This is Ode To…, a weekly column where we share the stuff we’re really into in hopes that you’ll be really into it, too.
It is my personal (and wildly biased) belief that black cats do not get the love or attention they deserve.
Black cats are sometimes dismissed at pet adoption agencies, according to the BBC, over concerns that they won’t photograph as well as other cats. But the black cats of Instagram are proof that this is simply not the case.
Coal-colored cuties like chicagoblackcat, Tingeling of tussetroll_and_tingeling, backpackingkitty, and all the cats featured on black_cats_ig serve as reminders that black cats are just as photogenic and adorable as any other Insta-famous animal.
Stephen Lopez runs the crouchendcatclowder Instagram where he documents the life of his handsome black cats Mr. Bob and Miss Molly (and his tabby cat Alfie,) in London, England. He said in an email that black cats are wonderful and because they’re generally “underdogs” and they “tend to shine more to stand out and get attention.”
“Cats are not meant to be adopted for Instagram (says the guy with a cat Instagram account) so choosing a cat purely based on social media likes is horrendous!” said Lopez. “And, as with anything, lighting is key and once you get a good pic of a black cat, it looks amazing!”
ASPCA debunked the myth that black cats are rarely adopted with a 2016 study showing that about 31 percent of adopted cats are black. However, non-black cats still have the highest combined adoption rates. On average it takes 10 days longer for black cats to get adopted, according to the BBC. And now unfortunately, the desire to have a camera-ready pet could be to blame for lower black cat adoption rates.
“It’s [the need for a photogenic pet] become more serious now because people live their life on selfies,” Christine Bayka, owner of the cat adoption center the Moggery in Bristol told BBC. “Black cats are now less popular because they don’t show up well in pictures.”
I’ll shamefully admit that when my partner and I first decided to adopt a cat, we wanted a tabby or a calico. But as fate would have it, we fell in love with a black cat.
Since adopting our cat, I’ve become obsessed with a variety of black cats on Instagram and have become a total black cat convert. I mean, what’s cuter than a cat that resembles a tiny panther?
Need examples? I’d like to direct your attention to these photogenic cuties:
Mikita, a little black cat who hails from Chicago, Illinois has a brilliantly shiny coat and the teeniest mew I’ve ever heard.
His parents Andrea and Rich even have a website for Mikita where they share health tips and recommendations for cats.
Then there’s Black Cats IG, your number one spot for — as its name suggests — gorgeous photos of black cats.
Simon, the adventure cat is widely known for his love of hiking, swimming, and the general outdoors. But he’s also a brilliant little black cat with a sweet face and an even sweeter personality. His account’s worth checking out.
Tingeling is a black Scottish fold with a zany personality. He lives in Oslo, Norway with Tussetroll a golden shaded Persian, and together they hike, play with their cat nip toys, and lounge in cozy little boxes.
Tips for photographing black cats
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not hard to photograph a black cat. I do it all the time — too often, some have said.
If you’re wondering how to take the absolute best pictures of your black cat (or, dog!) the UK-based pet adoption agency RSPCA made this super easy guide to follow:
Now that you’re privy to all the love, affection, joy, and beauty that black cats have to offer, allow me to direct your attention to some great black cat rescues, Black Cat Holistic Rescue and Black Cat Rescue. You can volunteer, donate, and even adopt a black cat of your very own at either rescue.
You can also ring up your local animal shelter and offer up your services and donations to cats of all types.