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There are many superstitions and tales surrounding black cats. Some people see them as bad luck while others feel their an omen of good luck. While most people focus on the folklore, there are also some interesting characteristics of black cats. Here are some facts and folklore that you may find intriguing.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

Black cats eyes are usually golden or yellow. This is due to an over-production of melanin that gives their fur its deep black color. It often causes the cat's irises to reflect the melanism in the pigment of their eyes creating the golden or yellow color.

High exposure to sunlight can make their fur temporarily appear rusty reddish-brown. This is common when the cat has is missing an enzyme called tyrosine.

In parts of Ireland and England, if a black cat crosses your path, its considered good luck.

Its considered a sign of prosperity in Scotland if a strange black cat arrives at your home.

Ancient Egyptians felt that cats were sacred and lucky. They were considered a symbol of the goddess of protection, Bastet, who has the head of a cat.

Black cats were associated with witchcraft in the Middle Ages. Any single elderly women that cared for cats were considered witches and the cats their accomplices.

Studies indicate that black cats may be more resistant to some diseases like Feline HIV. It also shows their immune system may benefit from their genetic makeup.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

It is considered good luck to give a bride a cat in the English Midlands of Great Britain.

Single Japanese women look at black cats as good luck. They feel this makes them more attractive to prospective suitors.

Black Cat Appreciation Day is held on August 17th.

Its considered bad luck if a black cat passes under a ladder.

Pirates consider a black cat approaching as bad luck. If the feline walks up to the ship then stops and decides to leave, it is considered an omen that the ship is going to sink.

Fisherman look on black cats as good luck. They let them stay on their ships or live in their homes to keep luck on their side.

There are more than 19 different breeds of cat that have black as a color. This is recorded in the Cat Fanciers Association directory. The only all black cat is the Bombay cat. They are often called miniature panthers.

In Russia, any cat is considered a sign of good luck.

Those in Germany, claim it is good luck if a cat crosses your path walking left to right. They also claim, it is bad luck if they cross from right to left.

True black cats were born to parents with the black color gene. This gene is actually a recessive gene, so not considered common. Most cats have a tabby gene, which is suppressed by the black gene in true black cats. If the gene is not fully suppressed, you will be able to see faint striping on their legs or tails.

Whether you believe in all the folklore or not, these are beautiful felines. Growing appreciation of them has lead to more adoptions of black cats. Remember there is work when you get any cat, but the rewards far out weigh the work.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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