Cat Lovers guide to the Bombay Cat

Bombay cat, a black panther at home

The Bombay cat is a special breed because of their deep black fur and copper-colored eyes. They are known for being like small panthers but with a very affectionate and communicative character.

If you want to meet these friendly and elegant felines, I invite you to read this post and learn more about them.


Origin of the Bombay cat

Although their name may sound like they come from India, it has nothing to do with that country or its capital. These cats are originally from the United States, specifically in Louisville, Kentucky.

The name "Bombay" is due to their similarity with the Indian panther since it was inspired by the panther "Bagheera", from "The Jungle Book".

They arose in 1958 from the crossing between a black American Shorthair and a brown Burmese cat, the breeder Nikki Shuttleworth Horner wanted to obtain from this crossing a black Burmese, the idea was to have a cat similar in appearance to a panther.

However, the result was even more striking, a cat with excellent temperament, sociable and affectionate on the part of the Burmese with the physical characteristics of a short, shiny coat with copper-colored eyes.

In 1976 the CFA officially recognized them and in 1979 they were recognized by TICA.


Physical characteristics of the Bombay cat

Size: females usually measure between 30 and 40 cm while males measure between 40 and 50 cm.

Weight: females weigh between 3 - 5 kg and males weigh approximately 5 kg.

Eyes: they are big, expressive, and slightly separated. They are usually copper colored, but can also be dark yellow or golden.

Ears: are wide at the base, inclined forward, and with rounded tips.

Coat: can be long or short, smooth and shiny, but can only be completely jet black, from root to tip, like a small panther.

Body: they are compact and strong cat, their head is wide and round, their nose and muzzle are short, their legs are robust and their pads are totally black and their tail is straight and wide with a thinner tip.

Life Span: between 9 and 13 years, some can live up to 18 years.


The character of the Bombay cat

They are calm, affectionate, and very intelligent. They have a great memory and cognitive intelligence, they are quite curious, and love interactive games. But, like any cat, they also have their lazy side.

These catas are also quite agile and self-confident, adapt well to changes, love to explore, and can learn to walk on a leash.

Their meowing is quiet and tender, which makes them very cute, attracting a lot of attention and making them get away with it several times.

Because they have very developed hearing, they don't like noisy places because it bothers them.

Bombay cats get along well with children and pets, they can even get along better with dogs than with other cats. They do not like being unattended, in fact they feel anxiety when they spend too much time alone.


Bombay as a black cat

Although for us cat lovers, black cats are striking and elegant, there are still many prejudices and popular beliefs like "black cats are bearers of bad luck".

It all started in the 14th century when they were blamed for the appearance of the plague in Europe, however, the plague was caused by rats. When people started chasing black cats, there was no one to chase the rats.

Fortunately, although over time the concept of the black cat is changing, it is always necessary to protect them, especially at times like Halloween.


Bombay cat care

  • You should brush your Bombay cat's coat at least 3 times a week to remove dead hair and stimulate the secretion of natural oils that strengthen his coat.
  • It is not recommended to bathe Bombay cats, but you can wipe them with a damp cloth to clean and shine their coat.
  • They are cats that need exercise, so an enclosed yard or play space would be ideal.
  • They should be protected from strong drafts as they tend to catch colds. For them, a small bed with a cover or placed in a heated area for shelter will always be welcome.



Their diet should be rich in nutrients and high-quality proteins, with little carbohydrates to maintain the shine of their coats. For that reason, many Bombay cat owners choose to feed them specific homemade food where the protein intake is better.

It is necessary to control their food rations to prevent them from gaining weight, as they are very greedy. You can always opt for a metabolic-type food to control their weight.


Health of the Bombay cat

They are generally strong and long-lived cats. Even so, they can suffer from health problems due to their genetic craniofacial deformation or Burmese head, which is a mutation that affects the facial development of cats, which can lead to brachycephaly.

Burmese hypokalemia, which is a genetic defect characterized by a lack of potassium in the blood and excess creatine kinase, GM2 Gangliosidosis, is a fatal hereditary degenerative disease.

They can also suffer from kidney problems, which is common in cats, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a congenital heart disease.

Also, like all cats, it will be necessary to vaccinate them against diseases such as rabies, typhoid, leukosis and coryza.

So, don't be alarmed, with good care, feeding, and regular visits to the veterinarian your cat can enjoy very good health.


You will be lucky to have a Bombay cat in your life.

These cats are intelligent, sociable, and playful but at the same time very calm and quite familiar, they adapt to any environment making them ideal for all kinds of families. With the necessary care, you will be able to enjoy a good companion for many years.

But you will be very lucky if you get one! This is a difficult cat to get, you will need to go to specialized breeders and they are not common cats outside the USA.