Bombay Cats

Bombays are happy, friendly cats who love to play and interact with humans and other pets. Many can be trained to go outside on a leash, and like to play fetch with a small ball, catnip toy or crumpled up piece of paper.


Bombay Pictures

  • Bombay cat named Bear
  • Bombay cat named Bertrand
  • Bombay cat named Sable
  • Bombay cat named Monster (in memory)
  • Bombay cat named Max
  • Bombay cat named Delilah
see Bombay pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 6 - 11 pounds

Ideal Human Companions

    • Families with children
    • First-time cat owners
    • Multiple pet households
    • Singles with other pets

Bombays on Catster

1,397 cats | see profile pages


Trademark Traits

    • Panther-like appearance
    • Very social
    • Active and playful
    • Closely related to Burmese
    • Nicknamed the "Parlor Panther"

What They Are Like to Live With

Although they tend to be busy cats, they also enjoy cuddling up and are intelligent and affectionate. They like strangers and children.

Things You Should Know

Bombays are social cats and like a lot of attention.

They are sometimes mistaken for Burmese.

Bombays are active cats and need plenty of stimulation.

Bombay History

The Bombay was first developed in the 1950s by a Louisiana breeder named Nikki Horner. She aimed to create a breed that resembled a small panther, and used certain American Shorthairs and Burmese to obtain an all-black, copper-eyed cat.

In 1976, The Cat Fanciers Association granted Championship status to the Bombay. The International Cat Association considers the Bombay part of the Burmese group. The breed is also recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association. All three registries allow the crossbreeding of Burmese and Bombay.

The Look of a Bombay

Bombays are known for their short, sleek coats that come only in black. Their eyes are gold to copper in color. This medium-sized, muscular cat also has black nose leather and paw pads.

Talk About Bombays 

A cat that likes to play fetch

We have a three-year-old Bombay cat. She is completely black, including her paw pads and has bright amber eyes. She is a very active cat and her curiosity knows no bounds. She is as happy to curl up and sleep as she is to chase leaves in the garden or stalk anything that moves. Although she can be a bit boisterous when the mood takes her she is also very affectionate and is happiest when she is asleep on my husband's lap. She has dog-like traits and likes to play fetch and runs to the door if someone comes in. She is great fun and very loyal.

~Sarah D., owner of a Bombay

Cats with charming personalities

I adopted Snicker over 13 years ago and he remains the sweetest cat I've ever been around. EVERYONE who meets him immediately falls in love with Snicky. His charming personality and willingness to interact with just about anyone surprises people who expect cats to be shy at first. Snicky picked me at the shelter and captured my heart by climbing up the cage to get closer to me as I looked around the kitten room. He must have stood in line twice for personality and can be somewhat needy at times. As he ages, I've noticed he gets anxious when he can't find me. He will meow for me and come running when I answer - usually with a gift he has captured (only stuffed ones).

~Linda W., owner of a Bombay

My cat taught me to fetch

My baby is a Bombay and she thinks she is a dog. She taught ME how to play fetch and can jump to get a ball higher than any cat that I have seen. She loves to go for walks on her leash. The first day I put it on her she acted like we had been doing that all along. She gets mad when I leave and rips up toilet paper and paper towels. I have to be very careful because anything I set anywhere she pushes it with her head until she knocks it off. She is 10 months old and a little monster. But it's all part of her personality and I love her.

~Karen, owner of a Bombay

My beautiful Bombay

I have a beautiful two-year-old British Bombay, who I found when he was three weeks old. After living with various breeds throughout my life, I would now only ever have a Bombay. They are intelligent (mine can unscrew knobs from cupboard doors and turns the tap on when he wants a drink) affectionate (he sleeps cuddled into my neck) and gorgeous looking animals. You couldn't want for a better pet!

~Caroline M., owner of a British Bombay

Bombays DO come in brown

Because of the breeding between Sable Burmese cats and Black American Shorthair cats to create our wonderful Bombays there is still a possibility of throwing in a brown Bombay...I have one from a breeder who was, at the time, heavy into showing in the CFA circuit.

Brown colored Bombays are allowed to be shown in certain groups under "pet" status, and do not compete at the same levels as the traditional and preferred black Bombays.

Regardless of color, the Bombay personality shines through! My cat, Missy, is smart and crazy affectionate! She absolutely craves attention. She's also quite vocal...and by vocal I mean she will tell you everything about her day, week, month, year and everything about next week... Sometimes she will go into our tub, face the back corner and just yowl! It's hilarious, especially because she's totally deaf!

I think anyone who loves a true lap cat would do very well with this breed, as long as they realize that the cat will follow them from room to room talking to them the entire time. Such a person won't need a dog to play with, because their ever playful Bombay will keep their owner quite busy with games!

~Meredith S., owner of Swiss Miss, a BROWN Bombay

Is he or isn't he?

This guy was found under a house of a colleague. Actually, he was heard under the house, which makes me believe he was the lifesaver -- HE NEVER STOPS TALKING!!! It's hilarious. He must weigh at least 25 pounds, but his meow is that of a newborn.

He's the most idiosyncratic cat I've ever had, but provides a laugh a minute. I still haven't convinced him that laps and beds are actually great for kitties. I'm still hoping ...

~Mark W., owner of a Bombay

Smart and talkative

Here are some great things about my Bombay, Proton:

1. It only took me a couple days to teach her to fetch.
2. She's very talkative.
3. She likes to always be in the same room I am in.
4. She greets me when I come home.
5. She is tolerant of being held (which I love!).

~Kristin M., owner of a Bombay