13 Reasons Bombay Cats Are The Best

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Here are thirteen great reasons why Bombay cats are truly incredible!

1)   Bombay Cat vs. Panther

Everyone wants to own their black panther, and with this breed, your greatest dream will become a reality. The quintessential ‘ Black Panther ‘ characteristics are their deep black silky coat and penetrating green or copper eyes.

The Black Leopard of India inspired their name, and even though they are named Bombay, they are not from Bombay. These cats were bred in the late 1950s in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, as a cross between Burmese and Black American Shorthairs.

They are also very muscular cats, even though they may not look it at first glance, but pick one up, and you’ll be surprised at their solid build.

The Bombay was bred to have the ‘feral’ or wild cat look like Bengals or Savannahs. However, their panther ‘look’ and muscular body certainly contribute to that sense that Bombays have an adventurous, exploratory nature that belies their highly social characteristics.

So, if it’s a domestic Black Panther you want, Bombay is your best choice!

2)    Is The Bombay Cat Rare?

Bombay Cat

Yes, the Bombay cat is rare. Although well recognized, the Bombay is not as available as other breeds, so know that you are fortunate if you manage to acquire one.

While few breeds have been ‘created over the years, the Bombay has impacted both the breeding and competitive world and the everyday cat owner.

Nikki Horner, a breeder from Kentucky, started her quest to breed a ‘mini-me’ version of the Indian Black Panther or Black Jaguar.

Using Black American Shorthairs mixed with Sable Burmese, she successfully developed this breed in 1958. In 1970 the Cat Fanciers Association recognized the breed, and The International Cat Association followed suit in 1979.

One surprising fact about Bombay is that they are entirely black; even their nose and paw pads are black; unlike other black cats that may have a pink nose and pads, Bombay is black from head to toe.

While other breeds produce black cats, the black nose and black paw tips are uncommon in other cats and add more mystery and intrigue to this fantastic animal.

While other breeds also produce black cats, the black nose and black paw tips are uncommon in other cats.

Bringing together the best of both breeds and creating the ‘Parlor Panther’ as these cats are sometimes known as the Bombay has won hearts worldwide, and with their stunning good looks and amazing personalities, it’s easy to see why!

3)   Are Bombay Cats Cuddly?

If you can’t find your Bombay, go and look for the nearest pile of clothes, blankets, or other warm cozy mountains of material, and the chances are your panther will be snuggled in there!

Bombay cats enjoy ‘burrowing’ and will happily squeeze their way into snuggly warm blankets and clothes. Bombays also enjoy the warm spots in the house, and they will find the best sunny spots in the home and spend the day there.

When you get into bed at night, you may find a warm purring bundle already ensconced and ready to snuggle with you for the night! Most cat owners like to have their furbabies close by at bedtime, and Bombays like to have their owners close by to sleep with.

Bombays make great sleep time pals and will be only too happy to keep you warm on those cold nights or, once settled, will move to the bottom of the bed and spend the night there.

Here are some of my favorite cat products

In addition to checking out some other More Meows articles, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite cat products as well.  These are affiliate links, so if you end up using them, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you.  These are the products I really do find most helpful.

Litter Box:  I started out with normal, traditional litter boxes for my cat.  Then, I tried this automatic litter box on Amazon (affiliate link), which helped reduce the litter upkeep.  Finally, I am now a believer in the Litter-Robot 3 Connect on Amazon (affiliate link).  This robotic litter box is not for everyone based on the price tag, but for me the benefits (very little upkeep, works efficiently, clean, mobile app) far outweighed the cost. 

My Cat’s Litter-Robot 3 Connect (with night light on) – See the link above the photo!

Cat Tree:  I have purchased a couple of this Amazon Basics Cat Tree on Amazon (affiliate link).  My cat spends a lot of time on and around this cat tree, which I position near my sofa.  She uses the scratching posts on this cat tree multiple times a day, which means she is not scratching the sofa instead.

Cat Water Fountain:  I love this cat water fountain on Amazon (affiliate link).  There are three main benefits to having a water fountain like this for your cat.  The first benefit is that it keeps water running so that your cat doesn’t need to drink still water.  The second benefit is that it filters the water.  The third benefit is that it will keep your cat hydrated!

4)   Bombay Cat Personality

Bombays are very intelligent, as you’ll see later on. Coupled with an intense natural curiosity, they may fix their eyes on something or someone for a long time. This is nothing more than the cat studying the object or person in question.

People often confuse a cat staring as an aggressive action, but the Bombay is simply observing more often than not. Cats can learn and mimic the behavior they observe, so it may be that particular action, sound, or movement has captured their attention.

An actively swishing tail, low body position, and ears pulled back would be signs of aggression. Still, a calm, relaxed Bombay simply watching is just the Bombay exercising their natural curiosity and poses no threat to anyone or anything.

Often, cats will stare at their object of affection, so if you are Bombay’s chosen interest, prepare to be stared at a lot!

5)    Are Bombay Cats Friendly?

Bombay Cat

Bombays like to be around their owner a lot. Almost as if they keep their owners on a leash and close by at all times. This cat breed is also very tolerant of other cats and people. At the same time, most cats will run and hide when unfamiliar people come into their space, not this kitty!

They are congenial and affectionate, and Bombays will warmly greet and meet new people at the front door! They genuinely love to be the center of attention, and those incredible panther-like good looks can keep people engaged with those gorgeous eyes.

Expect to find your  Bombay as close to you as possible all the time. They are happy to perch on your shoulder while you walk around or rub themselves against your legs, feet, and ankles while purring contentedly.

Don’t expect to be alone when watching TV or reading a book either, as Bombay will be quite happy to cuddle on your lap, either on top of or underneath the blanket!

While the Bombay will have a personal favorite, they will love the whole family and be quite happy to give affection to anyone that wants it – or not!

Like the American Shorthairs, they have that similar relaxed, happy-go-lucky temperament mixed with their lap-loving, curious social nature of the Burmese.

Like their bigger wild counterparts, Bombay cats are very attached to their pack – that means their owners will remain loyal to them until death. As a result, your Bombay has almost canine-like loyalty, and because of their rarity, if you are fortunate enough to have one, you should make sure you are up to the task of pack leader.

6)   Are Bombay Cats Vocal?

Several breeds also like to talk, but Bombay has a way of verbally engaging with people that separates them from the rest. They have their unique distinct voice and won’t hesitate to chat with you or anyone else in earshot.

This vocal enthusiasm plays back to their highly social nature and garnering attention wherever they are in the house from their owners and visitors alike.

Compared to other cats, they meow and vocalize more frequently than other breeds of cats, so don’t be surprised to have a few long discussions with your Bombay over a variety of subjects!

7)   Are Bombay Cats Kid Friendly?

Many cats don’t get along with children, especially younger kids, and can be aggressive with them at times. However, the Bombay’s easy-going and social nature makes this breed an excellent choice as a family cat.

They are always looking to play; they get on well with children who enjoy a bit of playtime with their little panther. Daily playtime is essential for the Bombay cat as they relish the attention and activity.

This is especially important if you live in an apartment and the opportunities for exercise are limited.

Bombays are also gentle and are unlikely to bite or scratch unless treated badly.

With proper introductions, the Bombay will also get along well with other pets in the family and don’t suffer the same territorial aggression as some other breeds.

8)   Bombay Cat Intelligence

These beautiful black cats are highly intelligent and love going for walks and exploring. They can be trained quite easily to walk on a leash and often find new and creative ways of entertaining themselves.

Using simple things like paper bags, sacks, and water bottles can keep them amused for hours on end. Not only that, but they are one of the few cats that enjoy playing ‘fetch’!

The Bombay responds well to training and, like most cats, revels in solving puzzles and learning tricks.

They will also often find windows or other observation posts to sit on and watch the outside world and observe the goings-on outside or inside the home.

9)   Bombay Cat Grooming

The intimate nature of their coats means they don’t require a lot of grooming or brushing, and the occasional bath is more than enough to maintain their sleek condition. Another positive is that they don’t develop matting on their coats either.

Just stroking your Bombay cat contributes to their coat maintenance as small quantities of oil are transferred from your skin to their coat.

The tight coat means that you won’t be picking off mounds of black hair from your furniture or clothes, and for people who suffer from allergies due to hair in the air, this is a good option for the family cat.

10)        Bombay Cat Lifespan

A Bombay cat has a good lifespan of between 12-16 years, and provided their nutrition is good, and they have a reasonable amount of exercise, they will live happy, healthy lives.

Their natural curiosity can be both blessing and a curse. If they have access to the outdoors, they may pick up infections and diseases as they explore potentially risky areas or get into altercations with other cats.

Because of their large bone structure and compact, muscular body, they feel a lot heavier than they look. Older Bombays tend to become placid, so obesity can be a risk as they get older.

Due to their flatter facial structure, they can sometimes experience tearing of the eyes and respiratory issues, but for the most part, they have good health.

One of the only real health issues is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a condition where the heart’s muscular walls thicken and result in decreased cardiac efficiency.

As with any cat, regular checks on teeth, nails, and ears are important, and while Bombays are notably low maintenance, consistent attention should be paid, and they should be cleaned where needed.

As cat breeds go, Bombays were ranked at #6 in longevity, and outside of keeping an eye on your Bombay, they have good energy and an overall healthy disposition. With the proper care, exercise and stimulation, they can live to an impressive twenty years!

11)        Bombay Cat Eyes

Like the black panthers of the wild, Bombay cats have truly captivating and hypnotic eyes. Between their  American Black Shorthair and Burmese genetics, it’s no wonder the contrast between the sleek, black, shiny coat and deep, bright eyes have captivated cat lovers from all over the world.

Bombay cats typically have deep copper or gold color eyes or magnificent emerald green eyes that are also characteristic of their big jungle look-alikes.

Having a Bombay on your lap and looking into those eyes, whether green, copper, or gold, you get the sense that they can look right through you, right into your deepest heart.

12)        Do Bombay Cats Eat a Lot?

Like their human counterparts, Bombay cats LOVE their food and, as such, can overeat at times. But this is an easily solved problem and being conscientious about food servings is the simple solution.

Ensuring food is not easily accessible and locked away securely because your Bombay is more than smart enough to find and open food containers that are not properly stored away!

You are unlikely to have any mealtime issues with your Bombay, only that they may want to eat your food as well!

13)        Bombay Cat Names

Their black panther looks lead to these cats being given some great names. My suggestion is Panthera, Stealthy, or Sneaky.

Bombays have such incredible looks and amazing personalities that they almost demand a level of originality when it comes to names. Their character, affection, intelligence all lend themselves to more eccentric or noble names.


In conclusion, there are 13 reasons (at least) why Bombay cats are the best! A few of my favorite reasons why Bombay cats are the best are that they can have cool names, they look like mini panthers, and they have hypnotic eyes.

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Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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