Is 'Black Panther' Boosting Black Cat Adoptions?

Black cats may have some trouble getting adopted, but they need a good home just like all kitties. Elya Vatel/Shutterstock

Due to their status as bad luck symbols, black cats can sometimes have trouble getting adopted. It's true of black dogs, too. But a hero has emerged who may be a stealthy, positive influence on the situation.

The Rush to Adopt Black Cats

According to a Tumblr post reported by the Daily Dot, shelters in Durango, Colorado, have run out of black cats following the premiere of Marvel's latest blockbuster, "Black Panther."

In a follow-up post, the Tumblr user explained that, according to one of the shelters' employees, people weren't seeking out black cats but opting for them while making a decision because of the movie.

"According to Mary who runs the cattery, these cats are mostly being adopted to people who were looking to adopt *A* cat in general, then see the black kitties and go 'LIKE BLACK PANTHER' and take them home, so for once, black cats are being adopted first."

It's a good sign for these unfairly maligned kitties. (Full disclosure: I am the human companion to a very fluffy black cat, so yes, I'm taking a side here.) And it's not the only time the seriously successful superhero film has helped a few black cats find forever homes.

Adopting Cats at a Movie Theater

As the Dallas Observer reported Feb. 16, the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in Richardson, Texas, teamed up with Operation Kindness for a small cat adoption drive in their lobby Feb. 17. "It's basically a promotion for 'Black Panther,'" Daniel Wallace, a manager at Alamo Drafthouse Richardson, told the Observer. "We're [also] giving away two free tickets to anyone who adopts one."

While the event was supposed to find a home for seven black kitties, Operation Kindness didn't have that many on hand. Wisely, the organization also wanted to make sure plenty of other worthy cats got a home, too.

"There is nothing prettier than a sleek, shiny black-coated kitten," Sandra Laird, director of community adoption events, wrote in an email to the Observer. "If the kitten is long haired or has what they call a plush coat, it will get adopted very quickly. The short coated kittens will sometimes stay longer in the shelter. We are doing very well getting our kittens adopted, regardless of the color."

Why Black Cats Take Longer to Adopt

Not every organization has the same success. As the Observer mentions, a small 2013 study found that black cats take the longest time to adopt compared to cats of other colors.

Laird suggested that something else might be at play with those numbers.

"I don't think black cats are any harder to adopt than any other color," Laird said. "The issue is that black is a dominant color and there are more black cats being born than other colors. We get more black cats in the shelter."

That just means more black kitties to love and to name after cool "Black Panther" characters.