Bombay Cat Breed Profile


  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Eyes: Gold to copper
  • Energy: Medium
  • Temperament: Playful, outgoing, curious, loving
  • Weight: Males 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs), females 3.5-4 kg (7.8 – 8.8 lbs)
  • Colours: Black
  • Grooming: Requires weekly grooming


The Bombay cat is a stunning, sleek, jet black cat who is Burmese type. The breed came about by mating Burmese and American Shorthair cats.

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


A miniature black leopard is a commonly used term to describe the Bombay cat and they certainly fit the description well. The breed 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 is of the Burmese type but with a jet black coat. British breeders were able to create the same cat by mating Burmese to domestic or British shorthairs. The Bombay is classified as part of the Asian group in the UK.

As a result, there are two types of the Bombay cat. The American Bombay and the British Bombay. The American Bombay shares a genetic disorder with their American Burmese known as Craniofacial Defect. This disorder affects the development of the skull as a fetus. This condition occurs in newborns, and sadly euthanasia is necessary as there is no treatment. British Bombays don’t have this condition.

The American and British Bombays share the same name but are considered to be two different breeds of cat. Both breeds do share many physical characteristics.

The black coat colour is the result of a dominant gene, however, if both parents carry the recessive sable gene, some kittens will be born sable (brown).

The Bombay received full recognition by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1976.


Bombay cat


The Bombay body is a small to medium-sized cat with a muscular body.


A rounded head with large, expressive golden/copper eyes.  Wide-set ears, which are slightly round at the tip.


He has a beautifully sleek, jet black coat which sits close to the body.


The personality of the Bombay is similar to the Burmese. They are friendly, outgoing, sociable cats who thrive on human companionship. They are full of energy and love to play games. The Bombay has a distinctive meow and some can be quite talkative.

They are extremely intelligent and are easy to train to walk on a leash. Many Bombays also love to play fetch. He gets along well with humans, including children, and other pets. Bombays adapt well to apartment living & should not be allowed outside to roam.

Julia Wilson 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. She enjoys photography, gardening and running in her spare time. Full author bio Contact Julia