Nicknamed “Patent leather kid with new penny eyes”, the Bombay Cat was originally made to resemble a smaller, miniaturized version of the black panther. The all-black fur coating is beset by curious eyes that assume the color of copper or gold.
The first thing you’ll notice is the rich, midnight coating, followed by the strikingly huge button eyes. These cats look perpetually surprised at everything they see, which gives them a somewhat comical aspect. They are closely related to the Burmese breed because of the coat, with the Bombay having longer legs and a larger, longer physique.
Thinking of adopting a Bombay for your home? This breed is the perfect choice. Family members will definitely endear themselves with the cat and become attached to the quirky personality it can bring your household.
History of the Bombay Cat
Bombays actually originated in Louisville, Kentucky and not Bombay, India. Early breeders took a few paths to get the Bombay cat to where it is now. During the 1950s, a breeder named Nikki Horner bred the midnight cat by crossing black American shorthairs with sable Burmese. In Britain, black domestic cats were crossed with Burmese. After trial and error, breeders achieved a smaller version of the famed wild cat, the black panther.
This breed got its name from the sea side city in India. Black panthers are commonly found in India, and Nikki Horner thought that it made a good connection to show where they got the breeding inspiration from.
In 1979, Bombay cats were officially recognized by the CFA, or Cat Fanciers Association and entered in the largest association of pedigreed and registered cats. Moreover, the midnight cat was entered into the annals of the ICA, or International Cat Association and similar registries.
Size of the Bombay Cat
This breed is well-muscled and have a solid frame. Picking one up will belie the fact that they weigh heavier than they look. But don’t mistake Bombay cats for being slow because they can be quite agile when they want to.
Male Bombays can weigh somewhere around 8 to 11 lbs., with females weighing around 6 to 9 lbs. Moreover, these felines are expected to live somewhere around 13 to 15 years.
Personality of the Bombay Cat
Bombays are quite the endearing type because they’re gentle, affectionate and regard everything around them with a calm demeanor. They’re easygoing and seem to enjoy the company of their human owners more than other cats and pets. Better yet, they appear to be very tolerant and understanding.
Bombays welcome you after a day’s work with a lifted tail and good spirits. Guests and visitors will find them a wonderful delight. Whenever possible, this breed loves to be on the spotlight. They love to look over your shoulder and see what you’re doing and involve themselves by sitting on your lap or sometimes on your shoulder.
They love to rub their short fur around your legs and suddenly leap into your lap for the purpose of attention and maybe some playtime. These cats can also be very talkative at times, communicating with you via purring and sometimes talking back in response to your voice. In the best of times, Bombays play active games with energetic kids, i.e., doing tricks and fetching toys are just some of the activities they do.
A mother Bombay cat will usually have an average of 6 kittens in a litter. Breeders should not think about selling the kittens until they’re fully adjusted to their social environment and have grown physically capable. More than that, it’s the breeder’s responsibility to make sure his or her litter is fully inoculated, vaccinated and properly checked for a clean bill of health. This takes anywhere between 12 to 16 weeks in total.
Bombay kittens have huge eyes that are impossible round. Their eye color turns to orange or copper only after they’re 4 months old. There could also be faint markings such as striping similar to a tabby; this fades as they grow to sexual maturity in about 5 months.
As far as physical growth is concerned, these felines are expected to reach their full physical potential within 2 years’ time. Breeders should make sure the kittens are well-adjusted by grooming and allowing them to socialize at an early age.
Choosing the right Bombay kitten to take home with you requires plenty of research and going over breeder details. It should go without saying that you should pick out your pet from a responsible breeder who raises the litter in his or her home. Visit the litter and get to meet the parents of the cat. See if they are friendly, healthy and have shiny coats. Ask the breeder if they have done genetic testing in order to determine if there would be possible genetic issues you may encounter later.
It always pays to be patient when choosing a kitty. They’ll be ready for a new home in about 6 months or so. During the time, think about whether or not an adult Bombay will be a better fit for your lifestyle. Ask the breeder for health guarantees, vaccination papers and other important documents.
Ask your local pet shelter or nearby breeders if they have a breeding or retired show cat who’s looking for a new home.
Bombay Cat Health
Bombays have excellent constitution, but they aren’t immune to cat problems. For instance, this breed is somewhat susceptible to developing a heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. HCM is a disease that affects cats, causing abnormal thickening of heart muscle. This condition can be detected by having your pet tested via echocardiogram.
The breed has quite a stubby nose, which can sometimes lead to breathing difficulty and excessive tearing up of the eyes. Make sure you address this problem by constantly cleaning your cat’s eyes and taking him to the vet for regular check-ups.
Care of the Bombay Cat
Be prepared to spend a significant portion of your time in caring for your pet. Bombays love attention from their human owners more than anything else, and they’ll gladly sit on your lap, nudge you gently on the leg or talk to you about it. This cat breed can turn childish and display their sweeter side. Don’t forget that these cats love a good mental challenge every now and then- a toy that can keep them busy and reward them with tasty treats is a good place to start.
Bombay cats are great climbers, so it’s best to have cat tree, perches or something similar. They’re not active all the time and as soon as they expend their energy they’ll be content idling close by and resting. Best of all, Bombays aren’t particular with their toys. If it catches their attention, they won’t mind if it’s just a ball of yarn or a plastic water bottle. Keep your pet indoors all the time to protect him or her from other animals and the outdoor environment.
Litter Box Training
Treat your cat’s litter box as you would your own bathroom. This means that if the box starts getting smelly, or if there’s waste in it, then scoop them out and fill it with fresh litter material. It’s best to provide one litter box for each cat you have in the house to prevent conflict.
At anytime you see urine discoloration, or if your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, bring him or her over to a professional vet to rule out health problems.
Bombay Cat Nutrition
Responsible pet owners should always have their pet’s best interests on hand. High quality food should be given at all times so your cat will be healthy and live a long, happy life. A diet that contains all the needed nutrients for your cat’s age will keep his or her coat shiny. Oil supplements should take care of the extra skin issues come wintertime.
Also, this breed is more prone to being overweight than any other cat variety, so feed your cat only on schedule and in moderate amounts.
Coat Color and Eyes
The black, shiny coat extends from the roots down to the cat’s tips. There’s virtually no paling and the fur is extremely soft to the touch. The eyes can range from copper to gold, while their U.S. counterparts sometimes exhibit honey or orange hues.
Bombay Cat Grooming
The midnight velvet coat is easy to maintain. Schedule at least a brushing each week to take care of your Bombay’s coat. A rubber curry brush provides a massage experience that your pet will love. Check your pet’s nails and trim as necessary. Do some ear cleaning only if it looks dirty. Last but not the least, brush your cat’s teeth everyday using a vet-approved toothpaste and pet-friendly toothbrush.
Children and Other Pets
You won’t find any issues with your Bombay cat because they generally fit well into any household environment. More often than not, these cats will pick out one family member and stick with him or her at all times.
Bombays also mix well with other cat types and dogs, too. Make sure you introduce them properly so they can get along right from the start.