Black Dog and Cat Syndrome Awareness Month

Maxx and Pepper Conforti
Long Island Press pets Maxx and Pepper Conforti

February is Black Dog and Cat Syndrome Awareness Month, an issue close to my heart.

Many animal rescuers say that black cats and dogs are less likely to be adopted than other shelter pets.

Why? There’s no set reason, and the people who look over black pets likely do so subconsciously. One reason could be because lighter animals generally photograph better, which can sway people who use adoption websites.

Personally, I feel like black cats have it the hardest (I mean, a black dog did just win Westminster Best in Show). A lot of people associate black cats with witches and other ridiculous superstitions. One time I was telling someone about Herbie, and when I finally showed a picture of his handsomeness, I was shocked at his response.

“Oh, he’s a BLACK cat?”

The fact that Herb is missing an eye didn’t faze this self-proclaimed cat lover, but the color of his fur caused him to react in a tone that was almost one of disgust and disappointment.

What makes it even worse is the fact that Herbie isn’t even an all-black cat. He is a tuxedo cat, which means his underside and the tips of his paws are white (think Sylvester from Sylvester and Tweety or Felix the cat). If this guy were so turned off by a tuxedo cat, what would his response to an all-black cat be?

In a post on old RCD website I listed the “Top 10” reasons to adopt a black cat. I feel like this list needs to be repeated.


10. You’ll save money on their Halloween costumes
9. You can always find them in the snow
8. Holding a black cat is very slimming
7. Black cats will match any decor
6. A lint brush isn’t required for a black-tie affair
5. When you love a black cat luck is on your side
4. Black cats are like onyx—a beautiful gem.
3. They don’t care what color you are!
2. Some research suggests black cats are friendlier

And the number 1 reason:

They are the least likely to be adopted.