Black cats can’t catch a break. For centuries, superstitious people have believed they’re unlucky. Some associate them with witchcraft or other occult shenanigans. Many say they’re the least popular cat color in animal shelters. All because black cats know how to rock a dark shade of onyx. It’s a true shame.
Now, the U.K.’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) says there’s yet another struggle facing black cats. Some people don’t think they photograph well in “selfies.” On that basis, says the RSPCA, some are refusing to adopt them or are surrendering them to shelters.
What? Have we become so shallow and vapid that we won’t bother keeping a pet that’s challenging to photograph? The words “face palm” don’t even begin to cover this phenomenon — if it’s true.
What‘s Behind the Abundance of Black Cats in Shelters?
“There is a national problem with rehoming cats of this color and at any one time around 70% of the cats in RSPCA care will be either black or black/white,” the RSPCA told Mashable recently.
“In U.K. folklore, black cats symbolize good luck, yet sadly in reality they are not so lucky,” the RSPCA told The Express. “There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from the fact that black cats are harder to tell apart than cats with more distinctive markings and the fact that black animals tend not to photograph as well.”
What’s true in the U.K. is true in the United States, too. More black cats and dogs end up at animal shelters than any other color, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). However, that may be a deceiving statistic. There are more black cats and dogs overall, says Dr. Emily Weiss, the ASPCA’s vice president of shelter research and development.
Be that as it may, a lot of people really don’t like black cats. When picking a new cat or kitten, many will walk right by the black ones, choosing gingers, grays, tabbies, calicos and other colors instead.
Harder to See Can Mean Harder to Place
For those selecting a potential pet from photos on a shelter’s website, the black cats can be harder to see, suggests New York Magazine, leading many to focus on the cats with nicer, clearer pictures.
“Black cats are some of the most sleek, clothing-friendly cats. You won’t have little white hairs over everything. But for some reason, they are, hands down, the hardest to find homes for,” Willow Liroff, head cat volunteer at the Oakland Animal Shelter, told SFGate.
Still, let’s return to the “selfie generation” for a minute. How well can a cat can expect to be treated in a home that values Instagram perfection over a loving feline companion? Those who want an affectionate furry friend for life won’t care what color he or she may be.
If you’re looking to adopt a cat, consider bringing home a black one. There are so many of them and they need you. Not to mention the fact that they actually take rather awesome selfies. Check the Twitter hashtag #blackcatselfie to see for yourself. Black is the new black, and it’s gorgeous.
Photo credit (all images): Thinkstock