What Makes Black Cats Black?

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What Makes Black Cats Black?Image © Anna Croccolo – Fotolia.com

Did you ever wonder why black cats have black fur? Thanks to modern science, researchers have finally found dependable and reliable explanations as to why these adorable creatures are black in color.



Black cats are, curiously, either more popular or less popular than other cats – being thought to bring good luck by some and bad luck by others! In ancient days, black cats were feared by many because they were associated with witchcraft and were thought to bring bad luck upon encounter. However in Egypt, black cats were highly valued as they were associated with the goddess Bast, who was believed to have taken the form of an ebony-furred feline. This is the reason why many Egyptians take black cats as pets – in order to earn favor from the goddess.

In Britain, it is believed that owning a black cat can bring good luck to its owners, and female owners considered likely to attract more suitors. There is a also an old British belief that plucking a white hair from an ebony cat can bring lots of luck in love. On the Yorkshire coast of Britain, some fishermen wives are under the belief that owning a black cat can keep their husband safe at the sea.



Meanwhile, in Scotland, it is believed that the appearance of black cat along the porch can bring ample prosperity to the owner. On a more negative note, it is believed by many that encountering a black cat may bring bad luck. [1]

With the advent of modern technology, many people today are now enlightened why some cats are black. According to scientists, it’s all in the cat’s genetics. It is believed that the occurrence of solid black furs in cats is caused by the presence of a recessive gene that suppresses the manifestation of tabby patterns.

Studies show that the probability of having all-black pigmentation is slightly higher in male cats than their female counterparts. [2] Furthermore, the high level of black pigment makes the feline’s eyes yellow.

However, scientists emphasize that the black-colored fur of cats may have the tendency to turn brown or even lighter later on most especially when these cats become adults. Also, over exposure to sun may ebony-colored furs to fade.

Want to know more about black cats? Check this website http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/black-cat-facts-genetics-cats-fur-coat-color-breeds to look in greater depth at the science behind the occurrence of ebony furs in felines.



References:
[1] http://www.oregonlive.com/pets/index.ssf/2011/10/facts_and_trivia_about_black_c.html
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_cat

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