Black cats bring good luck? Surprising survey shows twice as many Americans flip script on old superstition

NEW YORK — No need to worry if a black cat crosses your path – it’s more likely to bring you good luck instead of bad luck. According to a recent survey of 2,000 American cat owners, only 21 percent believe that black cats bring bad luck, while nearly twice as many (41%) associate them with good fortune.

At least one pop culture stereotype does hold true, however, which is black cats really do love to talk. In fact, half of black cat caretakers describe their pet as “extremely vocal” (48%), compared to only one third (36%) of the overall panel. Bat cat owners consider them just as “affectionate” (63%) and “curious” (66%) as the average cat as well.

Conducted by OnePoll and ACANA pet food in advance of National Black Cat Day (Oct. 27), the survey also looked for patterns and similarities not just in cat behavior, but among their owners as well. Contrary to common stereotypes, black cat owners don’t favor the actual color black more than everyone else, although they are noticeably less likely to cite white as a favorite color (28% vs 32%).

Where their own personalities are concerned, black cat owners believe themselves to be more “extremely shy” (40% vs 24%), “extremely introverted” (32% vs 21%), and “extremely quirky” (25% vs. 18%) than others.

Speaking of “quirky,” black cat owners are just a bit more credulous of the supernatural, including ghosts (61% vs 59%), cryptids (48% vs 43%), and aliens (50% vs 48%).

black cats

Black cats and Halloween still go together

Least surprisingly of all, respondents were even more likely to list Halloween as a favorite holiday if they owned a black cat (25% vs 21%) – although Christmas (32%) and Thanksgiving (28%) still took first and second place, respectively.

“Portrayals in movies and unfounded stereotypes and superstitions have not always shed a positive light on black cats,” says Billy Frey, Director of Marketing for ACANA cat food, in a statement. “However, with a few precautions — such as keeping them indoors in the evenings, especially around Halloween where their natural camouflage to trick-or-treaters can put them at risk — cat lovers agree that black cats make wonderful lifelong pets.”

With that in mind, it’s no wonder black cat owners are still more likely to keep their cats as indoor-only pets (37% vs 27%).

Regardless of fur color, 76 percent of cat owners say their feline friend has vastly improved their life, and 77 percent consider their cat to be as important as any family member.

“The truth is, while a cat’s appearance may contribute to certain stereotypes, it has no bearing on the impact they have on their human counterparts,” adds Frey. “Cat lovers know that a warm home and proper care and nutrition will yield unconditional love and companionship from cats of all shapes, sizes and colors.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American cat owners was commissioned by ACANA® between August 26 and August 29, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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