REJECTED black cats across the county are being left homeless because of their colour, a rescue centre has said.
Burford-based animal charity Blue Cross has warned the “black cat syndrome” is leaving their felines struggling to find new homes.
More than half of their cats are black or black and white, and the centre is struggling to rehome them.
It has even been reported by the RSPCA that in parts of the UK, people are avoiding black moggies because they ‘don’t make for good selfies’.
Unwanted cats are also being rejected as suitable pets because of superstitions about them.
Animal welfare assistant Angela Forrester said: “I think they get overlooked and the reason is that people think they are not as pretty as most of the other cats that are around.
“It’s because they don’t photograph well and are not aesthetically pleasing. All cats need homes regardless of their colour.”
The charity is caring for 40 cats and kittens, of which 22 – more than half – are black or black and white.
A cat’s average stay at the Shilton Road centre is usually 35 days, but it takes the charity on average 40 per cent longer to rehome black or black and white cats, with one black cat taking up to 180 days to find a new home.
Ms Forrester said people even request not to be given black kittens when applying to adopt a cat.
She added: “It’s a real shame because a lot of them are really affectionate and they can make someone a lovely pet.”
The centre’s black cats are proving no match for popular ginger cats and kittens who get rehomed quickly. Last year they helped rehome 422 cats and around one quarter of those were black.
Domestic short-haired black cat Dixie has been waiting for a home for 117 days. The 10-year-old was found in Burford but nobody has offered to take her.
Ms Forrester said: “It’s obviously because of her colour and it’s to do with her age. She’s really friendly and needs to be around older children. She will come running when you call her name and she’s a real companion cat.”
Tabby cat Puss Puss gave birth to a litter of six, including three black kittens, at the centre in March.
They will soon be available for adoption but Ms Forrester is worried the newborns will be without a permanent roof over their heads.
She added: “I think we will struggle to rehome them.”
Centre manager Jenna Martyn said: “Some people can be very specific about colour and markings, but we always encourage people to choose a cat, or any pet, on its character.”
Blue Cross has been supporting sick, injured and abandoned pets across the country since 1897.
BLACK cats are traditionally associated with witchcraft and wizardry but they are considered lucky and unlucky in different countries
In Japan, it is thought to be good luck if a black cat crosses your path, but in the USA and parts of Europe, it is a bad omen
In Germany, good luck is coming if a black cat crosses your path from left to right but from right to left it is unlucky
Many Italians believe a black cat that lies on an ill person’s bed means death is near
Riches and happiness are on the way for Scots who find a black cat on their doorstep
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories
- Oxford United v Swindon Town - UPDATES
- CLARIFICATION: Hygiene report of Delight 2 in Didcot
- Man 'obsessed' with BBC journalist goes on trial after allegedly breaching restraining order against her
- Families urged to consider signing up for organ donation
- Oxford United send match tickets to fans caught up in season ticket delay
- Five things you need to know in Oxfordshire today