Bombay cats have a glossy coat with golden saucer-like eyes, earning the breed its panther-like appearance. The Bombay is an endearing, playful, and exotic feline. It has a feral appearance, like the Savannah cat or the Bengal cat.
Many people also confuse all black cats with Bombay cats.
Here’s the thing:
Not all black cats are Bombay cats, but all Bombay cats are black. Bombay cats share characteristics and appearance with both Burmese and American Shorthairs.
American breeders crossed black American Shorthair and Burmese sable cats to achieve the Bombay’s exotic look. Their striking appearance and wild cat sway have earned them the nicknames like mini-panther” and “parlor panther.”
In this guide, we’ll reveal information about Bombay cats and how to identify them.
How to Identify A Bombay Cat
Here are some guidelines on identifying Bombay cats:
Look for shiny, black fur. One of the primary characteristics of a Bombay cat is its short and glossy black fur. The original breeder’s goal was to create a black cat that looked like a miniature panther, hence the shiny fur.
Gold or copper eyes
Another defining characteristic of the Bombay cat is its gold and copper eyes. If the cat you’re looking at doesn’t have colored eyes, it’s not a purebred Bombay.
Bombay cats have rounded edges. They have a soft, rounded head with a short nose. This characteristic continues throughout the cat’s body, with round ears, eyes, feet, and even a round tail.
Bombay cats are medium to large cats with muscular bodies. They range in weight from five to over twelve pounds, and the males are larger than the females. They aren’t as stocky as the Burmese, but they are muscular, strongly built cats. Bombay cats also feel heavier than they appear.
Bombay cats mimic the walk of a panther. It’s a kind of swaying, swishing walk.
Pay attention to a noisy black cat. Bombay cats are quite talkative, and they will have conversations with you. They aren’t loud, but they like to meow often. They have a distinctive meow, so you will know when your Bombay wants your attention. However, not every Bombay cat will have this characteristic.
Smart and Intelligent cats
Bombays are pretty smart cats, so check if the cat can figure things out. For instance, Bombay cats can quickly figure out how to open the bedroom door or get hidden treats on a high shelf. These cats love to be engaged in puzzle games, fetch, and other types of fun activities.
All cats are naturally inquisitive and curious, but Bombay cats always want to be in the middle of the action. They want to notice what’s going on.
Sociable and easy-going
Bombay cats are laid back when it comes to social situations. They are great around families and pets, but they may want to be the dominant pet in your household. They also enjoy curling up on their owners lap for extra snuggle time and attention.
The Difference between British & American Bombay Cats
You probably can’t tell an American Bombay from a British Bombay cat at first glance. They may look similar on the outside, but differences in breeding set apart these two cat types. Both are beautiful, rare, and distinctive black cats with a good temperament and sleek appearance.
Origin of The Breeds
The late Nikki Horner, a lifelong cat enthusiast, and breeder based in Kentucky, bred the first American Bombay cat. Her goal was to create a feline that had the Burmese’s good temperament and stunning eyes, with a sleek and distinctive black coat. She made her first Bombay cat breeding attempt in the 50s. Her initial success came from a cross between a Grand Champion sable Burmese female black and American Shorthair with copper-colored eyes.
British Bombays originated in the 1960s when British Shorthairs mated with purebred Burmese cats. Now the British Bombay is purposely bred with Burmese and British Shorthairs.
Classification And Breed Recognition
The American Cat Fanciers’ Association, the Cat Fanciers’ Federation, and the International Cat Association recognized the American Bombay as a unique breed certified to compete in official championships. The Cat Fancier’s Association accepted this breed for registration in the 1970s, and it was first allowed to compete in championships in 1976. The Governing Council in the U.K. considers the American Bombay as a unique breed and the British Bombay as an “experimental cat breed” within the Asian cat breeds.
The American Bombay is black and has yellow and orange eyes. The ideal Bombay cat has copper-colored eyes – this is one of the characteristics Horner was after when she created the breed. The British Bombay cat can have yellow, green, or orange eyes. Other than eye color, the American and British Bombays are very similar cats. These cats have a sleek, short-haired, low-shed black coat, a small muzzle, and a muscular body.
British and American Shorthairs
Differences in the cats used to breed Bombays cause subtle differences in the American and British breeds. American Shorthair cats have smooth black coats and medium-sized bodies. The British Shorthair has a shorter muzzle than the American and a fluffier coat that puffs out. On the other hand, the American has a sleek coat that lays parallel to the cat’s skin. The British Shorthair is popular for its intelligence and calm demeanor.
Cats come in many colors and patterns. You’ll also find different breeds of black cats. The black color is common to both pure and mixed breeds. So, you can’t associate black with one specific breed like Bombay cats.
Here are the primary colors that cats come in:
- Red (Ginger)
- Blue / Grey
Solid / Self-color
Solid color cats are the easiest to spot because they are all one color.
Bi-color cats have a white coat with small patches of another color.
This is the most common coat type in cats worldwide. There are four main variations of a tabby.
- Striped tabby (mackerel tabby): a cat with vertical stripes running from its spine to its belly.
- Classic tabby (blotched tabby): a cat with a swirly pattern, creating a marbled effect.
- Spotted tabby: a cat with different color spots.
- Ticked tabby: a cat with striped legs and tail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are black Bombay cats rare?
With short black hair and copper eyes, the Bombay cat has a tiny black panther’s exotic appearance. The breed derives its
unique name from the Indian city of Bombay – known as the land of the Black Panther.
What is the rarest eye color in black cats?
Copper is the rarest eye color you’ll see in cats. These cats will have light brown eyes with tones of red and orange. Sometimes there may be flecks of green, yellow, or orange. This is a rarer color than some others. It’s distinguishable from orange, but it’s just as unusual.
What colors do black cats see?
Feline photoreceptors are sensitive to wavelengths in the blue-violet and green-yellow ranges. Black cats can see only a little bit of green. In other words, they are mostly red-green color blind, as are many humans.
Do Bombay cats like cuddling?
These cats are affectionate and demand cuddling time with their parents. The Bombay is popular for jumping on a person’s lap for love and attention.
Do black cats have a unique personality?
Black cats are sometimes calmer and reserved than other cats. They balance this personality trait by staying active and playful with their human parents.