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Are Bombay Cats Rare? Uniqueness & Recognition Facts

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

bombay cat

Are Bombay Cats Rare? Uniqueness & Recognition Facts

The Bombay cat is a rare feline that looks like a tiny black panther. However, they are domesticated cats and have no wildness in them. Bombay cats are the next best thing for pet owners who love big cats and wish they could own a wild black panther. They are sleek, black, adorable, and much less dangerous than owning a panther.

With its copper eyes and short black hair, it looks like a black leopard, and since it gets its name from the Indian city of Bombay, it fits. This gorgeous cat makes a great pet and is quite popular but rare. However, just how rare is the Bombay cat? In fact, Bombay cats are quite rare since there are not a lot of certified breeders in the US. Let’s dive into this rare cat breed.

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All About the Bombay Cat

The Bombay cat is a cross between a black American Shorthair and a sable Burmese. The result is a sleek,  gorgeous cat that you would be lucky to give a forever home. This cat was initially bred in the 1950s and is fairly small at 9 to 13 inches tall and between 7 and 12 pounds when fully grown.

This is not a standoffish cat since they crave attention and love nothing more than to be around their pet parents. If you’re going to be gone all day and are seldom at home, the Bombay might not be the best choice of pet for you.

However, if you are home most of the time, the Bombay is the perfect companion animal for families and individuals. If you choose to own one, your Bombay will need high-quality cat food, daily exercise, regular grooming, dental care, and regular checkups with your vet.

bombay cat
Image Credit: Piqsels

How Rare Are Bombay Cats?

Bombay cats are a quite rare breed. In fact, there are only a handful of Bombay breeders in the United States. Unless you go outside of the U.S. to find a breeder, you can expect to be put on at least a 12-month waitlist.

You need to be careful when choosing a breeder since there are so few in the United States. Also, do your research if you decide to go outside of the United States to look for a breeder, as you never know what kind of conditions the cats are bred in and even if you’re getting what you paid for.

How Much Does a Bombay Cat Cost?

You can expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for a Bombay kitten from a reputable breeder. This will depend on the location and whether the breed raises show or companion animals. When searching for a breeder, make sure that the one you choose is reputable. If you ask for a tour of the facilities and are denied, it’s best to find another breeder.

bombay cat on the grass
Image Credit: Viktor Sergeevich, Shutterstock

Is the Bombay Cat Officially Recognized?

Yes, the Bombay cat is recognized by several associations. However, the original breeder of Bombay cats had an issue with the breed being given championship status. It wasn’t until 1976 that a Bombay was registered with the Cat Fancier’s Association. It took 18 years for the cat to be recognized and given championship status finally, but as you can see, the Bombay is recognized by many today.

Here’s a list of associations that recognize the Bombay cat:
  • Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
  • American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
  • American Cat Association (ACA)
  • American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFC)
  • Cat Fanciers Association (AFC)
  • Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF)
  • The International Cat Association (TICA)
  • United Feline Organization (UFO)
  • National Cat Fanciers Association (NCFA)

Things to Consider When Adopting a Bombay Cat

As with any cat, there are a few things that you’ll want to consider before deciding to give a Bombay cat a forever home. For one, this isn’t the type of cat that will be content just sitting around waiting to be fed. The Bombay is a very social animal, and they demand attention from their pet parents. If you don’t want your Bombay to suffer from separation anxiety, you must spend time playing with your pet every day.

Bombay cats get along excellently with children; however, you need to socialize the cat early on and teach your kids how to handle a cat so that no injuries occur. Since this is an alert and curious breed, ensure you provide plenty of entertainment while away from the house. Cat puzzles, a cat tree, and toys will keep your little Bombay happy until you return.

Bombay cats are usually pretty healthy cats. However, there are illnesses that they can inherit from their parents. These include dental issues, hypertrophic cardiopathy, and breathing issues because of their short muzzles. The best way to be on the lookout for any of these conditions in your Bombay cat is by taking the cat in for regular checkups with your vet.

bombay cat lounging outdoor
Image Credit: Lolame, Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

Bombay cats are gorgeous creatures that look like tiny panthers, which means that for many pet owners, they are at the top of their wish list. While getting one of these rare kittens is possible, there is quite a waitlist in the United States. It is possible, but highly unlikely, that’ll you find a Bombay cat in a local rescue shelter, as most pet owners who pay the steep price for this feline tend to hold onto their cats.

However, the Bombay makes an exceptional pet that will provide plenty of love and entertainment for many years.


Featured Image Credit: Pickpik

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