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Bombay Cat 101 : All You Need To Know

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Bombays are the ultimate black cat. Their glossy coat is paired with a set of golden saucerlike eyes, earning the breed its nickname “the patent leather kid with the new penny eyes.” Aside from its exotic looks, the Bombay is an endearing, playful, and agreeable feline.

The lively and affectionate Bombay loves people and is adaptable to many different environments and lifestyles. His calm nature makes him a good apartment dweller, and he is amenable to life with other pets, although he definitely wants to be a top cat.

If you’re thinking about bringing a Bombay cat into your life, here’s what you need to know.

Bombay cats have a “wild” side.

Much like the Savannah cat or the Bengal cat, the Bombay was bred with the goal of producing a domestic feline with a feral appearance. American breeders crossed sable Burmese with black American Shorthair cats to achieve Bombay’s exotic pantherlike look. Their wild cat sway and striking appearance have earned them the nicknames the “minipanther” and the “parlor panther.”

They aren’t from Bombay.

The origins of this breed are credited to American breeder, Nikki Horner, who wanted to develop a domestic breed that resembled a black leopard. Ms. Horner began this project in the 19 50s, and the first successful hybrid kitten was born in 19 65. Horner named the breed “Bombay” because it resembled the black leopards of that exotic port town in India. Bombays are recognized as an official breed by both the Cat Fanciers’ Association and the International Cat Association.

Bombays are social butterflies.

Aptly nicknamed “velcro cats,” Bombays tend to keep close to their beloved owners. They will seek their owner’s attention and have been known to follow their favorite human from room to room. They’re particularly good with strangers. You won’t find these cats dashing to hide under the bed when company arrives. They’re likely to greet you, and anyone else, with a warm welcome at the front door. These highly social cats hate to be left alone for long periods of time, and they’re prone to loneliness and depression if left in solitude for too long. This, unfortunately, can lead to destructive behavior. If you’re away at work all day, leave plenty of toys for your kitty to enjoy as well as a scratching post.

They have a bossy streak.

The Bombay is an easygoing and tolerant cat who takes life as it comes. He enjoys greeting visitors and gets along well with children, dogs, and other cats, although he will expect to be the one in charge. Make no mistake, Bombays like to be in charge. Although these friendly felines usually get along with other cats and dogs, a Bombay cat prefers to rule the roost.

Bombay cats enjoy “burrowing”.

In blankets, that is. These sleek kitties are habitual heatseekers. It’s not uncommon to find a Bombay resting peacefully near any heat source. They love to curl up on a sunny window ledge for warmth, or even better, on top of their human. It’s not unusual to find a Bombay nestling in a pile of laundry or underneath the covers of your bed. This is the perfect arrangement for pet owners who enjoy snuggling up with their animals at bedtime. Just be careful when you get into bed, there could be a kitty hiding beneath your comforter.

American Bombays are different from British Bombays.

American and British breeders took different approaches to the creation of their mini panthers. American Bombays was achieved by crossing a sable Burmese with a Black American Shorthair, whereas British breeders paired Burmese cats with black domestic cats. The two breeds are similar, but the main distinction lies in their eyes. American Bombays sport gold or copper eyes while British Bombays’ eyes are often green.


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