1. Key Characteristics
- Weight: 6–12 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 15 years or longer
Bombays are medium-sized, muscular cats who resemble a miniature panther.
The large eyes are shades of copper and gold, and are set far apart. The rounded head has medium-sized ears that tilt slightly forward.
The short, glossy coat is black with no other colors or markings.
2. Where They Came From
Nikki Horner developed the Bombay cat breed in 1965. She wanted a cat to resemble panthers from India, so she crossed Burmese cats with black American shorthairs.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association recognized and afforded championship status to Bombays in 1976; the International Cat Association did the same in 1979.
Once the cat was accepted, Horner stopped her breeding program. Cat breeders Herb and Suzanne Zwecker developed new Bombay lines and were instrumental in helping the breed avoid extinction.
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3. How Friendly Are They?
Bombays are easygoing and intelligent cats. They are inquisitive, always ready to play and love children. They get along with other animals when properly socialized and introduced.
It’s not unusual for a Bombay to follow a person around like a puppy. They can be demanding when it comes to getting attention and don’t do well if left alone for long periods of time. Be warned — they’re known as pretty vocal cats.
4. Is This the Right Cat for You?
HIGH: Active and curious, Bombays love to play and are commonly known to play fetch even as young kittens. Keep them occupied with toys and towers, and make sure to set aside time to play with them each day.
Bombay cats don’t like to be ignored and will let you know when they want something.
LOW: The short coat needs little maintenance and doesn’t shed much. Bathe these cats occasionally or as needed, and brush the coat each week to keep it looking glossy.
And don’t forget to perform these important tasks:
- Teeth cleaning
- Ear cleaning
- Nail trimming
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LOW: Bombays are generally healthy cats. The only notable health issues they might have include heart problems and high tear production in the eyes.
This video shows Ralph, a 15-week-old Bombay, playing fetch on the stairs:
5. Where to Adopt One
Check local shelters and rescues to find your Bombay.
If you decide to contact a breeder, be aware that kitten mills do exist. Always ask to see the breeder’s home or facility and the parents being bred to ensure they are healthy and happy.