With its sleek and shiny jet black coat it’s no wonder that the Bombay cat is often described as a miniature black leopard. Stunning in appearance and with an inquisitive, affectionate and fun-loving personality to match this breed makes a great family pet.
The Bombay cat breed is often described as miniature black leopard. They have a jet black coat that lies close to the body with the sleek shiny look being helped along by strands that are black to their core. The blackness of this cat extends to every inch of its body as even the paw pads are black.
A medium length tail tapers at the tip. Almond shaped eyes of colours ranging from gold to deep copper, with a brilliant copper colour being preferred among breeders, sit in a nicely rounded face that is devoid of sharp edges. The copper coloured eyes combine perfectly with the sleek black body to create a hauntingly beautiful breed.
The body of the Bombay cat ranges from small to medium-sized and is well-muscled, so you might be surprised by the weight of this cat, as they are deceivingly heavy when picked up.
The Bombay is a classic example of a hybrid breed, born of a desire to create a cat with a specific look – in this case the panther. The Bombay was developed in Kentucky in 1958 by Nikki Horner of Shawnee Cattery who started her efforts in 1953, and was finally successful when mating a black American Shorthair to a Grand Champion sable Burmese female.
Nikki thought the Bombay resembled the black leopard of India, hence the name.
After years of selective line breeding and outcross breeding Nikki was finally able to develop a stable breed of black unlike any ever seen before. The Bombay achieved status as a breed in its own right by the CFA in 1976. It still has a small population but this breed is a consistent winner in national and regional competitions.
Many owners use the terms part dog, part cat, and part monkey when describing their Bombay cat. This is a mischievous and fun-loving breed that will provide you with hours of entertainment every day. If you consider yourself a dog person at heart this is the cat breed for you – they love a game of fetch and will happily walk on a leash.
The Bombay is a friendly, affectionate and outgoing cat who gets on well with everybody; from children, to the elderly, and even the family dog. There’s no hiding under the bed when visitors come to the door as the Bombay will be right there underfoot demanding attention and wanting to say hello. While they do enjoy the company of everybody they will form a more loyal bond with a special someone.
The Bombay has a very distinctive meow with some being more talkative than others.
Did you Know?
The coat colour is due to a dominant gene, but there is a recessive sable gene floating around in their gene pool. If both parents carry this gene some kittens will be born with a sable rather than jet black coat.
The Bombay’s tendency to form a special attachment to one person in particular, has earned them the nickname of being a ‘velcro cat’.
British breeders created the same type of cat by mating Burmese to Domestic or British Shorthairs so there are actually two “types” of Bombay, the American Bombay and the British Bombay. These are considered two completely separate breeds.
Caring for your Bombay Cat
The Bombay cat is a low maintenance breed. They don’t shed much fur, although weekly grooming is recommended to accentuate their silky, shiny black coats and remove any stray hairs.
They can be prone to obesity, but as long as you pay attention to the Bombay cat’s diet this shouldn’t become a problem.
Genetic health issues that may affect this breed include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – a form of heart disease, excessive tearing of the eyes and a tendency towards upper respiratory infections and sinus problems.
If you have a Bombay cat in your life, please share your experiences below.