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Are People Rejecting Black Cats Because They Take Bad Selfies?

Are People Rejecting Black Cats Because They Take Bad Selfies?

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.

Whats Behind the Abundance of Black Cats in Shelters?

black cat outside

“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

black cat peeking

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.

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Photo credit (all images): Thinkstock

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118 comments

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7:44PM PST on Dec 6, 2014

Black cats rule, but then all cats do! I have the pleasure of sharing my home with three of them at present, (along with a Bengal, an orange Tabby, and a gray & white), and have black cats, and a dog, in the past. What the hell is wrong with a black cat or dog? They are just as smart and loveable as any other color animal, and I can certainly tell all of mine apart! People that are superstitious, (black animals are bad luck, and hang with witches), need to wake up and realize they live in the 21st century, and not the dark ages where that kind of worthless mentality was accepted. As for the people that do not want to adopt an animal, because it took a bad selfie, I cannot even begin to tell you how stupid and shallow that sounds! All animals, no matter their color or breed deserve to have a loving forever home!

4:14PM PDT on Aug 31, 2014

this is so sad to hear and incredibly frustrating!!

I use to volunteer in a cat room, the black cats that I interacted with there were honesty the sweetest, most loving cats i ever encountered. to think people are so shallow they wouldn't adopted a black animal because they are hard to photograph is disgusting!! i have black dogs and never had a problem photographing them...okay i do but only cause they wouldn't sit still long enough lol...quality wise, perfect pics every time!!

5:37AM PDT on Aug 25, 2014

I love my black cat, Butterball! She is actually nothing like her name. She is a tiny petite little girl.

5:05PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

Same problem with black dogs. Our last rescue was a black lab....the sweetest dog you could ever have the pleasure of sharing your life with!

7:09PM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

I have 4 black cats (plus one black & white, one gray, and one Siamese); they're all equally amazing, beautiful, sweet, affectionate, and yet incredibly unique! I happen to think all cats, including black cats, are lucky, because I've never been happier than I am now, since I brought them into my life!

9:13AM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

Black cats are and have been considered good luck in the UK. It's only in the states that they're considered bad luck and associated with witchcraft and the like. Black cats are typically blessed with such sweet dispositions around the world. I'd adopt them all myself if I were able to.

8:32AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

Black kittes are the best. I have black cat, with some white on her but she's mostly black and she's so smart and funny. I also fostered some black kittens and they were the most affectionate babies! They were always around me, laid on me all the time. I was so happy to send them both to a fur-ever home with one person who lets me know how well they are doing. PLEASE don't pass up the black kitties! They will love you more for it.

1:18AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

Thank you to all who love the animals and the planet, and who already signed the petition to protect horses from Pétropolis, if no, please help give an happy end to the sad story of those enslaved animals, and share these petitions :
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Thank you for sharing

1:17AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ADOPT A SHELTER PET
DON'T SHOP ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

8:50PM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

Talk about a bizarre reason, have never heard anyone talking about that one but obviously, some people have that ridiculous idea.

Black cats have been given a bad rap because of idiotic superstitious beliefs and prejudices. They are marvellous companions as are all cats and should not be discriminated against.

But 'bad selfies?' this has got to be the most inane reason of them all.

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