head, ear tips, eyes, and chin, and even their feet are round.

They walk distinctively, with their body swaying, resembling that of an Indian black panther, in which they indirectly got their name. Their coat is short and shiny, and in the best conditions, produces a black gleam comparable to leather with a high-gloss finish.

Bombay Cat Personality

Bombays are endearing felines, known for their lively and affectionate temperaments. They are loving, lighthearted, and people-oriented, making them ideal family furballs. They are highly adaptable to many living conditions, and almost open to any of their master’s wishes, be it some cuddle on the sofa, or a game of fetch.

These cats are brilliant, and social, due to their Burmese roots, but won’t communicate excessively, due to their American Shorthair lineage, creating a balance between the two parent breeds. However, should they need something important, they will not hesitate to inform their owners using their striking golden eyes to get their interest and have them perceive what they need. Often, they may demand ample amounts of attention, often sitting beside their masters.

Bombay cats love people and tend to spread their affection across all members of the family rather than devoting it to a single person. They can live with well-behaved toddlers, and are amenable to living with other pets, but will certainly desire to be the “top” cat.

As highly-intelligent and curious breeds, they are keen on observing any movements in their surroundings and will follow their companions around the house. Given their smarts, they can be good at playing fetch, be trained to walk on a leash or be taught tricks.

Caring for the Bombay Cat

Bombays’ short coat requires less grooming, with weekly brushing enough to keep it in top condition while bathing them is rarely necessary. Other grooming they need is regular nail trimming, dental brushing, and ear cleaning.

As solid cats both in appearance and feel, these felines possess great strength. They are good jumpers and climbers, making cat trees and perches are suitable investments. They are relatively active, and would always be happy to play. However, their activity level is less than that of a Burmese, as their American Shorthair influence has toned it down. Regular playtime and exercise are needed to keep them away from obesity.

Bombays are highly-sociable and would be excellent with children, and other people and other pets. They won’t hide under the bed should any visitor come to the house, but rather be happy to play its roles as part of the greeting committee. They are amenable to live with other pets, but they like to be the “alpha” of the house, and may not do well with other furballs with the same demeanor. Proper introduction at a young age in controlled environments is vital for them to live harmoniously.

These felines love attention and are not afraid to ask for it. They are highly affectionate, love to curl on their owner’s lap. As such, they will not do well with the people who are rarely at home, as these felines may suffer from lack of attention.

These cats are generally healthy but may be vulnerable to diseases, such as runny nose, sinusitis, and craniofacial defect (at birth). Getting the recommended immunizations and visiting the vet regularly are good ways to keep them healthy.

Bombays are ideal for families who have bustling house conditions but are looking for highly affectionate cats. They are highly adaptable and will shower veritable affection to owners who would add them to their lovely homes.