Bombay Cat

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What Is A Bombay Cat


The Bombay cat was developed as a breed in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1950s by Nikki Horner of Shawnee Cattery. She began by crossing a black American Shorthair with a sable Burmese. She continued selective breeding to create an identifiable and consistent breed with the black color of the American Shorthair and body type of the Burmese. The new breed was accepted for championship status by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1976.


Nikki Horner’s aim was to create a ‘baby panther’ breed of cat that would resemble a miniature version of the black leopard, popularly known as the black panther, which is a native species of India. This accounts for the breed being named after the Indian city of Bombay (modern Mumbai).

It is still permitted to add to the gene pool and outcross the breed by mixing in a pedigree black American Shorthair or sable Burmese, but most Bombays these days are bred from within the breed.

Sable kittens still appear in some litters but are not acceptable for showing. Because of the cross-breeding, even many of the black cats in a litter will not be acceptable for showing for one reason or another, but they all make great pets.

There is also a UK breed of cat called the Bombay but it is not the same.


Bombay cats can look small but they are strong and very agile. Their muscular body means that they often weigh more than you expect.

The coat is black throughout, right to the roots. The coat lies tight to the body and has a glossy satin sheen which is often described as looking like patent leather. The Bombay is a short-haired cat that does not require grooming.

Eyes are big and golden or copper-colored like a shiny penny. Copper is more highly prized and creates a unique and very striking contrast with the jet black coat. The eyes are round and set wide in a wide face with a short, tapered muzzle. Ears are medium-sized, wide and slightly rounded. Nose and paw pads are also black.


Bombay cats are intelligent and affectionate. They are easily trained to walk on a leash and fetch objects, like a dog. They are alert and agile and often delight their owners with their graceful antics.

They retain the affectionate disposition of both of their ancestral breeds and most Bombays love to be held or carried around, often on their owners’ shoulders. They enjoy being with people, even strangers, and will not run and hide when company arrives like many other cats. They also get on well with children and dogs.

The stunning looking Bombay cat is the ideal pet for any owner looking for a jet black pedigree pet.

David M Peterson

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Posted October 29, 2017 by David Peterson in category "Breeds