Bombay cats are clever and graceful ones. Sometimes it seems that there is something Indian not only in the name of the breed.
Some delicate calisthenics is in their moves and some universal wisdom – in their eyes.
The cats that first appeared just in early 50th of the last century in America as a result of Burmese and American Shorthair cat breeding, – they look like a small panther – the most beautiful, proud animal with strong character.
History of the breed
Despite their almost classical gracefulness and wise glance, cats is a very young breed. However, don’t be misled by its name, since the cats have nothing to do with India.
These cats actually come from America.
Bombay were bred in the middle of the 50-th of the last century by American breeder Nicky Horner from Kentucky. Her aim was to create a small cope of panther. In the framework of her breeding experiment she bred Burmese and American Shorthair cats.
It’s known that it took several years (4 cat generations) to get a full-rate breed. The breeder got what she wanted – a real small panther with black silk-like fur.
Although, bombay and burmese cats are relatives there some differences that can be noticed right away: the body is longer and larger, the limbs are thinner and stronger. Also, their faces are different – cats look more friendly and their face features aren’t so sharp.
Bombay cat main feature is its coloring – thick, silk-like black fur – it’s first of all due to dominating genes.
At the same time cats have a recessive gene, which shows up in their so called “zibelline” coloring. Notice, that when breeding two black colored species the kittens may be born with zibelline coloring, not typical for the breed.
This became the main problem when breeding. But this isn’t all: bombay cats genetics is so complicated, that when breeding them with Burmese cats in the posterity there will be only one black kitten meeting the requirements to the breed.
That’s why cats have been waiting for their breed acknowledgement for over 20 years – in 1976 several American and European cats federations acknowledged the breed. Nowadays, they still develop rapidly as a breed, but it is already popular all over he world already.
In the frames of breed standards it’s still allowed to breed small panthers with zibelline Burmese cats and with black colored American Shorthair cats.
Bombay are really clever and intelligent. First of all, it shows up in their ability to adapt their temper to their owner’s one – it’s so called psychological adjustment. The cat watches the family members: it knows when they come from work and how to meet them is a doorway.
Cats are very playful – except imitation of hunting (typical to all cats), they like doing things that require sagacity and adroitness.
For example, the cat can easily learn to open rooms doors, to get access to the fridge shelves and even to turn on the TV or computer. Bt the way, they can watch the TV for hours, but their favorite device is a fan.
Small panthers can control their emotions. Be sure, that this tender and sympathetic pet will behave even when it’s stressed. Despite the fact that cats suffer from loneliness, they never get bored. Breeders say that these cats can entertain themselves playing with a ball or your old shoe lace.
Also it’s important to mention that they are very talkative. They can change their voice tones and make different sounds, however the most important thing is that they react on each phrase of their owner.
Personality is a very communicative one despite its a bit predator-looking appearance. These pets love being held in the owner’s arms and caressing.
Small panthers have a high level of socialization and they love all family members, but they pay their special attention to only one of them. This is a common feature of bombay cats and dogs.
In general, these cats are rather playful and active, but personality and temper are a mixture of tranquility and sobriety.
They try to get the leading position among animals, but it’s a human who they serve. Surely, this black cat won’t bring you a newspaper or slippers every morning, it won’t obey some complicated commands, but still it will be a loyal and affectionate pet.
They are very communicative pets. They easily get along with other cats or dogs in a house.
But they have some nuances in their – strong character, born winners who tend to dominate – they won’t be confused by the size of your dog or bad behaved yard cat.
If some other pets appeared in a house after this cat, they will have to put up with his rules, at that Bombays are peaceful and hospitable.
They are good with kids, however if the kid treats them badly, they just walk away without doing any harm to the kid. They like visitors, but if they have some bad intentions or attitude, the cat will feel it and act very cautiously.
Bombay are naturally docile, so they try not to make their owner angry or upset – the cat is careful and attentive.
Bombay will never break your favorite cup even if it put very close to the table edge, he will never walk on your keyboard. But all these depends on its owner – you should train your pet from its first days in your house. It’s not a dog and it desn’t need any special training.
First, make kitten to get used to your hands, but don’t let him bite or scratch you. Use feathers or special rods with ribbons to play with the cat.
These cats have to be punished rather severely, but without any harm – for example, just sprinkle the cat with water a little. The punishment should come right after the offence, otherwise the animal just won’t understand what has happened.
Iike doing tricks and you can develop this ability by playing some creative games with your pet.
Walks and physical loads
Is very active and athletic, but at the same time it is classical home-body. The feel perfectly well inside and they are indifferent to long walks outside. Sometimes you can have a walk with your pet somewhere in a closed garden, but be careful not to make the cat stressed, since can climb a tree or run away.
Don’t forget that your pet needs toys, even though he can entertain himself. They like jumping, so buy some hanging toys for them.
These cats like overcoming some difficulties, so a high hanging toy will be the best for them. Labyrinths for cats, high placed pull-up bars with scratching mats will also do. Play together with your pet and he will really appreciate your attention.
Bombay fur care is easy and not time-consuming. Buy a special rubber mitten to brush your pet to make its fur look shining and well-groomed – these cats love this. This cat is ok with water, so it can be washed with a special shampoo for cats, but not often than once a month.
Their eyes may tear excessively, so use cotton wool ball to clean them. Regularly, look after their teeth and ears. For cleaning the ears use dry cotton wool ball and brush cat’s teeth with special tooth paste from time to time.
Even if there is a scratching mat the cat sometimes needs to have his nails cut at about 1-2 mm. Buy special pet nail trimmer for this or go to some professionals to do this. Cat has good appetite, so your pet will eat all day long if you don’t control it, so your pet can get fat instead of being slim and sporty.
Adult cat has to be fed twice a day – in the morning and in the evening, always at the same time. Cats breeders recommend to feed the cat only with dry feed of premium class.
Mixed feed can harm the cat. Just sometimes you may give your pet some steamed meat. Never feed your pet from your hand and don’t give them food from your meal.
Bombay cat and your flat
The place where your pet sleeps has to be in a quiet and peaceful place, where he will feel himself the most protected.
You can buy some special house for cats or sleeping ledge. It’s important that the ledge fits the whole length of a cat, since cats quite often prefer to sleep stretching their body.
However, at that you pet needs to keep constant contact with family members, so let him or her watch you from a safe place on their territory.
Although the cat can entertain itself buy him some toys, so it won’t play with your stuff left somewhere.
Bombay breed species are very cleany and not very demanding as for the litterbox and its filler. Provided with some efforts from their owner they will even be able to use toilet.
Sergey is a founder and author of Meethepet.com. He’s been fond of aquarium husbandry since his early childhood.
His favorite aquariums are biotopes (Amazon River), with Echinodorus and Angelfish. However, through the years he’s had experience of keeping almost all types of freshwater fish and shrimps.