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The Simple Guide To Bombay Cats

    Bombay Cats At A Glance:

    LifeSpan: 15-20 Years

    Weight: 8-15 lbs

    Eye Color: Yellow Or Green


    Coat: Short

    Length: 12-20 inches


    Personality: Gentle & Affectionate

    All About Bombay Cats: A Comprehensive Guide to the Breed


    If you’re captivated by the charm of sleek, jet-black felines, you’re in for a treat with the Bombay cat breed. With their distinctive appearance and endearing personalities, Bombay cats have become a popular choice among cat enthusiasts worldwide. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history, personality traits, care requirements, and more, providing you with all the essential information you need to know about these wonderful feline companions.

    The History of Bombay Cats

    Within the vast and diverse world of domestic cats, the Bombay breed stands out as an epitome of elegance and charm. These sleek and striking felines have captivated cat lovers around the globe with their jet-black coats, luminous copper eyes, and playful personalities. Join us on a journey through time as we uncover the intriguing history of Bombay cats, their origins, and their rise to becoming beloved companions.

    Origins in the United States:

    Contrary to what their name might suggest, Bombay cats do not hail from India’s bustling city of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay). Instead, this enchanting breed was developed in the United States in the mid-20th century. The story begins in the early 1950s when a dedicated cat breeder named Nikki Horner set out to create a feline that resembled a miniature panther.

    The Bombay Vision Takes Shape:

    Nikki Horner, a breeder from Louisville, Kentucky, embarked on her journey to bring her vision to life. She started with a sable Burmese cat named Wong Mau, a breed known for its solid black coat and striking golden eyes. Wong Mau was bred with black American Shorthairs, resulting in a litter of kittens that possessed the desired aesthetic qualities Nikki had envisioned.

    The Birth of the Bombay:

    After years of careful breeding and selection, Nikki Horner succeeded in creating a breed that resembled the black leopard of India. In 1970, the breed was officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) as the Bombay cat. The name “Bombay” was chosen to reflect the breed’s resemblance to the sleek and mysterious black leopards found in India.

    Bombay Cat Personality and Temperament

    When it comes to feline companions, Bombay cats stand out for more than just their striking jet-black coats and luminous copper eyes. These delightful creatures possess personalities as captivating as their appearance. In this article, we delve into the endearing traits and unique personalities that make Bombay cats cherished companions, bringing joy and charm into the lives of their human counterparts.

    Intelligent and Inquisitive:

    Bombay cats are known for their high level of intelligence and curiosity. These feline intellectuals love to explore their surroundings and engage in interactive play. They excel at puzzle toys and enjoy tasks that challenge their minds. Whether it’s batting around a toy mouse or solving a treat-dispensing puzzle, Bombay cats have a knack for keeping themselves entertained and mentally stimulated.

    Bombay Cats Are Social Butterflies:

    Bombay cats thrive on social interactions and have a strong desire to be involved in the lives of their human companions. They are known to develop deep bonds with their families and often seek out their attention and affection. These social butterflies enjoy being at the center of activities and will often follow their humans around the house, just to be near them. They are always ready to participate in playtime or simply curl up next to their loved ones for some cozy snuggles.

    Playful and Energetic:

    Bombay cats possess an inherent playfulness that lasts well into adulthood. Their youthful spirit and endless energy make them perfect playmates for both children and adults. They enjoy interactive toys, chasing after feather wands, and engaging in games of fetch. Despite their regal appearance, Bombay cats have a mischievous streak, and their playful antics can provide endless entertainment for their families.

    Bombay Cats Are Affectionate and Loving:

    One of the most endearing qualities of Bombay cats is their deep capacity for affection. They have a natural inclination to form strong bonds with their human companions and are known for their loving and gentle nature. These cats are often found snuggling close to their owners, purring contentedly as they soak up the warmth of human companionship. Their affectionate demeanor makes them excellent therapy animals and ideal companions for those seeking comfort and emotional support.

    Adaptable and Family-Friendly:

    Bombay cats are highly adaptable and tend to get along well with other pets and children. They possess a friendly and amiable disposition that enables them to fit seamlessly into various household dynamics. Their social nature allows them to establish harmonious relationships with both feline and canine companions, making them an excellent addition to multi-pet households.


    Bombay Physical Characteristics

    In the world of domestic cats, few breeds possess the captivating allure of Bombay cats. With their striking jet-black coats and luminous copper or gold eyes, these felines exude an air of elegance and sophistication. In this article, we explore the distinctive physical features that make Bombay cats a breed of exceptional beauty.

    Sleek and Shiny Coat:

    The defining characteristic of Bombay cats is their luxurious, short, and sleek coat, reminiscent of polished black satin. Their coats are often described as patent leather, reflecting light and radiating a deep lustrous sheen. The texture of their fur is soft and velvety to the touch, inviting gentle strokes and caresses. The solid black coat serves as a stunning backdrop that accentuates their other physical features.

    Penetrating Copper or Gold Eyes:

    The eyes of a Bombay cat are truly captivating, adding to their overall mystique. Their large, round eyes are typically a vivid copper or gold color, intensifying the contrast against their black fur. These penetrating eyes hold a unique depth and expressiveness, drawing in admirers with their enchanting gaze. Whether inquisitive, playful, or affectionate, the eyes of a Bombay cat never fail to captivate and mesmerize.

    Athletic and Agile Body:

    Bombay cats possess a sturdy, medium-sized body with a well-muscled build. Despite their compact stature, they are known for their agility and athleticism. Their bodies are sleek and lithe, enabling them to move with grace and precision. Their strong legs and arched back give them a distinctive panther-like appearance, further enhancing their regal presence. Whether leaping gracefully through the air or effortlessly scaling heights, Bombay cats exhibit a natural athleticism that is a delight to behold.

    Refined Facial Structure:

    The face of a Bombay cat exudes an air of elegance and refinement. Their head is rounded, with well-defined contours that contribute to their sleek appearance. They possess high cheekbones and a well-developed chin, giving their face a symmetrical and balanced look. Their ears are medium-sized, wide at the base, and tapering to a rounded tip, adding to their overall aesthetic appeal. The combination of their expressive eyes, small nose, and gently curved mouth gives Bombay cats an endearing and charming expression.

    Graceful and Fluid Movements:

    Observing a Bombay cat in motion is akin to witnessing a graceful dance. Their movements are fluid, exhibiting a natural elegance that is a testament to their refined physicality. Whether engaged in playful pounces or stealthy prowling, Bombay cats possess an innate grace that adds to their allure.

    So how long does a Bombay live?

    If a cat is kept at a healthy, normal weight, then the average Bombay cat lifespan for this breed is around 15 to 20 years.

    This lifespan is actually on the longer ends of the spectrum for a lot of breed with 20 being very old age for a cat.

    Bombay Cat Health and Care

    Bombay cats, with their sleek black coats and captivating personalities, require proper care and attention to ensure they lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Let’s delve into the essential aspects of caring for Bombay cats, including their health needs, grooming requirements, and overall well-being.

    Health and Wellness:

    Maintaining the health of a Bombay cat starts with regular veterinary check-ups. Just like any other cat, they require routine vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental care to ensure their overall well-being. Additionally, it’s important to provide a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet and feeding schedule for your Bombay cat, taking into consideration factors such as age, activity level, and any specific dietary requirements.

    Exercise and Mental Stimulation:

    Bombay cats are known for their playful and energetic nature, making regular exercise a vital part of their care routine. Engage them in interactive play sessions using toys that encourage physical activity and mental stimulation. Laser pointers, feather wands, and puzzle toys are excellent options to keep them entertained and prevent boredom. Providing vertical spaces like cat trees or shelves can also satisfy their climbing instincts and offer opportunities for exercise.

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    Bombay cats Grooming Needs:

    The sleek and shiny coat of a Bombay cat requires regular grooming to maintain its beauty and prevent matting. Here are some grooming tips to keep in mind:


    While Bombay cats have short hair, they still benefit from regular brushing to remove loose hair and prevent shedding. Use a soft-bristled brush or grooming mitt to gently brush their coat once or twice a week. This helps distribute natural oils, keeping their fur shiny and reducing the formation of hairballs.


    Bombay cats typically do not require frequent baths unless they get dirty or develop a skin condition. Use a cat-specific shampoo and follow bathing procedures recommended by your veterinarian. Be sure to dry them thoroughly after the bath to prevent chilling.

    Nail Trimming:

    Regularly trim your Bombay cat’s nails to keep them at a manageable length. Use cat-specific nail clippers or seek professional help if you’re unsure. It’s important to introduce nail trimming gradually and reward them with treats and praise to create a positive association.

    Oral Care:

    Just like other cats, Bombay cats can be prone to dental issues. Establish a dental care routine by brushing their teeth regularly using a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. Additionally, provide dental treats or toys designed to promote oral hygiene.

    Environmental Enrichment:

    Creating an enriching environment for your Bombay cat is essential for their mental well-being. Provide scratching posts, interactive toys, and perches to stimulate their natural instincts and offer them opportunities for play and exploration. Consider setting up a designated space with a comfortable bed or blanket where they can retreat for relaxation and privacy.

    Attention and Affection:

    Bombay cats thrive on human interaction and affection. Spend quality time with your cat through gentle petting, interactive play, and engaging in activities they enjoy. Their social nature makes them excellent companions, so be sure to provide them with the love and attention they crave.

    >> You May Also Like: All About Dilute Tortoiseshell Cats!


    Bonding with Your Bombay Cats

    Bombay cats, with their enchanting black coats and captivating personalities, possess a natural affinity for forming deep and meaningful bonds with their human companions. Building a strong bond with your Bombay cat is a rewarding and fulfilling experience that lays the foundation for a lifetime of love, trust, and companionship. In this article, we explore valuable tips and techniques to help you establish a strong and lasting connection with your Bombay cat.

    Bombay Cats Require Patience and Understanding:

    Developing a bond with any cat requires patience and understanding. Each Bombay cat has its own unique personality, and it’s important to respect their individual needs and preferences. Give them time to acclimate to their new environment, and avoid forcing interactions before they are ready. Observe their body language and respond accordingly, allowing them to approach you on their terms. Over time, your patience will be rewarded with their trust and affection.

    Daily Interactive Play:

    Engaging in daily interactive play sessions is a fantastic way to bond with your Bombay cat. Use toys that simulate prey, such as feather wands or interactive puzzle toys, to encourage their natural hunting instincts. Not only does playtime provide physical exercise, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your feline friend. The joy and excitement shared during play will create positive associations, fostering a deeper connection.

    Quality One-on-One Time:

    Devote regular, uninterrupted one-on-one time to spend with your Bombay cat. This can involve simply sitting quietly in their presence, gently stroking them, or engaging in activities they enjoy. By offering your undivided attention, you demonstrate your love and commitment, deepening the bond between you. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of these sessions, as your cat grows more comfortable and trusting.

    Positive Reinforcement works well with bombay cats:

    Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in building a bond with your Bombay cat. Reward their desirable behaviors, such as using the litter box or using a scratching post, with treats, praise, or gentle petting. This positive association strengthens the bond and encourages them to repeat the behavior. Avoid punishment or negative reinforcement, as it can damage trust and hinder the bonding process.

    Respect Their Boundaries:

    Respecting your Bombay cat’s boundaries is crucial in building trust and strengthening your bond. Allow them to have their own space and privacy when needed. Avoid overwhelming them with too much attention or handling. If they show signs of discomfort or stress, such as flattened ears or tail flicking, give them space and time to relax. Respecting their boundaries demonstrates your understanding and consideration, nurturing the bond between you.

    Establishing Routines:

    Bombay cats thrive on routine and predictability. Establish a consistent daily routine for feeding, playtime, and quiet moments together. Cats feel secure when they know what to expect, and this stability fosters a sense of trust and contentment. Through consistent routines, you create a strong foundation for a deep and lasting bond with your Bombay cat.

    Are Bombay Cats Rare?

    Yes, Bombays are a rare cat breed.

    This domesticated cat is bred to look like a wild cat and they resemble a black panther with beautiful copper eyes. While there are many black cats that are various breeds, few are actually considered a true Bombay.

    Bombay Cats Facts

    Yes! The favorite section of most people’s lives!

    The FUN FACTS!

    Sure, you want to know how long your Bombay cat will live, and where the origination of your breed was from. But what will actually make you interested are the small jeopardy-like facts that you can tell other people about your cat breed?

    So without further ado, the Bombay cats 101:

    •    The Bombay is a black panther’s “mini-me”

    o    This is actually where they have gotten their name, Bombay. The creator of the Bombay breed wanted to make a cat breed that was a mini version of the Indian black panther. So it’s only fitting that when she succeeded, it was considered the black panther’s mini-me! Bombay is a medium sized cat even as an international cat. Although, they are still much smaller than their wild cat ancestors. They are known to resemble the black leopard in the wild.

    •    Their ears have a slight curve and are widespread

    o    This is one of the defining features of a Bombay characteristics. Here’s the deal, there’s a lot of breeds that can have black cats. So a lot of the time, when people see a black cat, they just assume it’s a different breed. So you have to use these distinctive features to know if the cat is indeed a Bombay.

    •    The Bombay has very distinct golden eyes, which have been called “new-penny eyes”

    o    This is another distinctive feature of the Bombay. If you have a black cat that does not have golden copper eyes, then it is probably not a Bombay cat!  Simple as that. However, if you still think there is SOME Bombay in your cat, you can always do a DNA test for your cat. BasePaws has some awesome products and one that will give you the COMPLETE history of your cat. AND, you can use code LLAPTRIBE to get $10 off your order. (TEN DOLLARS! HOLLA!). So if your cat doesn’t have the golden eyes, but does have other distinctive features, maybe it is half Bombay, half another breed.

             If you are wondering, how to tell if my cat is a Bombay? The answer is simple, look at the eyes and the ears. That is the easiest way how to identify a true Bombay. (Or of course   a DNA test).

    •    As kittens, they are born with a faint tabby-like striping, which fades as they grow

    o    I added this fun fact in because let’s face it, it’s kind of cool. Their color pattern changes as they grow! How cool! Their coats are still extremely glossy and easy to maintain. Weekly brushing and a healthy diet help to keep their silky black coat shiny and healthy.

    •    They are easy to train

    o    Most cats are known for being very independent. They do what they want when they want. And if you want them to do something differently…HA! Good luck! This breed, however, are fairly easy to train. It is always recommended to clicker train or treat train a cat. But Bombay cat breeds are usually easier to train than others.

    •    Bombays are fiercely loyal to their owners

    o    Like the Black Panther, they love their packs. And there are fiercely loyal to their pack. So if you have a Bombay, they will love you and be loyal to you FOREVER!

    •    These cats are Heat Lovers:

    o    We don’t mean like like actually looking for heat, but Bombay cats like to be warm. If it’s cold outside, or chilly in the house, your Bombay is very likely to be in the warmest place in the house. They love to curl up near anything warm to have the heat radiating around them. If you live in a cold environment, you will need to make sure that your Bombay is kept warm and snuggly indoors. This is not the cat breed to have as an outdoor cat unless you are in warm climates.


    Bombay Cats Frequently Asked Questions

    Are Bombay cats suitable for families with children?

    Yes, Bombay cats can be great companions for families with children. They are known for their friendly and sociable nature, making them well-suited for households with kids. However, it’s important to teach children how to interact with cats respectfully, including gentle handling, proper play, and understanding their boundaries. Supervision is recommended, especially with younger children, to ensure the safety and well-being of both the child and the cat.

    Do Bombay cats get along well with other pets?

    Bombay cats generally have a good temperament and can get along well with other pets, including dogs and other cats. However, it’s important to introduce them to other animals gradually and under controlled circumstances. Provide a safe and neutral space for the initial introductions, and closely supervise their interactions. Give them time to adjust and establish their own relationships. Some Bombay cats may prefer being the only pet in the household, so it’s important to consider their individual personality and preferences.

    How can I introduce a Bombay cat to my home?

    When introducing a Bombay cat to your home, it’s crucial to create a calm and safe environment. Set up a designated space for them initially, such as a quiet room, where they can become accustomed to their new surroundings. Provide essential items like food, water, litter box, and comfortable bedding. Gradually allow them to explore other areas of the house, while keeping an eye on their reactions and comfort level. Be patient and give them time to adjust, allowing them to set the pace for exploring and becoming familiar with their new home.

    Are Bombay cats vocal?

    While Bombay cats can vary in their vocal tendencies, they are generally not excessively vocal compared to some other breeds. They may use soft meows, purrs, and chirps to communicate their needs or seek attention from their human companions. Each Bombay cat has its own unique personality, so some individuals may be more talkative than others. However, they are not typically known for being extremely vocal cats.

    How much exercise do Bombay cats require?

    Bombay cats are active and playful, requiring regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Engaging them in interactive play sessions for around 15 to 20 minutes multiple times a day can help fulfill their exercise needs. Use toys that simulate prey and encourage them to chase, pounce, and jump. Providing vertical spaces like cat trees or shelves can also offer opportunities for climbing and exercise. Additionally, ensure they have access to scratching posts or boards to engage their natural instincts. Regular playtime and opportunities for physical activity are essential to keep Bombay cats happy, healthy, and mentally stimulated.


    Bombay cats offer a delightful combination of elegance, playfulness, and companionship. With their jet-black coats and affectionate personalities, they make a captivating addition to any cat-loving household. By understanding their history, personality traits, and care requirements, you’ll be well-equipped to provide your Bombay cat with a loving and fulfilling life. Whether you’re a first-time cat owner or a seasoned enthusiast, the Bombay breed is sure to steal your heart and bring joy to your home for years to come.

    14 thoughts on “The Simple Guide To Bombay Cats”

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      1. I recently adopted a black cat, he has “penny gold” eyes, but his ears are not completely curved, however they are rounder than my other cat’s. He loves to sleep clinging to me to snuggle up in bed is quite obedient. I think he might be a Bombay, even if he was the only black cat where I found him.

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    4. Thank you, I’ve been looking for info about this subject matter for ages and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far.

    5. I have a cat that seems to match all the criteria you have listed as a Bombay breed. I found him through a friend, who found him lost a little over a year ago. He was approximately 4-6 weeks old. He is quite the character. He is completely black everywhere and has the copper colored eyes in all the pictures I have seen and yes he plays fetch, with pretzels or marshmellows. He also loves boxes and anywhere he can be up high. The closer to the ceiling the better.
      My question is how I can verify he is a true Bombay and find other owners of these very unique cats.

    6. Leslie Bain

      I have a 5 1/2 month old Bombay.
      He is being neutered July 22nd, 6months old.
      I took him today for bloodwork prior to surgery.
      Then clipped his claws on one paw and could do NOTHING else.
      He was too freaked out or anxious or scared! I really don’t know.
      I have to make a new appointment for bloodwork and a Gabapentin 100mg capsule 2 hours before his bloodwork.
      He will be sedated!!!!!!
      He has had his 3 vaccinations and cut his claws all 3 times!
      So why did today happen the way it did?

      1. livelongandpawspurr

        Hi Leslie! Unfortunately cats are like humans which means fear can manifest itself from different places. It could have been the vet, the paw could have been sore, or someone in the room could have been anxious and your kitty was feeding off of it. The best advice that I can give you is to take the vet each appointment at a time. If he needs sedated, then go down that best but every visit could be different. And keep a positive attitude when you go into the vet. Cats can feed off of our energies! 🙂 I hope this helps and good luck on your neutering!!! Make sure you check out my tips that have saved my mental health when my kittens were spayed/neutered.

    7. I recently adopted a black cat, he has “penny gold” eyes, but his ears are not completely curved, however they are rounder than my other cat’s. He loves to sleep clinging to me to snuggle up in bed is quite obedient. I think he might be a Bombay, even if he was the only black cat where I found him.

    8. I actually have a Bombay cat she has , yellow eyes, pure black and I even search her picture on google lens it said, Bombay cat.. She is so cute and gentle

      ….. Sometimes she can be mean when you steal her fav, milk
      ….. But still she is the best I named her baghira and she is 2 and half years old

    9. Gina Sallstrom

      I love the name of your web page! We have a 2 yr. old Bombay. She frequently sits up like a Meerkat, sometimes for several mnutes at a time. She does this to see what is on a table that she might like to play with, or to see exactly where our other cat is, or to get a better look at wildlife on TV. Is this a Bombay trait?
      She is definitely my little shadow and is quite put out if I won’t let her into the bathroom with me or we don’t let her sleep with us (mainly because she sleeps between us until 2 a.m., and then it’s time to play!)
      Our other cat is a Bengal (13) and has to establish his rank as Alpha cat … every day.

      1. Hi, my Bombay is about 6 months old and she is so funny! My vet deemed her a Bombay. Another trait is they have black noses, and black paw pads! I didn’t know she was any special breed until I got the papers on her from the vet; I research the Bombay and turns out she has all of the breeds traits! She is a great friend and companion, and we have so much fun together! I also am training her to wear a harness and leash so we can go for adventures! Love her!

    10. Thanks for this great summary. I should mention that although green is not an acceptable eye colour with the American Bombay, it is an acceptable eye colour with the British Bombay. The American Bombay is bred from the Burmese and American Shorthair, while the British Bombay is bred from the Burmese and British Shorthair – hence some slight differences in the two variants of this magnificent cat breed.

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