National Black Cat Day in the UK Date in the current year: October 27, 2024

National Black Cat Day in the UK In most Western cultures, black cats have historically been associated with witches, sorcery, and bad luck. Although modern people should know better, there is evidence that black cats are less likely to be adopted from shelters. October 27 has been designated as National Black Cat Day in the United Kingdom to challenge common stereotypes surrounding black cats and encourage people to adopt black cats from shelters.

A black cat is a domestic cat that has black fur. According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, 22 cat breeds can have solid black coats; mixed breed cats and cats of no particular breed also can be black. In most cases, solid black fur in cats results from a recessive gene that suppresses the tabby coat pattern.

Black cats can have positive and negative associations depending on the culture. For example, ancient Celts considered black cats sacred and saw them as bringers of prosperity and good health. In Germanic cultures, however, black cats are typically associated with sorcery and bad luck. Because of this, there is a mix of positive and negative associations with black cats in the United Kingdom.

Sadly, negative stereotypes about black cats still persist, even though most people don’t believe in witchcraft anymore. They result, for example, in black cats having lower odds of adoption in shelters compared to most other colors. However, this is also true for other black animals. There is a term “black dog syndrome” to describe a phenomenon in which black dogs are typically passed over for adoption.

The UK’s National Black Cat Day was launched in 2011 by Cats Protection, a UK charity that rescues and rehomes cats in need, as well as educates people about cats and cat welfare through its programs. Cats Protection is the largest feline welfare charity in the United Kingdom. Its network of 34 centers and 210 branches run by volunteers helps over 160,000 cats and kittens every year.

When Cats Protection launched National Black Cat Day, its statistics revealed that black and black-and-white cats typically took about a week longer to find a new home compared to cats of other colors. In 2014, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals supported this statistics, reporting that 70% of cats in its care were black. Since the launch of the National Black Cat Day campaign, the situation has significantly improved, and now black and black-and-white cats spend less time in Cat Protection’s care, finding new homes much sooner.

The best way to celebrate National Black Cat Day is to adopt a black cat from a shelter. If you can’t adopt a cat, it’s okay! You still can contribute by donating to or volunteering at a cat shelter near you and spreading awareness online with the hashtags #NationalBlackCatDay and #BlackCatDay. If you’re already a proud black cat owner, share photos of your adorable furball on social media to encourage others to adopt a black cat.

The United Kingdom is not the only country that has a celebration dedicated to black cats. National Black Cat Appreciation Day in the United States is observed on August 17, and Italian Black Cat Day is celebrated on November 17.

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