Superstitions surrounding our black-furred feline friends date back to the Middle Ages folklore in Europe, according to Ethos Vet.

There were tales of a man and son who, clearly terrible people, decided to throw rocks at a black cat. Obviously not happy and injured, the cat ran into a woman's house. The next day the woman was seen bruised and limping just as the cat was. The woman had already been thought to be a witch and at this point, people thought that the woman was the cat in disguise. This began the centuries-long tellings of the relationships between witches and cats. Even into modern times with movies like Hocus Pocus where a boy was cursed to be a black cat, or Sabrina the Teenage Witch.


There is an argument on whether or not superstition still grips people enough to impact adoptions. Some say black cats are the least adopted, most frequently euthanized cats, others argue that this is a complete myth. Regardless, there is often an uptick in adoptions around Halloween which can be problematic.

So problematic, that some shelters ban black cat adoptions altogether until after the spooky holiday.

Halloween Ban

According to Smithsonian Magazine, banning black cat adoptions around this time has been happening for years. They note fears that the cats will be tortured or sacrificed during blood rituals.

While this happening is unlikely, shelters are in the business of protecting animals and if this one policy can save just one cat, it's absolutely worth it.

This also protects from impulse adoptions. Getting in the spirit of the holiday or perhaps wanting a living breathing accessory to a witch costume. Shelters want to protect against one of their animals being adopted and then neglected or surrendered once the holiday passes.

One shelter implementing the no-adoption policy is Humane Society Waterville Area. The shelter announced that if a cat is more than 80% black you cannot bring the cat home until Tuesday, November 2nd.

So, if you're looking to adopt a feline friend this week and you have your heart set on a black one, be sure to contact the shelter ahead of time to make future arrangements if need be.

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