Black Cats: Born Lucky

Black_Cat_300x225Think black cats are bad luck? Think again!

The black coat of these fortuitous felines is an indication of melanism, the opposite of albinism. Of the 37 felidae species, 11 express the gene mutation that results in an ebony coat and yellow eyes. Outside of cats, however, melanism is rather rare.

In addition to giving them a striking color, melanism is believed to provide superior camouflage to the cats making them harder for their prey to detect. Developing research also suggests that the mutation confers resistance to pathogens, meaning black cats stay healthier.

Combined, these two advantages provide a significant evolutionary advantage over their different-colored cousins, meaning they survive longer and pass the genes for a black coat to their offspring.

These new discoveries prove that black cats don’t have bad luck at all! Classic black turns out to be the color of choice for felines born lucky.

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