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Black Cats and Dogs Are Tougher To Adopt

Rachel's kitten, Poppy, was adopted from the Seattle Animal Shelter 6 weeks ago.

If you haven’t heard, the crazy cat lady (read: me) now has a cat!

I adopted a little black kitten named Poppy about a month ago and when I posted her photo on Facebook many people treated me like a hero. Like I had done some great service adopting an adorable black kitten. But here’s the thing, black cats and dogs just aren’t as adoptable.

“There definitely is a superstition, we’ve heard people talk about it,” says Seattle Animal Shelter’s Kara Main-Hester. “Same is true for black dogs in certain cultures. So I do believe people can be a little superstitious.”

Kara says she sees, first-hand, people avoiding black colored pets.

“Recently the ASPCA did a study and it was on dogs, looking at: Are Black Dogs Less Likely To Get Adopted. [It said] ‘Ugh, no, it’s fine. Everybody gets adopted. It’s wonderful.’ The reality is, what we see here is our two most recent long term dogs: black dogs. Very nice dogs, great to get along with. They don’t even get looks on Petfinder and on the website. It’s just cute pictures and poor black dogs don’t get adopted. We’re working really hard to change that idea but it takes time.”

It’s just like your kindergarten teacher once said: it’s not what someone looks like, it’s what’s inside that counts.

“Really think about what your lifestyle is like and what kind of animal do you want. Do you want that big, gregarious, super excited personality or do you want the quiet lap cat? And then look for that cat. Color is not going to make a difference, but it’s the personality that you’ll either fall in love with or will drive you crazy.”

Although she does say that different colored cats have different personalities and she says black cats happen to have excellent personalities.

“I will say black cats tend to be more on that gregarious side, kind of like your orange tabbies. So they tend to be a really good choice for a lot of families.”

And if you are thinking about a kitten, and I always recommend thinking about kittens, they still have some little guys down at the shelter.

“Kitten season goes pretty long here in Seattle and the poor black kittens are sometimes the last ones to be picked in November and December. So if people are thinking about welcoming an animal into their life, look for the black kittens. They definitely need a home.”

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