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A collage of photos of Bombay cats

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Bombay cat breed profile

Otherwise known as a mini black panther.

Whether your cat is a purebred Bombay cat, or a Bombay cat mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health.

Bombay cats, also called  "parlor panthers," are known for their close physical resemblance (aside from their size!) to black panthers — do you see a bit of black panther in your cat? If so, that fun fact may not have surprised you, but the rest of our research just might.

The history of Bombay cats

Bombay cats' origin story begins in 1958 in Louisville, Kentucky, and in the United Kingdom, Dr. McCullough says. Hoping to create a miniature black panther, breeders crossed a Burmese cat and a black-colored American Shorthair. 

And as it turned out, Bombays not only have black fur and a glossy short coat like panthers, but they also have a signature swaying walk. 

What do Bombay cats look like? 

Bombay cats look like panthers in most ways except for their size. Compared to a black panther, Bombay cats are super tiny. Dr. McCullough says it takes 2 years for them to mature, and they usually are 10 to 13 inches in length and weigh between 8 to 15 pounds. 

This breed doesn’t usually shed as much as other cats, and Dr. McCullough suggests regular brushing to prevent matting. However, they still shed, and allergens in their saliva, skin and dander could cause allergic reactions in some people. 

If you’re looking into a Bombay cat’s eyes, you'll probably notice either green, copper or gold colors staring back. 

RELATED: Scottish Fold breed profile 

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What are Bombay cats’ personalities like? 

If you're looking for a pet that has a big personality, Bombay is the right cat breed for you. Dr. McCullough explains that they're generally outgoing, social and will likely come to you for attention and cuddles. You can count on them to vocalize their emotions, too. 

“Bombay cats are active and intelligent,” she adds. “Pet parents can teach them tricks and keep them engaged with interactive toys and games.”

However, that big personality means these cats are usually dominant, but they generally get along with other cats and dogs. 

What are common health issues for Bombay cats? 

Dr. McCullough says that, similarly to other breeds like Siberian or Norwegian Forest cats, Bombays are susceptible to developing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a disease that affects the heart muscle. If your pet is diagnosed with this HCM, ask your veterinarian how heart medication can help to manage this disease.

Adopting a Bombay cat

Are you interested in adopting a Bombay cat, Bombay cat mix or any pet at all? Check out our shelter partners to find your new best friend.

The Dig is the expert-backed editorial from Fetch Pet Insurance. We're here to answer all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park.

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Photos by Suvorov_Alex on Shutterstock and Nathan Riley on Unsplash

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