Don’t Judge a Cat by Their Coat: The Allure and Magic of Black Cats

| Aimee Ellis

Don't let myths & internet trends keep you away from the beauty of black cats. Here are reasons to love these furry friends & easy ways to properly photograph them.


Black cats are the least likely to get adopted from a shelter, not only because of the superstition that they bring bad luck, but also because they don’t photograph well.

Psychologically, it’s harder to bond with a little black furball on your screen than a cat with more intricate colors. And in the age of social media and documenting with photographs, some people don’t think that a black cat will go with their Instagram aesthetic.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Black cats are stunningly beautiful and are not hard to photograph with a little practice. They make exceptional and loving companions to those who are lucky enough to bring them home.

Let’s highlight the magic of black cats today, not only because it’s spooky season, but because these house panthers deserve a loving home all year round.

Black Cats in Folklore

Superstitions around black cats began in the 1300s when fear of witches was part of everyday life. Folks at the time believed that witches were worshipping a devil disguised as a cat.

In the New World, people thought that witches could shape shift and would take on the form of a black cat, which was considered a standard belief until the Salem Witch Trials.

The tides turned when America was at war during the 1940s. Trick-or-treating became part of our culture, and black cats were viewed as protectors. It was believed that a black cat would chase away any evil entities from your door.

The Age of Social Media

The world has changed immensely and those bad luck myths about black cats seem to have become just that—a myth. However, in the age of social media, people have found that photographing black cats with their phones is a bit difficult, and therefore, they’ll adopt any other color cat than black. It sounds absurd that this would be a reason to leave a cat behind, but numerous shelters have reported that folks want a “designer” looking cat.

Black Cats Are Worth Adopting

  • Have you ever seen a black cat up close in person? Their super sleek black fur, which can have shades of blue or red in the light, is beautiful.

  • They are curious, friendly, and cuddly—and want to be friends with you!

  • They’re the perfect accessory: black goes with everything.

  • Being in the presence of a black cat is like being with your own miniature house panther.

  • They love to play and often keep that kitten-like wonder throughout their lives.

  • Their eyes against their dark fur are striking, and they always look dressed to the nines.

Photographing Black Cats

Taking a snap of your black cat isn’t that difficult, it just requires a little know-how and patience.

  • **Get down on their level.**If photographing from above, they may end up looking like a black hole in outer space, which, let’s be honest, is very cute in itself.

  • **Make sure they’re well lit.**Natural lighting is always best. Use a nice window that directs plenty of sunshine on your furry friend.

  • **Focus on their eyes.**Use your finger to make the focal point of the photo your kitty’s stunning eyes.

We could go on and on about the beauty and allure of black cats, but we think it’s best to find out on your own. When you have room in your heart and your home, you’ll understand why they’re so magical.

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Aimee Ellis

Aimee is a New Jersey native currently living in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and crew of four cats. She has an English degree and when she isn't writing for AKC Pet Insurance, you can find her drinking seltzer, painting, watching reality TV shows, and trying to wrangle her cats into sweaters.


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