How Rare Are Bombay Cats? (The Black Mystery Unveiled)

how rare are bombay cats

Between the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and The International Cat Association (TIKA), there are between 45- 73 recognized pedigree cat breeds in the world.

Most of us cat owners are very familiar with popular breeds like the Ragdoll, Maine Coon or Persian. But when it comes to the Bombay cat breed, it often draws a blank.

If you are good at Geography, you will know that Bombay is now called Mumbai which is a city in India. But not much is known about the Bombay cat.

Are Bombay cats rare?

Bombay cats are considered a very rare cat breed when compared to the other pedigree breeds. They are amazing cats but might not be so well received due to their color and lack of publicity. There are many cat breeds that can be black in color but that wouldn’t qualify them as a Bombay cat.

In this article, we will take a closer look at this rare cat breed and try to find out what makes it so special.

What Exactly Is The Bombay Cat?

The first time I ever laid eyes on a Bombay cat was at a cat show a few years ago. This medium sized cat had jet black fur and copper colored eyes that could stare right into your soul and more.

A friend that was with me casually asked “Are Bombay cats from Bombay?”

Not quite.

A Bombay cat is basically the love child of a Burmese cat and a black American Shorthair. This cat is considered a pedigree as it comes from two pedigree breeds, Burmese cats and American Shorthairs cats.

Being a pedigree cat alone is always considered rare as only 2-4% of owned cats have this status.

This cat was created by the cat breeder Nikki Horner who wanted a cat breed that resembled that of a black leopard. After a few unsuccessful attempts, this cat breed was finally recognized in 1970 by CFA.

The name Bombay cat was given as the coat color of the cat resembles that of the black leopard in Bombay.

Put the Bombay in the jungle and it does resemble a wild cat.

Bombay cats are muscular medium sized cats with a male weighing between 12-15 lbs and a female between 8-12 lbs.

What Is Special About Bombay Cats?

What makes the Bombay cat special is the color of its eyes and fur. A true blue Bombay cat will have large and round eyes that are copper or gold in color.

This gives the cat its trademark piercing gaze and the color of its eyes is further enhanced by the blackness of its fur.

The Bombay only ever comes in one color, black.

There won’t be any white spots on the black cat at all. You can expect everything about this black cat to be black even its paw pads and whiskers.

If you have a thing for black cats and are on the lookout for a pedigree, the Bombay cat is a good candidate.

Are Bombay Cats Affectionate?

affectionate bombay cat

The Bombay cat definitely has the best of both worlds when it comes to its personality. It has the easy going nature of the American Shorthair and the loving personality of the Burmese.

Mix it all in and you get a cat that is just looking for affection and company all the time.

A Bombay is almost dog-like in nature and is more than happy to follow you all around the house or stick to you like velcro.

This cat breed is also great for pet parents with kids or other cats/pets.

Given the affectionate nature of this cat breed, one needs to be able to devote enough time and attention to the cat or it will get depressed.

Are Bombay Cats Bossy?

Although all cats are bossy, your Bombay cat won’t make you feel like it is your boss with its gentle and affectionate nature.

The only time it will start bossing you around is when you are not giving it the pets and attention that it rightfully deserves.

This cat breed can learn to be alone for if need be so long as you put the time in when you are at home.

How Much Does A Bombay Cat Cost?

Given the rarity of this cat, don’t expect to get a Bombay cat on a budget. These cats also come at a premium due to having just a few certified breeders.

You can expect to pay anywhere between $500-$2000 for a Bombay kitten.

If you are dead serious about getting a Bombay, please get it from a registered and certified breeder. There are many backyard breeders out there that are passing off any black cat breed as a Bombay.

I’m not against getting a specific cat breed if you really want one but do also consider adopting from your local shelter as there are many lovely cats that need a forever home too.

How Do I Know If My Cat Is A Bombay?

The Bombay breed is still one of the rarest breeds today. If you are not too sure if your cat is a Bombay, the first question would be where did you get your cat from?

If you bought your cat from a certified breeder then it should be Bombay as Bombay breeders are very rare. Your cat should have the trademark gold or copper eyes together with fur that is as black as coal.

It also has a rather round head with no sharp edges.

If you recently adopted your cat from the local shelter, I highly doubt it is a Bombay. Given the price of acquiring one, most owners wouldn’t surrender the cat to the local shelter.

It could be that the poor cat was lost and ended up there.

The best way to tell if your cat is a Bombay is to run a DNA marker examination to get to the bottom of its roots.

Are Bombay Cats Only Black?

A Bombay is always a black cat but a black cat might not be a Bombay. Just like an all gray cats is highly unlikely to be a Russian Blue,

The whole idea behind the Bombay cat is for it to resemble a black leopard.

That would defeat the main idea of having this cat in the first place if it came in an assortment of colors.

Do All Bombay Cats Have Green Eyes?

The American standard for a Bombay cat is to have yellow or copper eyes. But there are some Bombays that are bred with a British Shorthair instead which can have green instead of golden eyes.

There are a few differences between a Bombay from an American and British Shorthair.

The British Bombay has a noticeably shorter nose than its counterpart. It is also calmer in nature and less athletic.

Do Bombay Cats Live Longer?

A well taken care of Bombay cat can easily live up to 20 years. On average, this breed has a lifespan of about 15 years.

To ensure that your cat has a good long life, you need to ensure that it is fed a good quality diet and has lots of play time.

I would refrain from feeding cats any form of kibbles as dry food is really bad for cats. There are much better options available like canned food or even a raw food diet which is what I personally feed my cat.

Going for regular vet checkups as your cat enters its senior years is also a good way of catching any underlying health issues that can creep up on your cat.

Do Bombay Cats Have Health Issues?

Bombay cats are generally healthy in nature but there are a few health issues that pet parents need to be aware of.

Aortic Thromboembolism

Aortic thromboembolism is a medical condition that affects the heart of the cat and is more common in cats with mixed breeds.

This issue happens when the cat develops a blood clot that can be lodged in the aorta. When this happens, it can severely disrupt the blood flow in the cat.

The cat can suffer from sudden paralysis in the hind legs and have difficulty breathing.

Craniofacial Defect

Given that the Bombay cat has the DNA of a Burmese cat, it can suffer from Burmese Head Disorder.

The kitten is born with a deformed skull or jaw and has to be euthanized.

Respiratory Issues

Bombay cats that have shorter noses can experience breathing issues. This is similar to what many Persian cats face as well.

A shorter nose means that the airways are more crammed up and are less effective at transporting oxygen to the lungs.

What Are The Rarest Cat Breeds In The World?

laperm rare cat breed

As rare as the Bombay cat is, there are other rare cat breeds that exist in the cat universe. Here are some other cat breeds that many would consider being rare.

  • Egyptian Mau
  • Minskin
  • Kurilian Bobtail
  • Sokoke Cat
  • Chartruex
  • Turkish Van
  • American Wirehair
  • Laperm
  • Korat

It might seem that these cats can look like other more commonly found cats but what makes them rare is their ancestry and DNA make up.

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