A black cat may be lucky for some.
But the colour is proving very unlucky for these “orphan” felines.
Lancashire animal charity Woodlands Animal Sanctuary has revealed it takes 80% longer to rehome black and black and white cats compared to any other colour.
While gingers, tabby cats and tortoiseshells all win over visitors’ hearts, these remain the unchosen ones.
Staff at the Sanctuary, which is based at Holmeswood, near Tarleton, say it is time to end the colour discrimination and give the cats a home of their own.
They hope that by highlighting the problem they will be able to attract new and caring owners to adopt the less popular pets.
Spokeswoman Sally McDerby said: “Whether it’s superstition or whether it’s fashion we have no idea. The team are again having to watch while other colours of cats are moving on to their own, loving forever, home while the beautiful black and black and white cats are bypassed simply because of their colour.
“They are so sweet and they are as friendly as any other colour, but it always take a lot longer to rehome them.”
She added: “Whilst this can be a shame for the cats involved it also means the charity must continue to fund these cats - as well as not being able to take in any other cats in need of rescue because they don’t have any space.”
Sally described one of the cats in need of a new home: “Nova was brought in as a stray and is a very vocal girly but is also what we would call an independent lady. She is looking for a home where has the space to be herself, but also has the opportunity for cuddles, they will just need to be on her terms.”
Apprentice Animal Care Assistant Alisha Fry added: “Nova is a very sweet and loving cat, who has been with us for some time now. She is quite nervous, but once she gets to know you she is very affectionate and playful.”
Alisha also explained why staff and volunteers have a soft spot for a cat called Shadow: “Shadow wins everyone over and becomes their favourite because he is so affectionate. He just wants to be with you and cuddled.
“You’ll often see Shadow snuggled up on someone’s knee or nestled around their shoulders just enjoying the company.”
The Sanctuary recently welcomed three new cats which are not yet ready for rehoming.
They include a stray black and white cat called Janice and Gizmo, who was originally rehomed by the Sanctuary nine years ago, but whose owner died recently.
Sally said: “Gizmo will need to live with adults who have no visiting children or other pets. He must have a garden and ideally someone who is home a lot and is prepared to let him be himself and do things his own way.”
A cat with kittens was also brought in. Homes will be needed for them all, once the kittens have been vaccinated, spayed and weaned.
The Sanctuary advises that would-be cat owners consider their circumstances before deciding to welcome a cat. who could be part of their family for 16 years and more. They should consider whether they can afford vet bills, insurance and whether their family arrangements will change significantly. The rehoming procedure includes a home visit and new owners are asked to pay a fee of £85. This is as a donation towards the costs incurred vaccinating. chipping, spaying or neutering the cats/kittens. The new owners will also get a month’s free pet insurance.
If you can offer the cats a home the Woodlands Animal Sanctuary can be contacted on 01704 823293.
• Storm now has the offer of a new home and the other cats/kittens will be ready to leave Woodlands in a few weeks.