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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.
Bombay Cat Personality
Many owners use the terms part dog, part cat, and part monkey when describing their Bombay cat’s personality. 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.
Have you ever met a Bombay cat? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
Dory E Mena says
My husband and I adopted our baby girl named midnight (i call her “bits”, shortened from “midsy bitsy”) our first year dating and she’s been on one of our laps, sporting a bow or flower on her collar, ever since. Seriously, if it doesn’t have a bow or flower on it, she will not let it be put on her. Idk if its because she likes being a fancy diva or if its just what she is used to. She is the definition of a “velcro cat”. She ONLY wants me or my husband (she’s a daddy’s girl though, she usually picks daddy, lol). But, don’t get me wrong, her and I have our special time together as well. She has always preferred to sleep on my chest, ever since she was a baby. We tried getting her a little bed when we were gifted a very nice expensive down comforter and she didn’t seem to like the feeling of it under her paws… but instead of sleeping in her bed she would stand on the ottoman at the end of our bed and just stare at us, with her big golden eyes, like “How could you?” 😔 “It’s the fancy, 5 star hotel, goose down European comforter or me!”……Guess who won….We found a found a wonderful home for the down comforter. She is extremely intelligent. I could probably start a viral YouTube channel with all my videos of Bits and her mischief. When my sister was staying with us, she had her white and light grey American short hair cat here…sunshine was her name, but that was just a name…not an apt description. Sunshine was the meanest cat. She was much bigger than my baby midz-bits and chased her around trying to fight. Midnight learned to open and shut our folding fan door to the utility area and Sunshine couldn’t ever figure out how to open it to get to her. Once midnight jumped up to the kitchen counter to escape her and our home security cams got on video midnight pushing my plastic water cup over so all the water poured over on Sunshines head. Another time while at work the security cams alerted me that there was movement in the house. normally midnight doesn’t set the alarm off because shes small and low to the ground. But because the pantry door opened wide, the motion alarm triggered. At first I thought something creepy was happening, but then I saw the reason when I changed to look at a different angle from another camera. She managed to open the pantry door with her paw (mind you it has a knob that has to be twisted) and knock down her big bag of unopened treats. I sat there and watched her on my phone as she pawed the bag until it opened and she enjoyed her treats. I couldn’t be mad at her, because it was too cute and also pretty damn amazing. Anyway…if you want a loving, intelligent, velcro, mischievous boss cat… your Bombay might be like my baby bitsy and you’ll be in for a treat!
Anne M Amatucci says
I def have a ‘Velcro kitty’ she rides on my shoulder like a little parrot since I got her! 2 days old and bottle fed she is a Mama’s girl!!
Hilda fant says
We have a beautiful male Bombay named Milo.He is obedient but also mischievous when he runs in the house. Its like a panther is lose. He is absolutely Gorgeous.
I absolutely Love my Bombay, his name is Midnight and he is a true little lover! He is SO Good, never ruins anything, even though he kept his claws, he has never scratched or shredded anything! He is so calm & easy going. He is Mr. Social, he enjoys meeting new people and becomes best friends with everyone he meets! I would highly recommend this breed of cat to anyone who is looking for a cuddly best friend, but I suggest you not get one if you are a very busy person who isn’t home much, since they are happiest when they have family around them.
I’ve had 4 other cat breeds: Tabby, calico, Russian blue and a black American shorthair. My Bombay, Rosco, is, by far, my favorite. He is a “Velcro Kitty”! He’s also mouthy and bossy, especially when he wants food or a good rub down, but I adore him! Bombay’s are the best companions.
Sweet Purrfections says
Bombays are stunning black cats. We saw a special about them on the Animal Planet.
Bombays are gorgeous, all black cats are 🙂 Actually I think all cats in all colors are beautiful.
What a lovely black cat – of course Mum is biased as she had a total black cat until he died with cancer and she loved him dearly.
We think somewhere down the line Bombays and Tonks share some breeding, because the deceptively heavy, muscular & solid body (and those HUGE eyes) are a trait they both share. Aren’t they stunning?
Three Chatty Cats says
Thanks for sharing their background. Beautiful cat!
Bombays are stunning!