Bombay Cat

Bombay Cat
These beautiful Black cats were created by crossing a Burmese with a Black British or American Short-Hair. Once the dominant Black colour is present breeders only out cross to Burmese to get body type and a tight close lying coat. A distinctive feature of the Bombay is their large copper eyes.

There are two types of Bombay's, the American (who has inherited health problems know as "Craniofacial Defect"). This disorder affects the development of the skull in the foetus and results in newborns with this disorder being euthanaised at birth. The "Australian Bombay" however has no such hereditary problems and are very healthy robust Cats. The Bombay is often called the 'Mini Panther'. The Bombay is a purr-sonality plus cat, just like the Burmese. They are full of energy yet at the same time highly affectionate.

They are intelligent, actively seek interaction with humans and love to play games. Many retrieve and do tricks. Some have been successfully leash-trained. Like Burmese, Bombay's are heat-seekers, and often like to sleep under the bedcovers. Bombay's have a voice that is distinctive, but not as loud or harsh as the Siamese voice. Some individuals are quite talkative, but others rarely vocalize.

They are best kept inside, away from traffic & wildlife. Bombay cats are said to be great cats for apartment owners and people with other pets, cats/dogs. Bombay's are sleek black stunning looking cats who will win the heart of all those they meet.

Bombays may look like miniature black panthers, but these cats are purely domestic. A comparatively rare breed, Bombays are well loved by fanciers for their pleasing packaging and people-oriented personality. Black to the roots with snapping copper eyes, this breed combines the body style and personality of the Burmese with the solid black coloration of the black American shorthair.

"I'd love to own a panther." This oft heard comment piqued the imagination of a prominent cat breeder, the late Nikki Horner, from Louisville, Kentucky. Ms. Horner set her sights on producing a copper-eyed black shorthaired cat with the exotic appearance of a "mini", or "parlor-panther." The black leopard of India inspired her choice of the breed's name. Ms. Horner began her effort in 1953 with the selection of a black American Shorthair male with deep copper eye color and a Grand Champion sable Burmese female. Through a long process of inbreeding and outcrossing and careful selection, she was able to consistently produce a black cat unlike any other.

Bombay (Asian Black Shorthair) - Current - Originated from Burmese x American Shorthair crossings. A jet-black cat of Burmese type with bright copper "newpenny" eyes. The American Bombay is cobbier in type like the American Burmese.

Bombay Longhair(Asian Black Longhair) - Experimental - Semi-longhaired version of the Bombay, now recognised as a experimental breed by some European registries.

The Bombay achieved CFA Championship status in 1976, eighteen years after it was created. Outcrossing to Black American Shorthairs and sable Burmese is still allowed.

It has been said that if you want a dog, a cat, or a monkey, you want a Bombay. Bombays can often be leash trained, most enjoy playing "fetch," and all are fond of inventing new ways to entertain themselves and the folks that live with them. Bombays are congenial and outgoing, and make intelligent, affectionate companions. They do well with children and will often act as a "greeter" with visitors. They live compatibly with dogs and other pets as well. The Bombay generally combines the easy-going temperament and robust nature of the American Shorthair and the social, inquisitive, lap-loving character of the Burmese


In 1958, a Kentucky (USA) breeder deliberately bred a black American shorthair and a sable-brown Burmese in an effort to creat a domestic cat that resembled the wild Panther. This novel combination successfully produced offspring that resembled the Black Leopard of India, The Bombay name, taken from the Indian city of Bombay (now Mumbai), honours the native country of the wild cousin.

Despite its distinct and beautiful appearance the Bombay's international acceptance has grown slowly. It always displays a thick, shiny, solid black coat; no other colours or patterns are permitted, The eyes shine in a coppery or golden shade.

The Black Cat in France is known as the Matagot, or Magician Cat. The fortunate family that takes the cat into its house receives the gift of good luck as a result. On the peninsulla of Brittany, in the northwest of France, there is a similar legend called the Chat D'Argent, or Money Cat. This feline is believed to serve nine owners at a time.

Throughout the rest of the world, with the exception of South America, the black cat is almost universally reviled as a harbinger of bad luck, an omen of the dark side.

Ireland, always a treasure trove of mythology, appointed the black cat as a helpmate of healers, and, at the same time, a witch's familiar. This shows the pagan influence of sun and moon cycles on the human psyche.

The black cat, a carrier of magic, was a representative of darkness. But, owing to fur that could also turn into moonglow, or silver, the black cat was given a dual identity. Furthermore, black was the byproduct of fire; fire, to the ancients was a thing of beauty, utility, and great power. All these aspects were, and are, present in the black cat.

The Bombay is considered a quiet, watchful cat who loves affection. This can be said of any feline. But the Bombay is one who, when things are going her way, purrs loudly enough to be heard in the next room. Bombays enjoy the indoors perhaps more than the outdoors, and they are noted for not liking any intrusive noises.

This a well balanced, muscular cat with a deep black coat. Rounded and wide head with a short tapered muzzle. Round, wide-set, golden to copper coloured eyes, and medium sized, broad and slightly rounded wide set ears.

The coat texture is fine, short, satiny and tight to the body. Bombays require little grooming. Petting will keep the coat shiny and free of dead hair. A rubber brush can be used for excessive shedding. A nutritionally complete food will add gloss to the coat and fuel for the cat's natural energy.

Instant lap cat, best describes the heat-seeking Bombay lifestyle. Both sexes make excellent pets. While they will get along with other breeds, the Bombay usually wants to dominate other cats. A dog might make a good companion for a Bombay.

These are smart and agile cats, they often retrieve and will seek out interaction with humans. Visitors' purses or packages are thoroughly inspected. Head bumpers and nose rubbers, they love nothing more than to be held. Some can be very talkative and they have a distinctive voice. Quiet, sensitive, reserved and intelligent, the Bombay does best in a quiet home, where it is affectionate to the whole family.

The Bombay was created in the 1950s by the late Nikki Horner, an American breeder who wanted to develop a cat that possessed the conformation of the Burmese but with a sleek black coat and copper eyes instead of brown fur and yellow eyes-sort of a pint-sized panther. She named the breed after Bombay, India, land of the black leopard. She first attempted to breed a female Burmese to a black American Shorthair. The results were disappointing; they looked more like poor American Shorthairs than anything else.

For her second try Horner chose her breeders-and cats-more carefully. She shopped around until she found a black American Shorthair male that had the rich eye color she wanted and bred him to one of her best Champion Burmese. After much trial and error, Horner finally produced the results she was looking for: a cat with the conformation and short polished coat of the Burmese, and the American Shorthair's copper-colored eyes and black color.

Creating a breed, even one as striking as the Bombay, doesn't mean cat fancy acceptance, however. Horner found that the Burmese breeders and the cat associations weren't overly willing to accept her new kid on the block. Since the breed had not been accepted for Championship, Horner had no Champion cats with which to catch the attention of the cat-buying public.

It wasn't until 1970 that the breed was accepted for registration by the CFA. Advancing from registration to provisional status meant Horner had to form at least one breed club and register 100 examples of the breed. Eighteen years after Horner began her efforts, the breed gained eligibility to compete in the Championship classes on May 1, 1976. While still currently rare (in 1996, the CFA registered only 91), the breed has a dedicated following.


If an aloof, independent cat is what you're craving, this breed isn't for you. Bombays are attached to their owners, and tend to love the entire family rather than bond with only one person. Fanciers say they are particularly good with children.

They want constant attention, although they are gentle and polite in their attempts to gain your notice. When you sit down, don't be surprised to find your Bombay sitting beside you moments later. Curious and intelligent, Bombays love to play, but are not as rambunctious as some breeds. Generally, they are not as vocal as the Oriental breeds.


The Bombay is known as the cat with the patent leather coat and new penny eyes. The ideal contemporary Bombay is medium-sized with substantial bone structure and good muscular development, a cat that feels surprisingly heavy for its size. The head is pleasingly rounded with no sharp angles, and the face is full with considerable breadth between the eyes. The muzzle is broad and moderately rounded. The eyes are rounded and are set far apart. Eye color ranges from gold to copper. The medium-sized ears are tilted slightly forward and set well apart. The tail is straight and medium in length.

Two head types exist, the traditional and the contemporary. The traditional Bombay has a longer, narrower muzzle than the contemporary Bombay. The less extreme head type of the traditional is preferred by some fanciers, and are more often seen in TICA shows. CFA shows favor the contemporary.

The coat, one of the breed's nicest features, is fine and close-lying with a patent leather sheen. The short satiny fur feels like warm velvet to the touch. Only one color and pattern is accepted - solid black - although most breeding programs produce a certain number of sable-colored cats. To maintain the desired head, body and coat type, breeders cross their Bombays with sable Burmese. This creates certain problems. The gene governing the sable color is recessive, and the gene for black is dominant. If a Bombay has one copy of the black gene and one of the sable gene, as many Bombays do, the cat will be black but will carry sable and can pass it along to the offspring. Any cat that inherits a copy of the sable gene from both parents will be sable. Sable Bombays can only be shown in TICA, where they are considered Burmese.

With the exception of color, the Bombay and Burmese standards are very similar. Whereas the Burmese body presents a compact sturdy appearance, the Bombay body is of medium length, neither compact nor rangy, presenting a more lithesome appearance then its Burmese cousin. The Bombay's head is rounded with a short muzzle, but there should not be a "pugged" or "snubbed" look. The coat is the most defining characteristic of the Bombay. Its short, flat, gleaming, black-to-the-roots coat accentuates its rippling muscular form. And, along with its conspicuous gold to copper eye color, leads to the Bombay being described as the "Patent leather kid with the copper penny eyes."


Black to the roots, the Bombay's coat invites caressing with its fine, satinlike texture and shimmering "patent leather" sheen. Bombays develop slowly, gaining their eye color and gleaming coat well after they are four months old. Some prospective buyers tend to think the kittens look rather ordinary. Bombays, like fine wine, seem to improve with age.

GeneralThe Bombay was originated as a hybrid between the Burmese and the American Shorthair. With its jet black, gleaming coat, gold to copper eyes, solid body and sweet facial expression, the ideal Bombay has an unmistakable look of its own. It is not a natural breed but a genetic hybrid, with distinctive features that separate it from its foundation (parent) breeds. The Bombay is a medium-size cat, well-balanced, friendly, alert, and outgoing; muscular and having a surprising weight for its size. The body and tail should be of medium length, the head rounded with medium-sized, wide-set ears, a moderate nose "stop" which is visible (not a break), large rounded wide-set eyes, and an overall look of excellent proportions and carriage.
BodyMedium in size, muscular in development, neither compact nor rangy. Allowance is to be made for larger size in males.
HeadIt should be pleasingly rounded with no sharp angles. The face should be full with considerable breadth between the eyes, blending gently into a broad well-developed moderately rounded muzzle that maintains the rounded contours of the head. In profile there should be a moderate visible stop; however, it should not present a "pugged" or "snubbed" look. Moderate stop is not to be considered a "break," but a slight indentation at the bridge of the nose between the eyes thus providing a change of direction from the rounded head to the medium, rounded muzzle. The end of the nose is slightly rounded down thus completing the roundness of the head.
EarsThe ears should be medium in size and set well apart on a rounded skull, alert, tilting slightly forward, broad at the base, and with slightly rounded tips.
Set far apart with rounded aperture.
ChinThe chin should be firm, neither receding nor protruding, reflecting a proper bite.  
Legs/PawsIn proportion to the body and tail. Paws are round. Toes, five in front, four in back.
TailStraight, medium in length; neither short nor "whippy."
CoatFine, short, satin-like texture; close-lying with a shimmering patent leather sheen.
ColorThe mature specimen should be black to the roots. Kitten coats should darken and become more sleek with age. Nose leather and paw pads: black. Eye color: ranging from gold to copper, the greater the depth and brilliance the better.
PenalizeExcessive cobbiness or ranginess.
DisqualifyKinked or abnormal tail. Lockets or spots. Incorrect number of toes. Nose leather or paw pads other than black. Green eyes. Improper bite. Extreme break that interferes with normal breathing and tearing of eyes.
Allowable OutcrossesBlack American Shorthair, sable Burmese.