Black Breeds of Cat: 17 Breeds With Jet Black Coats

With a slick black coat that conjures up thoughts of a mini panther, beautiful black cats can be found in a number of purebred cat breeds as well as domestic (mixed breed) cats. The black cat can have a long, short coat or even be hairless. Cats with black coats typically have green, yellow, copper or gold eyes.

Black cat breeds


Black Bombay cat
Image photosounds, Shutterstock

Coat: Short
Activity level: Moderate
Country of origin: United States of America

A stunning, sleek, jet black cat with a Burmese type. The Bombay was developed in Kentucky in 1958 by Nikki Horner of Shawnee Cattery, who mated a sable Burmese with a black American Shorthair. Her aim was to create a copper-eyed mini panther. Nikki thought the Bombay resembled the black leopard of India, hence the name Bombay.

The Bombay personality is similar to that of their Burmese cousins. They are laid back, friendly, loving, and get along well with pets and children.

British Shorthair

Black British Shorthair
Image Delta Studio, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: Low to moderate
  • Country of origin: England

The British Shorthair is the pedigreed version of the traditional British working cat (moggy). These cats were exhibited at the first cat show, organised by Harrison Weir at Crystal Palace in 1871. Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat is said to be based on the British Shorthair.

The British Shorthair is a large and cobby cat with a plush coat and large round face. The most well-known colour is blue, which is often referred to as the British Blue, however, the breed can also be found in all other colours and patterns including black.

British Shorthairs are amiable, friendly, and laid back. As kittens, they are playful, but adult British Shorthairs tend to be less active than other breeds. They are a reasonably independent breed of cat and are happy to amuse themselves.

Scottish Fold

Black Scottish Shorthair cat
Image OB production, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: Low to moderate
  • Country of origin: Scotland

A naturally occurring breed that originated in Scotland; the most recognised feature of the Scottish Fold is the curled down ears, which gives the breed a beautiful owl-like face.

The Scottish Fold is a calm, well-adjusted, intelligent and affectionate breed of cat who gets on with everyone. Although affectionate, they are not clingy or in your face like some other breeds.

Oriental shorthair

Black Oriental cat
Image Belovodchenko Anton, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: Moderate to high
  • Country of origin: United Kingdom

A close relative of the Siamese cat who originated in the United Kingdom. Breeders wanted to create a Siamese-type cat in different coat colours while maintaining the same modern Siamese type head with large ears and a slender, athletic body.

Oriental cats are similar to their Siamese cousins in temperament; they can be talkative, friendly, confident, outgoing, highly intelligent, lively, sociable, curious and affectionate.


Black Persian cat
Image Eric Isselee, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Long
  • Activity: Low to moderate
  • Country of origin: Iran (formerly known as Persia)

The Persian is one of the oldest breeds in the cat fancy; the Persian cat is a long-haired breed of cat with a round face and short muzzle which originated in Persia (Iran), where they are known as Shirazi cat. Persian cats were introduced to Europe in the 1500s and considered highly valued items of trade. Queen Victoria (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901)  adopted two blue Persian cats which increased the breed’s popularity.

Persian cats have a sweet and gentle nature, they are laid back, affectionate and enjoy the company of their carers.

Exotic Shorthair

Black exotic shorthair cat
Image Linn Currie, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: Moderate
  • Country of origin: United States of America

The Exotic shorthair is essentially a shorthaired Persian. It shares many of its Persian cousin’s traits such as a laid-back and gentle nature and a characteristic round face with a flat nose.

Exotics are sweet, affectionate, loyal, fun-loving and get along with people, including children and other pets. They are not as demanding or obtrusive as other breeds of cats, but it is said they do like to follow their human companions around the house.

Devon Rex

Black Devon Rex
Image Sheli Jensen, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: High
  • Country of origin: England

The Devon Rex is a small to medium breed which arose from a spontaneous mutation in 1959. Devons are known for their curly coat and pixie-like appearance.

The Devon Rex is an intelligent, mischievous and active breed of cat who thrives on human companionship. They enjoy sitting on laps, snuggling up with you in bed and even riding on your head or shoulders.

Cornish Rex

Black Cornish Rex
Image Cressida studio, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: High
  • Country of origin: Scotland

The Cornish Rex is a curly-coated domestic breed of cat that came about as a spontaneous mutation in Cornwall, England.

They are a friendly, outgoing and active breed of cat who gets along with children and other pets and make a great family companion.

Norwegian Forest cat

Black Norwegian forest cat
Image Krissi Lundgren, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Long
  • Activity: Moderate
  • Country of origin: Norway

The Norwegian Forest Cat is a natural breed of cat which originated in Northern Europe. They have a magnificent long, waterproof coat long coat which is perfectly adapted to keep these cats warm in the freezing Northern Hemisphere winters.

The Norwegian Forest Cat is a highly intelligent breed of cat that bonds closely with its human family. They are an easygoing, laid back and friendly cat who gets along with everybody and make a perfect family companion.

Maine Coon

Black Maine Coon
Image Seregraff, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Long
  • Activity: Moderate
  • Country of origin: United States of America

The Maine Coon is the largest domestic cat breed which is thought to be descended from European cats brought over on ships. It is the oldest natural cat breed in North America and is the official state cat of its native state of Maine.

Maine Coons are smart and known for their dog-like qualities. They are loyal and will often choose one human in the family as their special person. The Maine Coon is known as the gentle giant of the cat world and has a very gentle outlook on life.

Don Sphynx

Black Don Sphynx
Image Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: Moderate
  • Country of origin: Russia

Also known as a Donsky, the Don Sphynx is a hairless breed, which arose as a natural mutation in Russia in 1987. The Don Sphynx has four types of coat from completely bald to a full coat which is wavy or wiry in texture.

The Don Sphynx is an extremely affectionate breed of cat; they love nothing more than spending time with their human companions and don’t do well if left for long periods on their own. They are playful, energetic, intelligent and get along with people and other pets. Gentle in nature, they make an exceptional family pet.

Japanese Bobtail

Black Japanese bobtail
Image NANCY AYUMI KUNIHIRO, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: Moderate to high
  • Country of origin: Japan

The Japanese Bobtail is a natural breed of cat that arrived in Japan over 1,000 years ago. They are thought to have originated in China or Korea, although there have been references made about cats with tail deformities from all over Asia.

This is an intelligent and lively breed of cat who remains this way well into adulthood. Because of this, the Japanese Bobtail is easy to train. They are extremely curious, active and playful. They are a talkative breed of cat, who has a melodious chant which they use when they are happy.


Black LaPerm cat
Image Linn Currie, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Semi-longhair
  • Activity: Moderate
  • Country of origin: United States of America

The LaPerm is a unique looking cat with a coat of ringlets or curls. The breed came about as a spontaneous mutation. In 1982 a tabby barn cat named Speedy gave birth to a litter of six kittens. One of these kittens was born completely bald, but when her fur grew in, it had a curly appearance.

The LaPerm is an intelligent and active breed of cat but are also happy to be a lap cat when given the opportunity. They are dog-like and like to be close to their human companions at all times.

American Curl

Black American Curl
Image iVazoUSky, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: Moderate to high
  • Country of origin: United States of America

The American Curl is a distinctive looking cat with backwards curling ears. The cat is relatively rare outside the USA.

The history begins in June 1981 when Joe and Grace Ruga (Curlniques Cattery) found two homeless kittens in Lakewood, California. One was a black longhaired female who they named Shulamith, the other a semi-longhaired black and white female who they named Panda. Both kittens had unusual curled back ears.

Selkirk Rex

Black Selkirk Rex
Image kristi_ti, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: Low to moderate
  • Country of origin: United States of America

A curly-coated breed of cat, which originated in Sheridan, Montana from a single kitten who was born with a long, curly coat. Peggy Voorhees, an employee at the Bozeman Human Society in Wyoming took this curly-coated kitten to Jeri Newman, a Persian breeder who named the kitten Miss De Pesto.

Miss De Pesto was mated to Photo Finish, a black Persian and the resulting litter produced three curly-coated kittens and three straight-coated kittens. The following year, a black and white kitten from this first mating was mated back to his mother producing four kittens, three of whom also had the same curly coat.

The Cat Fanciers Association awarded the Selkirk Rex championship status in 2000.

Selkirk Rex cats are laid back, quiet and calm, while still maintaining a somewhat playful nature.


Black Sphynx cat
Image photosounds, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Short
  • Activity: High
  • Country of origin: Canada

The Sphynx cat is an almost entirely hairless cat that originated from Toronto. The skin has a delightful chamois feel due to the presence of soft down hairs giving it a fuzzy peach appearance.

The Sphynx is an extremely outgoing, friendly and loving breed of cat. They love to climb and be up high and are always on the go. Part cat, part dog, part monkey is used to describe the Sphynx.

Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora
Image StockPhotosArt, Shutterstock
  • Coat: Long
  • Activity: Moderate
  • Country of origin: Turkey

The Turkish Angora is one of the oldest naturally occurring breeds of cat, whose name comes from the capital of Turkey, Ankara, formerly called Angora.

Turkish Angoras are an energetic breed of cat who is extremely curious and needs to check out anything new that comes into the house. They thrive on human companionship and will often form a strong attachment to one person in the household.

Frequently asked questions

What breed is my black cat?

Most black cats are mixed breed or domestics. This means they are not pedigree cats. DNA testing is available to find out the genetic background of a cat whose history isn’t known. While it is possible for an unpapered cat to be a pedigree, it is very uncommon.

Are black cats really bad luck?

No, black cats are not bad luck, this is an old wives tale. Australia, Great Britain and Japan consider black cats to be good luck. Unfortunately, black cats continue to be stigmatised due to their coat colour.

What is the personality of a black cat?

The personality is determined by genetics as well as how the kitten was raised by his or her mother and positive or negative associations with people.

Is there such a thing as a black Siamese cat?

The seal point Siamese by definition is a black cat, however, the gene responsible for their cream coat is temperature sensitive, which means the pigment doesn’t show on warmer parts of the body.

There is no such thing as black Siamese cat, however, the Oriental shorthair has the slender appearance of a Siamese but in many different colours, including black.

Are black cats rare?

No, black is not a rare coat colour in cats and can be found in many purebred cats as well as domestics. Brown cats are much more rare (Learn why brown cats are rare or view our list of rare cat colors and patterns).

Black cat awareness days

  • 17 August is Black Cat Appreciation Day
  • 27 October is National Black Cat Day
  • 1-31 October is Black Cat Awareness Month

Feature image: Delta Studio, Shutterstock


  • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

    Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio

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