What Breed Are Black Cats? Are They All The Same?

Often associated with Halloween, magic and many superstitions, black cats are easy to recognize. They are not a breed themselves, however. Since black is a coat color rather than an actual breed, black cats are included in the breed standard for many purebred felines. They can also be crosses.

Since several recognized breeds include black as an accepted fur color, here is a look at some of the breeds that black cats can be.

black cat breeds

Bobtails

American Bobtail

First developed in the late 1960s, the American Bobtail originated when a couple from Iowa found a short-tailed tabby kitten on a native reservation in Arizona. When crossed with another mixed breed, their kittens had the same short tail. These kittens became the first American Bobtails and come in a range of colors including black.

Japanese Bobtail

Older than the American variety, the Japanese Bobtail is distinguished by its short tails. They have been documented in Japan for at least 1,000 years and have even been drawn sitting with geishas. Typically, their tail hair is longer than the rest of their coat, giving them a pom-pom look.

black japanese bobtail on a basket
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Shutterstock

manx

Also known as the “rabbit cat”, the Manx is not always born without a tail and can have different appearances. They can be completely tailless, have a short tail like Japanese and American Bobtails, or have a full-length tail. The color of their fur can also vary greatly in color and pattern.

black manx cat on purple background
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Shutterstock

Curly hair

Cornish Rex

Unlimited by the colors and patterns of the dress, the Cornish Rex is one of many cat breeds with dense curls instead of straight fur. Their fine coat is low maintenance and low shedding, but they also make the breed prone to cold easily. To warm up, the Cornish Rex is more than happy to cuddle with you.

Black cornish rex kitten on owner's lap
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Shutterstock

Devon Rex

Similar to the Cornish Rex, if more playful in appearance, the Devon Rex comes in similar colors but is slightly larger. Their curly fur gives them an almost velcro look which suits their willingness to stay close to you at all times. They would love to hitchhike on your shoulders.

Saucer-Eyed Devon Rex
Image courtesy of Sara Flavin, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International (Saucer-Eyed Devon Rex)

The Perm

Friendly to a fault, the LaPerm is also called the “curly coated cuddly” due to his affectionate nature. They are found in all colors and patterns, as well as a range of fur types from short to long and even straight. Despite their cuddly nature, they are one of the most active black cats available.

Kururu-LaPermChat at the Cat Cafe
Image courtesy of Takashi (aes256), Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic (Kururu-LaPermChat at the Cat Cafe)

Selkirk Rex

Resembling a teddy bear with its dense, curly coat, the Selkirk Rex is a breed similar to the Cornish Rex. They are often referred to as dogs because of their people-oriented nature and their ability to walk on a leash. Short or long haired varieties come in several colors, including black.

Two black Selkirk Rex kittens in a studio
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Shutterstock

Bald

Sphynx

The Sphynx may not be as fluffy as some other cat breeds, but they can be just as colorful and covered in beautiful patterns. His lack of fur does not scare him of cuddles and he loves being around people.

long hairs

Coon Maine

The Maine Coon is the gentle giant of the cat world and well known for its traditional brown, red or silver tabby patterns. Many breeders have recently started developing solid colors for the breed, including black, white, and gray.

Black maine coon cat on white background
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norwegian forest cat

As the official cat of Norway, the norwegian forest cat is similar in appearance to the Maine Coon. Their thick coats keep them warm in cold Scandinavian winters, and they even played a role in Viking legends. The breed can be a combination of colors or a solid hue.

black norwegian forest cat sitting on the grass
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long haired oriental

Unlike other members of the Siamese breed group, the Oriental Longhair has a much wider range of patterns and colors. Like their Siamese ancestors, the Oriental is social and very active, with a love for gossip and mischief. The coat of the long-haired variety is not as long as that of some other long-haired breeds. There is also a short-haired variety.

Persian

The Persian is recognizable by its flattened face, its kindness and its fluffy and colorful coat. Peaceful and calm, they dislike noise and chaos, although they enjoy being around people and are often subject to zooming.

black persian cat walking on the grass
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Pixabay

Siberian

Hailing from the colder parts of Russia, the Siberian has a thick, fluffy coat to keep him warm in his home country. They often have rich patterns on their coats, but can also be solid colors. Their fur is high maintenance, especially during the winter, but that gives them plenty of excuses to cuddle up with their favorite people.

black siberian cat close-up
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Shutterstock

turkish angora

A semi-long-haired breed, the Turkish Angora is best known for its smooth, white fur. Although white is the most common color, the breed standard also accepts many other traditional colors, including black.

black turkish angora lying on seat cushion
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Shutterstock

short hair

american curl

Besides their distinctively shaped, eye-catching ears, the American Curl can have short or long hair of any color. They retain their kitten-like energy and curiosity throughout their lives. Like many other breeds on this list, the American Curl is well known for its love for its humans.

close up of black american curl cat
Image reproduced with the kind permission of shutter stock

american shorthair

The American Shorthair is best known for its tabby patterns, but it can also be found in a range of solid colors. The American Shorthair likes to be around people and his intelligence makes him relatively easy to train.

Bombay

One breed that is all black is the Bombay. These cats are easy to recognize, not only because of their black coat but also because of the dark orange color of their eyes. They love to be the center of attention, whether they’re asking for scratches or playing with their favorite toy.

bombay cat sitting on a table
Image courtesy of Pixabay

British Shorthair

Although best known for their gray fur, British Shorthairs can come in a variety of colors, including black. They are one of the most popular breeds among cat owners and can be cuddly and affectionate, although they are not known to be companion cats.

a black british shorthair cat lying on a sofa
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Exotic Shorthair

Similar in appearance to the Persian and part of the same breed group, the Exotic Shorthair is also known as “the lazy Persian”. They are calm and gentle and require less maintenance than Persians, although they have the same recognizable squat face and cuddly appearance.

exotic black short-haired cat lying on carpet
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Shutterstock

Scottish fold

First introduced to Scotland, the Scottish Fold is a controversial cat due to a degenerative joint disease. But despite their health issues, they are loyal and gentle cats with an inquisitive nature. In addition to their wide range of coat colors and patterns, they can also be short-haired or long-haired.

Black plaid fold lying on clothes
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Pixabay

Conclusion

Black cats are not a separate breed. Like tabbies, their name refers to the color and pattern of their coat rather than their breed. This means that there is no single breed that can claim black cats as their own, and they may not even have a pedigree.

If you’re looking to introduce a black cat into your home, we hope this list has helped you find one that’s best for your family.

Featured image credit: Pixabay

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