How Black Cat Stigmas & Superstitions Still Effect Us



This Halloween, as you carve your pumpkins, don your yards with cobwebs and fill up bowls of treats for the tiny two-legged spooksters to arrive, we give you a little history on the black cat which has also become a symbolic figure for Halloween.



This Halloween, as you carve your pumpkins, don your yards with cobwebs and fill up bowls of treats for the tiny two-legged spooksters to arrive, we give you a little history on the black cat which has also become a symbolic figure for Halloween. We’re sure you’ve heard all of the myths and lore surrounding black cats from past generations and other cultures.

Here are some of the common black cat myths:

1)    A black cat crossing your path brings bad luck
2)    Black cats are witches in disguise
3)    A black cat is the omen of death
4)    Satanic cults purchase black cats to burn and mutilate them and rid Satan of the world

And on the tales of darkness go from days of old. We’re certainly not out hunting witches who were burned alongside their black feline friends in the Salem Witch Trial days. Hopefully the old European folklore of a black cat simply walking by you and bringing the onslaught of a deadly fever, leading you to an ill-timed early grave is not a common fear. While the stigmas surrounding our darker furred loyal companions have certainly worn off, they obviously still linger in our minds with black cat adoption rates coming in at less than half that of grey, white and lighter-colored or two-toned cat breeds, according to a 2013 report from the Huffington Post.

Kristen Marie Green Photography

Here are a few pawsitive superstitions of black cats:

1)    In England, giving a bride a black cat is believed to bring her good luck.
2)    In Ireland and Scotland, it’s considered good luck for a black cat to cross your path.
3)    Fishermen and their wives coveted black cats, seeing them as ultimate signs of good luck, placing them on their ship and in        their homes. They even became difficult for many to afford due to this belief.
4)    In ancient Egypt, people paid homage to the cat goddess Bastet who embodied truth and prosperity.

Aside from these popular black cat myths, folklore and superstitions, colors themselves play a role in what we associate positive/negative, playful or mysterious, beautiful or unattractive feelings with.  In fact, black dogs suffer the same unfavorable fate as they’re mislabeled aggressive or violent according to a recent report on black dog adoption rates from NBC News. In fact the stigma is so rampant that it’s dubbed ‘Black Dog Syndrome’. Lke black cats, their un-adoption rates due to the stereotypes from their fur color leave them at the adoption centers. Sadly, that means that black dogs and cats are euthanized at much higher rates than those of lighter complexion. Many animal shelters and rescues even halt the adoption of black cats during the entire month of October due to the lingering tales of Satanic cults that bought cats to injure, mutilate and ultimately rid them of the world.

“We do black cat adoptions year round and actually, we will probably promote the increase need to adopt black cats around Halloween,” Founder and President of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Denise Bitz said. “I trust my staff that they can wean out the good adopters from the ‘cat murderers’ with pretty good certainty and hope that other shelters will do the same and not keep cats from going home based on this outdated notion.”

Many shelters and rescues come up with fun marketing campaigns to break these stigmas such as ‘Adopt your Little Panther’, ‘Black is the New Black’ or ‘Do You See Me Now’.  Find out about your local animal shelters black pet adoption rates and volunteer to help or spread the word socially and let’s break the negative feelings toward our darker-colored furry friends.

Here at Dog Tag Art we respect and honor all living creatures and support the work of shelters, rescues and organizations working to break stigmas and superstitions that harm our furry friends. We offer pet id tags that let humans know a pet has a medical condition, is aggressive or doesn’t like to be petted as well as a variety of fun tags to dress your little one up while keeping them safe. Take a look-see at our favorite black cat pet id tag and don’t forget that you too can create your very own personalized pet tags by uploading a photo of your own to our site.


~ My name is Tiffany Faith and growing up I can remember my mother swiping her finger across the windshield in an ‘X’ pattern when a black cat crossed our path while driving. I had no idea how deeply black cat folklore and legends ran and the desperate need of our shelters to overcome the stigmas associated with pets of darker complexion. It’s strange how these tales and stories are told to us when we’re young and the pieces of them we internalize— from mythology to past cultural references and stigmas to other’s perception of color. It’s up to each of us to work past these long-held superstitions for the continuation of a lineage of healthy, happy black kitties and woofers for generations to come.