There’s just something about a black cat. A little mystery, a little mystique, and a lot of adorable. It’s no wonder that black cats (of any kind) hold a special place in our hearts. Pet People Panelist and animal behaviorist, Dr. Mikel Delgado, reminded us that almost any cat breed can be black, but here are 11 cat breeds that commonly come with black coats.
Popular Black Cat Breeds
1. Bombay Cats
The Bombay is known for his sleek, black coat (that some say resembles patent leather). They were initially bred in the 1950s by crossing a Domestic Shorthair with a Burmese. This designer breed was originally developed to retain the deep black color of the American shorthair and the sleek, muscular body of the Burmese. This sweet cat breed is beautiful and also often has the easygoing personality of the American shorthair and the social nature of the Bombay. Remember: some purebred cat breeds are known for specific traits but, like humans, all cats are individuals and their temperaments will reflect that.
Interesting fact: You can polish your Bombay with a chamois to obtain that sleek shine!
The Chantilly-Tiffany cat comes in many colors (chocolate, cinnamon, lilac), but often has a soft black coat with a characteristically silky feel. These cats are often characterized as being a human-oriented breed and love to follow their human around. All cats have their own personalities, but some say these cats are affectionate, social and loyal—which are some fantastic lap-cat qualities.
Interesting fact: The Chantilly-Tiffany’s beautiful golden eye color intensifies as the cat gets older.
The Persian is everybody’s favorite flat-faced feline. Easily recognizable, this cat commonly sports a soft, glossy black coat.
The Persian breed is among the oldest we know of and was first spotted in Iran, known at the time as Persia. This breed became well-known during the 1871 Crystal Palace cat show and is also known as having been a favorite of Queen Victoria’s.
Because the Persian breed is known for their long, luxurious coat, it’s important to keep in mind that it requires additional maintenance. Experts recommend brushing their coat daily with a metal comb to prevent hair balls and knots, along with the occasional bath.
Many Persians have soft, pleasant voices and are quite affectionate, if a little shy. They do best in calm environments, and when at home, can also be quite playful. This breed shares some characteristics with the beloved Maine Coon, but Persian cats tend to be smaller and weigh closer to 7-12 pounds.
Interesting fact: Persians with black coats almost always have copper-colored eyes.
4. Maine Coon
The Maine Coon cat is among the largest cat breeds, boasting many Guinness Records for…pretty much everything that has to do with being a big, heavy, long cat. Despite their size, these cats are often gentle and very loving. They’re known for being climbers and may perch in high-up spaces. Similarly, a jump from the floor to the top of the fridge is likely no challenge for these strong, muscular cats.
Their coats come in five solid colors and several tabby patterns. Of the solid coats, you can find black, white, blue, red, or cream. The coats are long and silky but require less maintenance than some other long-haired breeds.
Interesting fact: The Maine Coon cat has large, tufted paws to help walk on snow.
So what is a rex? Rexed cats have tufted hair, which means two things: super cute, and more than a few bad hair days. Though there are several types of rexed cats, they come in all different shapes and sizes, and—as you might have guessed—many of them have black coats.
5. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex is a very distinct-looking cat, with a curved body, large ears and short, curly hair that feel like lambs’ coats to the touch. Adding to their unique look, these guys have egg-shaped heads and large, high-set ears. As you might have guessed, these beauties can have dark coats that the Cat Fanciers’ Association describes as “coal black.” Even the pads of their paws and their noses will be black. Besides black, this breed can also have white, cream, blue, red, chocolate or silver coats. Experts say these cats are likely to be intelligent, alert and comfortable around their humans.
Interesting fact: Kallibunker, the kitten credited as the first Cornish Rex, was born in a litter of barn cats in Cornwall, England in 1953.
6. Selkirk Rex
Known for being easy-going and relaxed, the Selkirk Rex makes a great pet. This breed’s soft and slightly curly coat is the result of a “dominant, spontaneous mutation.” This powerful appearance is backed up by sturdy bones and a medium to large stature. They’re surprisingly heavy!
Cat parents of a Selkirk Rex can likely expect an active cat with a sensitive and sweet personality. Their coats may come in nearly every color, black included.
This breed was actually first discovered in Montana in 1987 and determined an official and distinct breed by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, among others, in 2013.
Interesting Fact: The Selkirk Rex was recognized in 2013 by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Newest Cat.
7. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is lovingly called the “pixie” of cat breeds for their mischievous personalities. This breed’s small to medium body is covered in a short, soft coat that waves. Devon Rexes are smaller cats, according to the International Cat Association (TICA), but are playful, powerful, and love to perch. They come in just about any color, black included.
Their trouble maker tendency is playful and often a result of the breed being highly active. They also love their humans and will enjoy an activity.
Interesting fact: The first known Devon Rex was named Kirlee, born in the 1960s to a family in Devon, England.
Shorthair cats are perennially popular pets commonly found with distinctive black coats.
8. American Shorthair
The American Shorthair is among the most popular cat breeds in the United States. They got their start in North America as working cats—most often used for rodent control. These days, they make ideal pets for households with kids, and usually live a long life, 15 years or longer. As with many breeds, they come in a variety of colors, including black. Some kittens with black coats will have smoky colors on their belly and tail, but these should turn to black by adulthood.
Interesting fact: It’s possible that the ancestor to the modern-day American Shorthair came to America on the Mayflower.
9. British Shorthair
British Shorthairs are known for being calm, easygoing, and not too talkative, according to the Cat Fancier’s Association. These cats grow to a medium-to-large size, and while they are most common with a blue (deep gray) coat, they can black, too. Black-coated British Shorthairs are jet black all around (including nose and paws) and will have gold eyes.
Interesting fact: British Shorthairs are often so amiable, owners keep them alongside a variety of other pets: dogs, rabbits, and even birds.
Bobtails, as the name indicates, have naturally short, or “bobbed” tails, and come in a variety of coat colors, including black.
10. Japanese Bobtail
Japanese Bobtails are known for being sociable, playful, and interactive. They love their humans and will engage while watching tv or follow their people around the house. Like most cat breeds, they come in a wide variety of colors, including black. Black bobtails have dense, coal-black and sleek coats.
Interesting Fact: Each bobbed tail, like a fingerprint, is unique to each cat.
11. American Bobtail
American Bobtails are large, athletic cats with above-average intelligence, according to TICA. This breed makes great family pets because they often can be social with just about anyone. In general, they love to please and having endearing personalities. Their coats come in a variety of colors and can be long or short. Black-coated Bobtails have a dense, soft coat and can have black or brown pads on their paws.
Interesting fact: Short-Haired Bobtails have a coat that feels like a rabbit pelt.
Check out this fun video we made about black cat breeds:
More about cat breeds
- 10 Large Cat Breeds that Maker Great Pets
- 11 Least-Active Cat Breeds
- 14 Rare Cat Breeds You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
- The Cost of Cat Parenthood