black bombay cat sitting on grass

Often associated with Halloween, magic, and numerous superstitions, black cats are easy to recognize. They’re not a breed themselves, though. Since black is a coat color rather than an actual breed, black cats are included in the breed standard for many purebred felines. They can be crossbreeds too.

Since several recognized breeds include black as an accepted fur color, here is an overview of a few of the breeds that black cats can be.

Black Cat Breeds


American Bobtail

First developed in the late 1960s, the American Bobtail came about when a couple from Iowa found a short-tailed tabby kitten on an indigenous reservation in Arizona. When he was crossbred with another mixed breed, their kittens had the same short tail. These kittens became the first American Bobtails and are found in a range of colors, including black.

Japanese Bobtail

Older than the American variety, the Japanese Bobtail is distinguished by their short tails. They’ve been documented in Japan for at least 1,000 years and have even been sketched sitting with geishas. Generally, the hair on their tail is longer than the rest of their coat, giving them a pom-pom appearance.

black japanese bobtail on a basket
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Also known as the “bunny cat,” the Manx isn’t always born without a tail and can have a range of appearances. They can be completely tailless, have a short tail like the Japanese and American Bobtails, or have a full-length tail. Their fur color can also vary widely in color and patterning.

black manx cat in purple background
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Curly Haired

Cornish Rex

Unlimited by coat colors and patterns, the Cornish Rex is one of the many cat breeds with dense curls instead of straight fur. Their thin coats are low maintenance and low shedding, but they also make the breed prone to getting cold easily. To warm up, the Cornish Rex is more than happy to cuddle with you.

black cornish rex kitten on owner's lap
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Devon Rex

Similar to the Cornish Rex, if more impish in appearance, the Devon Rex comes in similar colors but is slightly bigger. Their curly fur gives them an almost Velcro-like look that suits their willingness to stick close by you at all times. They would love to hitch a ride on your shoulders.

Saucer-eyed Devon Rex
Image courtesy of Sara Flavin, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International (Saucer-eyed Devon Rex)


Friendly to a fault, the LaPerm is also called the “curly-coated cuddler” due to their affectionate nature. They’re found in all colors and patterns, along with a range of fur types from short to long and even straight. Despite their cuddly natures, they’re one of the most active black cats available.

Kururu-LaPermCat in Cat Cafe
Image courtesy of Takashi(aes256), Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic (Kururu-LaPermCat in Cat Cafe)

Selkirk Rex

Resembling a stuffed bear with their dense, curly coats, the Selkirk Rex is a breed similar to the Cornish Rex. They’re often referred to as dog like because of their people-oriented nature and ability to walk on a leash. Short or long-haired varieties can be found in several colors, including black.

two black Selkirk Rex kittens in a studio
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The Sphynx might not be as fluffy as some other cat breeds, but they can be just as colorful and covered in beautiful patterns. Their lack of fur doesn’t make them afraid of cuddles, and they adore being around people.


Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is the gentle giant of the cat world and well-known for their traditional brown, red, or silver tabby patterning. Many breeders have recently started developing solid colors for the breed, including black, white, and gray.

black maine coon cat in white background
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Norwegian Forest Cat

As the official cat of Norway, the Norwegian Forest Cat is similar in appearance to the Maine Coon. Their thick coats keep them warm in cold Scandinavian winters, and they’ve even played a part in Viking legends. The breed can be a combination of colors or one solid shade.

black norwegian forest cat sitting on grass
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Oriental Longhair

Unlike other members of the Siamese breed group, the Oriental Longhair has a much broader range of patterns and colors. Like their Siamese ancestors, the Oriental is social and highly active, with a love for gossip and mischief. The longhaired variety’s coat isn’t quite as long as some other longhaired breeds. There is also a shorthaired variety.


The Persian is recognizable by their squashed face, friendliness, and fluffy, all-color coat. Peaceful and calm, they don’t enjoy noise and chaos, though they like being around people and are often prone to the zoomies.

black persian cat walking on grass
Image courtesy of Pixabay


Native to the colder regions of Russia, the Siberian has a thick, fluffy coat to keep them warm in their homeland. They often have rich patterning on their coats but can also be solid colors. Their fur requires a great deal of maintenance, especially during the winter, but it gives them plenty of excuses to cuddle with their favorite people.

close up of black siberian cat
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Turkish Angora

A semi-longhaired breed, the Turkish Angora is better known for their sleek white fur. While white is the most common color, the breed standard accepts many other traditional colors too, including black.

black turkish angora lying on seat cushion
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American Curl

Besides their eye-catching and distinctively shaped ears, the American Curl can have short or long hair in all colors. They keep their kitten-like energy and curiosity throughout their lives. Like many other breeds on this list, the American Curl is well-known for their love for their humans.

close up of black american curl cat
Image courtesy of Shuttestock

American Shorthair

The American Shorthair is better known for their tabby patterning, but they’re also found in a range of solid colors. The American Shorthair loves being around people, and their intelligence makes them relatively easy to train.


One breed that is all black is the Bombay. These cats are easy to recognize, not only because of their pitch-black fur but also the deep-orange color of their eyes. They love to be the center of attention, whether they’re asking for scratches or playing with their favorite toy.

bombay cat sitting on a table
Image courtesy of Pixabay

British Shorthair

Although they’re better known for gray fur, British Shorthairs can come in a variety of colors, including black. They’re one of the most popular breeds among cat owners and can be cuddly and affectionate, even though they’re not known to be lap cats.

a black british shorthair cat lying on sofa
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Exotic Shorthair

Similar in appearance to the Persian and part of the same breed group, the Exotic Shorthair is also known as “the lazy man’s Persian.” They’re quiet and gentle and require less maintenance than Persians, though they have the same recognizable squashed face and cuddly appearance.

black exotic shorthair cat lying on a carpet
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Scottish Fold

First introduced in Scotland, the Scottish Fold is a controversial cat due to having degenerative joint disease. But despite their health issues, they’re loyal and sweet cats with a curious nature. Along with their wide range of coat colors and patterns, they can also be shorthaired or longhaired.

black scottish fold lying on clothes
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Final Thoughts

Black cats aren’t a breed of their own. Like tabbies, their name refers to the color and patterning of their coat rather than their breed. This means there is no single breed that can claim black cats as their own, and they can even be non-pedigree.

If you’re interested in introducing a black cat to your home, we hope that this list has helped you find one that’ll match your family the best.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay