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The Bombay breed is perfect for cat-lovers who secretly want to own an affectionate panther. Copper-eyed, black and short-haired, this cat has the exotic appearance of a tiny, black leopard. In fact, the breed derives its name from the Indian city of Bombay, which is also considered the land of the black leopard.

Physical Characteristics

Curiously, this well-built, medium-sized cat looks rather mundane as a kitten. The Bombay does not develop its lustrous, satin-like black coat, stunning gold eyes, and other exotic characteristics until after the fourth month.

Personality and Temperament

Bombay cats get along well with children and prefer to be around humans. In fact, not only will it display affection and attach itself to one particular member of the family, but to all members. However, it will only call for attention in a gentle and polite way, without being troublesome. This intelligent cat also enjoys playing and exploring.

History and Background

The late Nikki Horner, an American breeder, is credited for creating the first Bombay in the late '50s. Her objective was to breed a cat which looked like a miniature panther, with a glossy black coat and yellow eyes. However, she wanted the cat to have certain characteristics of the Burmese.

Although her first attempt at crossing Burmese cats with black American Shorthairs were unsuccessful, she continued to persevere. Eventually Horner succeeded when she crossed a black American Shorthair male, endowed with rich eye color, with a champion Burmese.

To her dismay, Horner found that the various Cat Associations showed reluctance in accepting her creation, and was denied Championship status. But Homer persisted in her efforts and in 1976 the cat was finally registered by the Cat Fancier's Association. After almost 18 years of struggle, the breed was allowed to compete in the Championship Classes on May 1, 1986.

Though this breed is not easily available, the Bombay has found favor with many people and has a steady fan following. 

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  • Bombays as a rescue
    04/19/2013 07:41pm

    WOW. I've got one...and I just love her to pieces and feel I get the same in return. I adopted her at the shelter and she was all alone. Any other kittens they had were already taken. She was in a corner cage behind the door in. I AM SO HAPPY WITH HER. She was kind of strange looking at first, but then she became this beautiful, elegant looking, poised, sweet, slinky black animal that is SO understanding and understandable. Smart AND intelligent. I'm 62 years old and under care for depression. I wanted a pal so I wouldn't be alone, since I have no immediate family. GADS, I am so thankful that I got up and got her and (maybe) someone didn't know what they were letting go of. She's loving and .... just great. rg P.S. Thank you for the knowledge of the Bombay so I can feel more like her family type of people.

  • 05/28/2013 02:34am

    coincidentally, I adopted 2 kittens from a public shelter last November. They are brothers; and love each other. I love them too.

  • 07/02/2013 05:32pm

    We too have an adorable but crazy Bombay. She was found in a park as a very tiny kitten, and my son and his girlfriend had her nursed back to health. Now she is ours, and growing nicely. An amazing breed, almost dog like. Little did we know they are rare. Wonder how she wound up where she was? But we love our MINOT to death, so it doesn't matter now . Beautiful coat, makes p her own games, highly affectionate, and man can she eat! Interesting breed for sure.

  • rescued Bombay
    11/16/2013 09:48pm

    I got my wonderful girl 4 years ago from a lady that was just giving her away or was going to take her to the pound she is now 14 and acts more like a dog then a cat I wounder if the lady knew what she had

  • Seriously?.........
    04/28/2014 05:34pm

    Doesn't anyone even wonder what happened to all the kittens produced in trying to "create" a "perfect" cat? This is just one of the many reasons why so many cats and kittens are euthanized or worse. Please adopt from a shelter and don't breed. I have two physically imperfect cats and can't even begin to understand the concept of breeding over and over again in the quest for "perfection." Mine are perfect for me and that's all that matters. Oh, and I also volunteer at a shelter, so I see firsthand what happens to those creations that didn't turn out perfect.

  • Found under a car
    07/30/2014 02:01am

    We found Shadow in a parking lot under a car. He was scared and alone. the vet said he was only 5 weeks old. We took him home, and over the years he became the king of the roost over four other cats that came later. Now he is the only one left, the first and the last. He is now 15 years old.



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