The Bombay Cat: Kings and Queens of the Black Cat Breeds

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long haired black cat breeds strict posture on outside tableAs with the Bengal and the Savannah cat, the development of the Bombay cat breed stemmed from a desire to have a miniature version of a wild cat. In this case, a sleek black panther.

The inspiration for the name of the breed comes from the black leopard of India. With their glossy black coat and their copper-gold eyes, Bombay cats are gorgeous to look at. They also make for lovely pets as they are affectionate and fun-loving!

The History of the Bombay Cat Breed

Nikki Horner of Louisville, Kentucky is credited with developing this breed of cat. She started her journey towards the ‘parlor panther’ in the 1950’s. Although these cats look like miniature panthers, they have no wild cat blood. Nikki started by crossing sable Burmese cats with black American Shorthairs to breed the American Bombay.

Across the pond, the British were crossing Burmese with black domestic cats to achieve a similar goal, resulting in a breed later known as the British Bombay.

In 1978, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) gave the Bombay full recognition. Most North American cat associations recognize the breed today.

Black Cat? Copper Eyes? The Appearance of this Black Cat Breed

“Any color, so long as it’s black!”

Sometimes referred to as the cat with the patent leather coat and the new penny eyes. The Bombay is an elegant cat with a glossy black coat. The wide-set eyes of a Bombay are gold to copper in color.

The cat has a muscular build with a substantial bone structure. Bombays are more slender than their Burmese cousins. They have a longer body and longer legs. Some Bombays are born with the sable-colored coat from their Burmese genes. These are then occasionally classed or registered as Burmese cats.

Is this a Long-Haired Black Cat?

With both parent breeds being short-haired, it is very improbable to come across a long-haired Bombay. The satin-like coat of the Bombay is made up of fine, close-lying, short hairs. The fur of a Bombay black cat feels like warm velvet to the touch.

What Are Their Grooming Requirements?

Bombays are fairly low maintenance. These short-haired cats do not shed a great deal. Grooming once a week with a rubber curry comb should suffice. If your pint-sized panther allows, you can bath it once or twice a year to help remove loose hair.

Other grooming needs include nail-trimming, teeth-brushing, and ear cleaning. If your cat is kept indoors, you will need to trim the nails almost weekly. Only clean the ears if you see that they are dirty.

Average Size and Weight!

Like the American Bobtail, the Bombay is a medium-sized, muscular cat. They weigh in the range of 6 and 11 pounds (2.75 – 5 kg). Their sleek bodies belie their solidity: A Bombay can feel heavier than it looks when you pick it up.

When do Cats Stop Growing?

Bombay cats may achieve sexual maturity at the age of 5 months already. You may, therefore, want to think about having your parlor panther neutered between 6 and 9 months.

The rest of their physical development takes somewhat longer though. Some males may only reach their full size and musculature at 2 years of age.

Temperament and Personality: What to Expect!

Sometimes referred to as Velcro kitties, a Bombay will stick to your side wherever you wander. They are very affectionate cats and crave constant attention. Not the ideal kitty companion for pet owners who don’t have a lot of time on their hands.

Bombays are personable and friendly, eager to greet guests at the door. They get along with everyone in the household. They are said to be great with children, and they get along well with family dogs. These felines can tolerate other cats, so long as everyone knows that the Bombay is the “top cat”.

The parlor panther is playful and intelligent. They love to play games and be entertained with a variety of toys. Anything from an expensive cat toy to a plastic bottle filled with feathers or beads! It might be a good idea to stock up on some puzzle toys to keep your pint-sized panther busy and stimulated.

Like most dog breeds, Bombays can be taught to retrieve and do tricks. Some Bombay cats are even amenable to being trained to walk on a leash so that they can go for walks with you!

Like Burmese, Bombays are talkative, but the American or British Shorthair blood dials the talkative-ness down a notch or two! Still, “woe betide”! if the food bowl be empty!

Other fun-loving, friendly, and affectionate cat breeds include the Japanese Bobtail, the Cornish Rex, and the American Bobtail.

kitty playing with bombay cats toy

How Long do Bombay Cats Live?

Bombay cats can live to an age of 12 to 16 years. To enjoy a long and disease-free life with your beloved petite panther, it is recommended that you take your cat for regular veterinary check-ups (once a year).

Make sure to keep inoculations up to date. Feed your cat a veterinarian-approved, well-balanced cat food. Avoid obesity and it’s knock-on effects by keeping your Bombay fit and trim. Follow a good de-fleeing and de-worming regime.

List of the Breed’s Potential Health Issues!

The black Bombay cat is generally a healthy cat breed. Some of the health issues that can be found amongst Bombays are:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – This is a condition in which the muscle of the heart thickens.
  • Excessive tearing of the eyes – this comes from the Burmese bloodlines.
  • Breathing difficulties can arise because of the cat’s shortened muzzle.
  • Obesity – Bombays like to eat and can pick up weight very quickly. As a pet owner, this is the easiest disease to avoid. Keep your Bombay at an appropriate weight with a portion-controlled, well-balanced diet.

Bombay Kittens for Sale!

If you want a cat with loads of personality, plenty of energy for play times, and oodles of cuddles: The Bombay might just be the right kind of kitten for a cat lover like you.

These sociable, energetic and lovable cats make wonderful companions. They could even be great felines for emotional support animals!

Bombay Kitten Price

Pet quality Bombay kittens can cost anywhere between $ 300 – $ 600. If you are looking for a show cat or breeding quality Bombay, you will have to fork out $ 750 – $ 2000, depending on the bloodlines and gender of the cat.

Bombay cats that are born with the sable coat of their Burmese parents can sell for less.

What to Look for in Reputable Cat Breeders!

When you plan to buy a car or a new appliance, you do your due diligence. No less should be done when planning to buy a pet. A pet is a commitment for that animal’s lifespan. In this case, up to 16 years. That is a long time. So, make sure that this is the right cat breed for you. Then, make sure to look for a reputable cat breeder.

A reputable breeder should be willing to answer any, and all, of the questions that you might have about their breeding program as well as any of the kittens on offer. Don’t be surprised if they should also have a list of questions for you. Any responsible, animal-loving breeder will want to ensure that their progeny are going to good homes.

You will want to choose a kitten from a breeder who raises their kittens in the home. Kittens raised in isolation may be skittish and problematic to socialize later in life.

A responsible breeder will have health certifications for the parents of the kittens available. In the case of the Bombay, you will want to ask whether echocardiograms (ECG) have been done to check for HCM.

Have a look at the CFA website to find out about reputable Bombay breeders or ask your local veterinarian, breed club, or rescue groups.

collection of black cat pictures

Adopt, Don’t Shop! There are Tons of Black Cat Breeds in Shelters!

A kitten is tons of fun, but quite a lot of work too. Short-cut the house-training and property damage stages and get yourself an adult black cat. Although the Bombay breed is rare (not as rare as the American Wirehair), you will find many other kinds of black cats in animal shelters.

You will be sure to find one with the personality traits that you are looking for! Otherwise, you can contact the Bombay breeders to ask whether they know of an adult Bombay needing a new home. A breed’s fanciers association or sites like Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet could also be useful resources.

Wherever you get your cat or kitten from, be sure to have a good contract with the seller. Take your cat or kitten to the vet soon after you bring it home so that they can give your new feline BFF the once-over to check for any health problems.

Common Questions About Bombay Cats

How Long Do Bombay Cats Live?

How Much Does a Bombay Kitten Cost?

Do Bombay Cats Make Good Family Pets?

Does a Bombay Cat Shed?

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