The Bombay is a short-haired cat breed and it is the name given to black cats of the Asian group. It is also sometimes called the Black Burmese and nicknamed “mini-panther”. Its characteristic walk has the appearance of a sway, resembling the Indian black leopard. It is known to be an active and curious cat that loves to watch the world around her. Let us know more about the history and characteristics of the Bombay cat breed.
Cat breeders love to experiment to be able to create new breeds by either building on natural genetic mutations or by crossing breeds to develop a new look, pattern, or color. Though the Bombay cat breed is named for the exotic port city of India, it does not have any connection with the subcontinent. The breed was created from crosses between sable Burmese and black American Shorthairs to resemble a mini version of a black panther.
A breeder from Louisville, Kentucky named Nikki Horner was the one who started developing the Bombay cat breed in the late 1950s. Nikki’s goal was to produce a sleek, shiny black cat with a muscular body and friendly temperament. Her first attempt failed but was able to become successful on her second attempt in 1965. Eventually, British breeders were also able to achieve the same look and personality with crosses of Burmese and black domestic shorthairs.
In 1978, the Cat Fanciers Association gave the Bombay full recognition, followed by The International Cat Association in 1979. Nikki Horner died in 1995. In the present time, the breed is recognized by all cat associations. For the breed to maintain its body type and texture, Bombay cats may be outcrossed to sable Burmese. Aside from that, the Cat Fanciers Association also permits outcrosses to black American Shorthairs. However, this outcrossing is rarely done because of the differences in body type. Even though they are still not common, they are crowd pleasers at every show where they are exhibited.
Characteristics of a Bombay Cat
Average weight: 6 – 11 pounds
Life Span: 12 – 16 years
The Bombay is a medium-sized cat, but when you pick it up, it will feel considerably heavier than how it appears. It is a stocky and somewhat compact cat but is very muscular and heavy boning as well. This cat breed develops slowly and males may not reach their musculature and full size until they are 2 years old. This cat is round all over. It has a round head, round ear tips, and even its eyes, chin, and feet are round.
Bombay cats are characterized as having an all-black coat, mouth, and nose, with copper or green eyes. Its close-lying, sleek, and glossy black coat is generally colored to the roots with only a little to no fading. This coat is fine and feels satiny to touch and it shines like patent leather. Even though the gene for the black coat is dominant, sometimes, there is also a sable-colored kitten born in a Bombay litter. There are some associations that permit these sable-colored kittens to be registered as Burmese.
Bombay cats are known to be lively and affectionate. They love people and they are adaptable to many different lifestyles and environment. They are calm in nature, making them great pets in apartments and small homes. They are active pets who would be willing to play fetch with you often and some may also learn to walk on a leash. You can expect a Bombay cat to hog in the warmest spot in the house such as under the covers at bedtime. They can also converse with people in a distinctive by not a loud voice.
Bombay cats are not very independent and they often seek attention from their owners and people around them. They do not like being to be left alone for long periods of time. And even though they love to be around people, they also tend to have a certain person whom they pay special attention to in their lives. When it comes to households with children, the outgoing Bombay cat is a perfect choice. Aside from that, this cat breed can also live peacefully with other cats and even with cat-friendly dogs who will respect its authority.
Caring for a Bombay Cat
A Bombay cat has a short coat with hair that is shiny and fine which is very easy to groom. You just have to brush it weekly using a rubber curry brush and sometimes, a few strokes of the hand might work as well. This will help remove dead hair, distribute skin oil, and polish the coat to keep it beautiful and shiny. Bombay cats rarely need baths.
Aside from taking care of its coat, it’s also important to apply all the basic grooming that cats need such as brushing the teeth weekly, cleaning the face and eyes to remove any discharge, and as well as checking the ears and cleaning them weekly. Always keep your pet’s litter box spotlessly clean as well because cats are very particular about bathroom hygiene.
Bombay cats can be spayed or neutered at 6 to 9 months of age because they are not unheard of to reach sexual maturity as early as 5 months of age.
When it comes to feeding, adult Bombay cats should be fed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening and it’s better if it’s at the same time. It is recommended to feed them with dry foods of premium class because mix feed can harm them. But you can sometimes give them some steamed meat. You can also check with your local vet other diet tips to keep your pet healthy.
To protect them from being harmed by other animals or from being hit by a car, it’s better to keep them as indoor-only cats. This will also prevent them from acquiring diseases spread by other cats outside, and from being stolen as well.
The Bombay cat is a great pet for families who are looking for an affectionate and playful companion that they will love and take care of.