Bombay cat

Breed standard: CFA, TICA, ACF, ACFA/CAA, CCA-AFC | Size: Medium | Average lifespan: 12+ years | Personality: Independent, playful, and affectionate | Coat: Short | Origin: United States.

The Bombay cat is a playful and affectionate cat breed, popular for its breathtaking black panther-like appearance.

The origins of the Bombay cat

Created in the United States

In the 1950s, a cat breeder named Nikki Horner wanted to create a cat that would look like a smaller version of a black leopard. To do this, she crossed a black American Shorthair and a Burmese cat. It wasn’t until 1965, with her second attempt, that she finally created what we can qualify as a miniature black panther. In 1976, the Bombay cat was officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).

The Bombay cat is characterized by its deep jet black coat that covers its entire body, from its head to its legs. Generally, its eyes have a copper tint, making it look even more like a pet black panther.

Why Bombay?

Nikki Horner decided to name this cat breed after the Indian city, Bombay, which is now called Mumbai. She chose this name because the cats reminded her of black leopards found in India.

A mini panther at your house

The Bombay cat has the physique of a panther and the gentle and curious nature of a domestic cat. This cat’s unique black panther-like appearance and playful personality have made it a very popular cat breed worldwide.

The Bombay cat’s personality


In addition to this cat’s stunning appearance, it is known to be a gentle and caring cat. It loves to spend quality time with its owners and adapts to their mood. It is also a playful and lively cat that loves to jump and climb. Moreover, the Bombay cat is intelligent. For example, it can open your closets and drawers alone. If you have children, the Bombay cat is the ideal pet.

Are there any downsides to having a Bombay cat?

The Bombay cat is very independent and tends to run away. To prevent your cat from fleeing, you should keep your house and yard secure. Bombay cats can live inside but they need to have enough space to satisfy their instincts.

Is the Bombay affectionate?

Despite the fact that this cat is very independent, it is an affectionate cat that likes to cuddle. Bombay cats are quite sensitive and therefore like to receive affection to comfort them. They also prefer to have company rather than stay alone when playing. They are cuddly and very easy to live with.

The Bombay cat meows less than other cat breeds. However, when it does meow, it resembles that of its ancestor, soft and low.

In addition to this cat’s stunning appearance, it is known to be a gentle and caring cat.

The Bombay cat’s physical characteristics

This cat breed is easily recognizable thanks to its unique physical characteristics.


One of the most fascinating things about the Bombay cat is its coat. In addition to being shiny and silky, its coat is pitch black. In fact, international organizations such as the CFA only recognize the jet-black Bombay cat. Bombay cats of different colors or tones are not officially registered. The nose of the Bombay cat is also black.

Eye color

The color of this cat’s eyes oscillates between yellow and copper, which emphasizes its resemblance to the Indian panther.


This cat has a powerful and agile build, allowing it to easily jump and climb on curtains and trees. It has developed and robust muscles which make it a very lively cat when it plays. It has a round head and round eyes. As for its ears, the points are rounded. Bombay cats are medium cats with a harmonious physique overall. They possess the grace, elegance, and beauty of a black panter while remaining gentle and affectionate.

Caring for the Bombay cat

Thanks to its short coat, the Bombay cat is not complicated to care for.


The Bombay cat is a short-haired breed, which means that a weekly brushing is sufficient enough to remove its dead hairs. When it comes to its claws and ears, make sure to clean them often to prevent infections. This breed should have a check-up at least once a year to keep a close eye on its health and to be vaccinated, especially against leucosis.


The Bombay cat is very active and playful. Because of this, it uses up more energy than the average cat. This breed, therefore, needs a healthy and balanced diet. If it does not get enough exercise, this cat can indeed become obese. For this reason, your Bombay cat’s diet should be your first priority. You can ask your veterinarian to guide you and give you advice.

Ideal environment

This cat has wild genes so it is best to provide it with a large enough space for it to develop and use its energy. Even though the Bombay cat is an independent cat, be sure to give it a lot of attention. This cat breed is particularly fond of moments shared with the family.

Bombay cats possess the grace, elegance, and beauty of a black panter while remaining gentle and affectionate.


As the Bombay cat was created by crossing other breeds, it is prone to diagnosable feline diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a thickening of the heart muscle. Nevertheless, this cat is robust and healthy in general, so the risk that it develops a serious disease is low.

The Bombay cat at a glance

Size: 25 cm to 30 cm.

Weight: females weigh around 3 to 4 kg (around 6 to 9 lbs) and males can reach up to 5 kg (11 lbs).

Health: In general, this cat has excellent health. It isn’t prone to hereditary diseases.

Average lifespan: around 12 to 16 years.

Is the Bombay cat good with children? This cat enjoys spending time with children.