Donate Sponsor

Black cat superstitions from around the world

Black cats are often shrouded in mysterious superstitions, some believing they bring good fortune and others not.

We definitely believe that black cats are lucky, but sadly they can be regularly overlooked by potential new owners.

Over 40% of the cats taken in by Cats Protection centres are black, and these moggies can take 13% longer to find their forever homes than cats of other colours.

black cat with green eyes in shadow

While we don’t know if this is because of negative black cat superstitions, we’re keen to bust the myths and show that monochrome moggies are all magnificent.

Here are some popular folklore tales from around the world that show our black cat comrades the respect they deserve…

In Scotland, a stray black cat on your doorstep is a sign of prosperity 

We definitely think owning a black cat will change your life for the better, but if you find a stray one then you should check if they have an owner before inviting them in. Read our advice on what to do if you find a cat.

In England, giving a bride a black cat on her wedding day will bring her good luck 

Although it would certainly be a thoughtful gift for any cat-loving bride, welcoming a pet into your life should really be a decision you make yourself. Instead, why not sign the happy couple up to our Cat Sponsorship scheme, so they can get regular updates on the cats staying in their sponsor pen at a Cats Protection centre.

black cat lying on step

In the south of France, treating a black cat well will bring you good fortune 

In France, black cats are sometimes referred to as ‘matagots’ or ‘magician cats’, and showing them respect is thought to bring you great reward. We certainly believe that black cats, like all cats, deserve to be treated well, and should have their five welfare needs met. They are sure to show you lots of love in return.

In Italy, if you hear a black cat sneeze you will have good luck 

While the occasional moggy sneeze is nothing to worry about (although we’re not sure about it being lucky!), if your cat is doing it a lot then it would be best to get them checked over by a vet. If you’re the one whose sneezing around your cat, then take a look at our advice on cats and allergies here.

In the UK, if a black cat is in the audience of a play’s opening night, it will have a long and prosperous run 

Although cats certainly appreciate some entertainment, a theatre performance is unlikely to capture their interest and the meowing may put the actors off! Your moggy would much prefer some playtime with a fishing rod toy or a puzzle feeder to keep them occupied.

black cat on chair with union jack cushion

In Europe, keeping a black cat on your ship ensures safe passage

While they would surely love access to a constant supply of fresh fish, most cats won’t enjoy a life at sea. A cosy home is a much better place for them, but you can still give them their very own sea-faring name using our name generator.

In Japan and the UK, a black cat crossing your path brings good luck 

While in America and some other parts of the world they believe the opposite – that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck – we much prefer Japan's and the UK's version of the superstition. If you would like to increase your own chance of good luck, why not welcome a black cat into your home so they can cross your path all day long. Find the cats available for adoption in your area at Adopt a cat

To celebrate the beautiful black cat, get involved in National Black Cat Day on 27 October – download our colour chart to find out your own black cat’s true shade or find a monochrome moggy you can give a loving home.

Find a Cat
About us