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.

Photo credit (all images): Thinkstock


Melania Padilla
Melania P2 years ago

Really? Is this true? I am amazed at how stupid people can get for society crap

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe2 years ago

3 of our 5 kitties are black, and our dog was black (RIP)!!
I will always have a black cat because I LOVE how they look, and how their fur shines when laying in the sun!!
As for the people who don't think black cats look good in selfies, they need someone to take that phone and smack them up side their head to knock some sense in there!!

Valentina R.
Valentina R2 years ago

Bad selfies... I have no words. Let's just say those imbeciles should be wiped off the planet.

One of my four cats is almost totally black (and other two are black and white), and he's the most intelligent, chatty, magnetic of the bunch. He even plays fetch with no training. Adopt a black kitty today.

Nola C.
Nola C3 years ago

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!

Nora McKellar
Nora McKellar3 years ago

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!!

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

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

Silvia Steinhilber

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!

Cristine M.
Cristine M3 years ago

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!

JT Smith3 years ago

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.