Bombay cat breed photo

The origin of the breed

By giving half a glimpse at this magnificent cat you may guess what has inspired Rudyard Kipling to make Bagira a gentle and helpful character. The pitch-black coat of these felines makes them look exactly like a pet panther! Even it's name honors it's ancestors - indian panthers. It should be interesting to note that black cats are believed to be avatars of joy and bringers of happiness, much unlike european tradition. Make a breed of miniature panthers with eyes of shining copper - that was the aim of Nikki Horner, a breeder from Kentucky. That is why she came up with an idea of crossbreeding American Shorthair and singapura Burmese. The breeding began in 1958 and by 60-s there were five shiny black, muscular, copper-eyed cats. As you may see, despite the indian name the breed is USA-made.

While the publicity has accepted the breed immediately, the official TICA recognition has followed only 20 years after in 1979. In France, for example, the first bombay feline has appeared as late as 1989, the beauty's name was Opium.


A well-built, muscular and a very elegant feline. With their mediocre size they usually weigh around 5 - 10 lbs.

Their shiny coat and golden-coppery eyes make them resemble their forefathers - black indian panthers.

Head: Medium in size, almost rounded, without flat planes. Forehead is rounded, cheeks are full. Nose is rather short, the end is slightly rounded down. In profile a visible stop is seen on the bridge from the nose to the forehead. Muzzle is rounded, short, broad, well-developed, with soft contours. Chin is firm and rounded. Jaws are well developed.

Eyes: Big, rounded, set wide and a bit slanted. Bright and sparkling, color is copper to gold-copper preferred. With the age a bit of greenish color might appear.

Ears: Medium in size, wide at the base, set wide, but not flared, tilted forward - as is listening. Slightly rounded tips. Short hairs inside the ear might appear.

Neck: Well-developed. Short to medium.

Torso: Medium in size, solid, somewhat longer. Rounded, ample chest. Well developed shoulders. Boning is strong, with well developed musculature.

Legs: Of medium length, proportionate to the body, sturdy. Bones are wide, with strong musculature.

Paws: Rounded, smaller than meduim size.

Tail: Of medium size, rather thick, straight, tapering to blunt tip

Coat: Short, shiny, lying so close to the body that a cat seems to be varnished or glazed with black color. That is one of the peculiar features of this breed. Silky texture. Almost no undercoat.

Colors: Solid black color. Dark to the roots. Shimmering, patent leather sheen. Nose leather and pawpads are also black.

Penalize: Flat forehead; ranginess; long, whippy tail; oriental or too sturdy body type. Too thick or too long coat. Any white hairs. Any other color than black on the nose leather and paws. Too “exotic”-type stop. Too protruding eyes.

Disqualification on shows: wrong bite, green yes.

Disqualification for all breeds: Amputated claws, cryptorchism, deafness, any bone deformations.

Maintenance and care

Bombay cats are among the easiest to look after. Their short satin coat and the lack of undercoat eliminate the trouble of undercoat spreading all around, even during the molt season. There is also no reason to wash and brush a bombay without need, as if they are they are more than able to keep themselves in normal condition. If you absolutely have to wash your darling - use a dedicated black coat shampoo and conditioner. After bath it is enough to just soak them with a towel and leave them in a warm place. Although they love to be brushed and their coat feels really nice to the touch, excessive tension may be harmful to them. It is enough to pet them with your hands or a piece of cloth on a weekly basis.

Nutrition choices.

Bombay cats have a hearty appetite, especially the kittens. While most bombays may eat well and have no fat problems, some should be given a low-calorie nutrition plan.
Note that beer yeast increases coat shininess.

Selection and breeding

Allowed crossing:

Singapura Burmese (SCFF);

Black American Shorthair (CFA)

Breeds relative to or derived from Bombay:


Alternative and obsolete breed names

Unofficial and slang breed names


Breed's catteries