Bombay cats have a rather exotic appearance that has been compared to that of a panther. Bred specifically to achieve an all-black appearance, the Bombay cat was originally a cross between American Shorthairs and the Burmese breed, though they are now considered their own breed. Far from simply a black cat, the Bombay cat is a unique breed that is rarely seen. Here's how to identify a Bombay cat:
- Color - Bombay cats are all-black, with no color variations in their fur. Some kittens have a little sable in their fur, but this will fade by the time they reach adulthood. The best way to identify a Bombay cat is by this fur; if it is any other color, it is not a Bombay. You won't see a Bombay cat with any spots, splotches or stripes in their fur. The pads of the paws are also black, as is the nose.
- Fur texture - The fur of a Bombay cat is short, sleek and very glossy. Both the texture and color have been carefully selected to make the Bombay look as much like a wild panther as possible.
- Build - Bombay cats are slender and muscular, with long torsos. Pick up the cat; a Bombay will be surprisingly heavy for its size. They have a medium build.
- Face - The face of a Bombay cat is rounded, with a nose that is relatively short. This short muzzle was intentionally bred to look like that of a panther. The nose is black, not pink.
- Eyes - The eyes are large, round and wide-set. They vary in color along a spectrum from gold to copper. Some are closer to orange, while others have a green tint. No matter the exact shade of the eyes, they should sparkle.
- Temperament - The Bombay breed is very playful. A Bombay cat should get along fine with children and other pets, and can be trained to fetch. They are also very curious, and will dig through your drawers and purses. If you have a Bombay cat, provide plenty of toys to help your cat occupy itself.
The Bombay cat breed was developed during the 1950s and 1960s specifically as a domesticated look-alike of a wild panther. In fact, it is often known as a "parlor panther" for this reason. This black cat with a shiny coat and short muzzle was first recognized as a distinct breed by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1976.