Bombay Cat

bombay cat - black cat

What is a Bombay Cat?

The Bombay cat is known, above all, for its unusual and exotic features. From its gold-flecked eyes to its sleek coat of stunning jet-black color, the Bombay is highly sought out for these intriguing assets.

The black Bombay cat possesses a well-built, medium stature that many misjudge for being light in weight. In fact, these felines are heavier than expected, with some males getting to be 11 or 15 pounds.

All of its physical characteristics are quite rounded in shape, from its head to its paws. As for its coat, this breed sports a short, lustrous black coat. If kept in optimal shape, its coat gives off a shine that radiates glamour and sophistication.

Bombay Cat Facts

bombay cat kitten - black catsThis alluring black cat made its debut in the feline world in the 1950s when a renowned breeder named Nikki Horner crossed a black American Shorthair with a Burmese. The result was a silky, all-black cat now known as the Bombay.

When creating this hybrid, the breeder had the black panther (a type of Indian leopard) in mind, which is indigenous to what is now Mumbai, India. Because of this, many are drawn to the breed because of its panther-like look and feel.

A random tidbit about this black cat, which makes it more curious, is that it makes a loud, unique purring sound when it tries to talk with those around it. Unlike other felines, this breed purrs rather loudly.

Besides this, this feline’s adaptability makes them an even more popular breed.

Bombay Cat Personality

These black cats possesses a personality that is both family and dog friendly. Bombays are generally good-natured, calm, and quite sociable with everyone it comes into contact with.

While these black cats enjoy nothing more than relaxing and observing, these felines also have a side to them that loves playtime and learning tricks. Because of this, it is good to buy toys for a Bombay so that it will not get easily bored with. These felines are a good mix of energetic and laid-back.

Due to its intelligence, Bombays are innately curious about the world around it. These black cats will often be spotted staring out of windows or quietly observing from afar.

Furthermore, this breed is quite needy when it comes to affection and attention. Whether it be playtime, cuddling, or being petted, this feline revels in the attention of its owners.

All in all, Bombays are very friendly, fun-loving, and intensely curious felines. Although they may take their role as the center of attention a bit too seriously at times, these furry felines make tremendous additions to any family.

bombay black cat - bombay cat lifespan

Bombay Cat vs Black Cat

Although all Bombay cats are black, not all black cats are Bombay cats. Key Bombay characteristics to look for include:

  • Shiny black fur
  • Gold or copper eyes
  • Black nose and paw pads
  • Rounded appearance
  • Muscular body
  • Swaying or swishing walk
  • Talkative personality.

Types of Bombay Cats

In searching for information on the Bombay, many people may run into this breed being referred to as either an American Bombay or British Bombay. Because of this, it is ideal to explain the main distinction between both of them: their eyes.

  • American Bombay Cat: This black cat has eyes that are gold or coppery orange in color.
  • English Bombay Cat: This feline, rather than being bred with the American Shorthair, was bred with the English Shorthair. Additionally, their eye color is usually a greenish-gold color.

While both felines are essentially the same, these subtle differences are notable to some.

british bombay cat - bombay cat personality

How to Care for a Bombay Cat


This breed should be given ample room to jump, run and play. This breed, due to its inquisitive nature, particularly loves to explore. Purchasing a cat tree or some form of perch which allows it to climb is ideal. This breed has a propensity to become obese, so plenty of exercise is vital to the well-being of this curious kitty.


To keep this black cat’s coat shiny and silky to the touch, weekly brushing is advised. Not only does this keep its coat in optimal health, but this activity will make it quite feel loved since this feline thrives on human interaction and attentiveness. It is recommended to use a rubber brush for weekly brushing.

In terms of shedding, this breed sheds very minimally due to its short, fine hair. Additionally, this black cat will need its nails trimmed and ears cleaned out as needed. It is also highly recommended that its teeth be frequently brushed using a feline-approved toothpaste.

bombay cats - bombay cat breed


It is rather easy for these black cats to conceal weight gain, so it is important to monitor what type of food it is eating and how much it consumes on a daily basis. Treats should be given out sporadically.

Bombay Cat Lifespan and Health

In spite of the endemic health concerns that are associated with these felines, Bombays enjoy a rather bountiful life expectancy that is between 12 and 16 years. Some particularly healthy Bombays may live up to 20 years old.

Below are the specific health issues owners should be cautious of when it comes to this breed:

  • Craniofacial defect: This condition occurs in Bombay kittens and is often the result of poor breeding practices. Also known as Burmese head defect, this condition is marked by severe malformation of the skull and prominent facial features. This condition is immediately known at birth. Unfortunately, these kittens cannot survive with this condition and must be put down once the condition is diagnosed.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: This heart condition is marked by a thickening of the walls of the cardiac region of the internal organs. Symptoms may include rapid heartbeat, a decline in activity, and breathing difficulties.
  • Eye inflammation: This breed often experiences tearing of the eyes due to inflammation within the eyes. This is normally caused by some type of eye-related condition, such as conjunctivitis or allergies.
  • Respiratory problems: Because of their flat faces and short noses, these felines often contend with problems related to breathing properly.

black bombay cat - american bombay catIn spite of the various health concerns associated with this breed, potential owners should realize every breed comes with issues. What matters is how the feline is cared for by both the owner and the vet.

Being conscientious about this feline’s state of health—as well as consistent check-ups at the vet—can make a world of difference a Bombay’s overall well-being. In addition, all felines should be provided with vaccines for viruses such as distemper and feline leukemia.

Rescue and Adoption

When it comes to any breed of animal, rescuing or adopting the animal from a no-kill shelter is always advised. Bombay cat rescue adoptions can be great places to start searching for a loving and playful black cat.

Not only is adopting cheaper than buying from a pet store, but it provides a home to a feline that desperately needs one. When looking for a Bombay cat for sale, there may be a fee to adopt. However, whatever the fee may be, it is sure to be significantly cheaper than whatever it costs to shop for one at a store.

Check out some rare cat breeds and enter your feline in our monthly cute cat photo contest.

More Information about Bombay Cat

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