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bombay cat portrait
Welcome to the world of Bombay cats, where every day is a black-tie event! With their sleek, jet-black coats and mesmerizing copper eyes, they're the epitome of feline elegance. These 'mini panthers' are not just about looks - their playful, affectionate nature is what truly steals cat lovers' hearts!

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, care, health concerns, history, and more!


ORIGINUnited States
HEIGHT10-12 inches
WEIGHT6-15 lbs
LIFESPAN12-18 years
bombay cat lying on the sofa
Photo: GoodLifeStudio/Getty Images Signature


The Bombay cat breed is an enchanting spectacle to behold. These cats are medium-sized, with a muscular and compact build that can weigh up to 15 pounds. They typically measure up to 20 inches in length, showcasing a well-balanced physique.

Their head is rounded and smooth, leading to medium-sized ears that are set wide apart. The eyes of a Bombay cat are one of its most striking features – they are usually a captivating shade of copper or gold, full of expression and curiosity.

The coat of a Bombay cat is as sleek as it gets. It’s short, tight to the body, and has a patent-leather shine that gives them a distinguished appearance. The color? A glossy, jet black from head to toe, including their soles, which adds to their nickname as ‘mini panthers’.

The tail of a Bombay cat complements its body perfectly. It’s neither too long nor too short, but medium in length, straight, and ends with a rounded tip.

All these physical features combined give the Bombay cat a unique blend of charm and sophistication, making them a favorite among cat enthusiasts.

bombay cat walking on grass
Photo: Julia Filirovska/Pexels


The Bombay cat breed is known for its extroverted and affectionate nature. These cats are social butterflies, loving nothing more than to be the center of attention. They are intelligent and people-driven, often following their human companions around the house like a devoted shadow.

These cats have a playful side too. They’re fond of climbing and jumping, so don’t be surprised if you find your Bombay perched on top of your bookshelf or leaping onto your lap uninvited. Their energy levels are high when they’re young, but as they age, they become more mellow.

Despite their active nature, Bombays are also quite adaptable. They can adjust well to different environments and lifestyles, making them suitable for various types of households. Their calm demeanor makes them excellent apartment cats.

Bombay cats are also known to be quite vocal. They enjoy talking to anyone who’s willing to listen, expressing their thoughts in soft, pleasant meows. This chatty behavior, combined with their friendly and outgoing personality, makes them excellent companions.

However, it’s worth noting that Bombay cats do require a lot of attention and affection. They love to be doted on and might demand quality time with their ‘parents’. Neglecting their need for interaction could lead to them feeling lonely or anxious.

Overall, if you’re looking for a cat with an engaging personality, a love for play, and a strong desire for companionship, the Bombay cat could be the perfect fit for your family.

bombay cat sitting on a rock
Photo: Thomas Leirikh/Getty Images



Bombay cats are fairly low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Their short, tight coat sheds very little and can be kept shiny and healthy with semi-weekly brushing. This not only removes loose hair but also distributes skin oils throughout their coat, maintaining its glossy look.

Occasional baths may be necessary, but Bombays generally keep themselves very clean. Don’t forget to trim their nails every two weeks or so and check their ears regularly for any dirt or redness.

Exercise and Play

Bombay cats are playful and active, especially during their younger years. They’re great climbers and jumpers, so providing them with cat trees, perches, and interactive toys is crucial for their physical and mental stimulation.

Regular play sessions can help them burn off energy and satisfy their hunting instincts. As they grow older, Bombays become more laid-back, but they still enjoy a good play session.

Diet and Nutrition

Like all cats, Bombays need a balanced diet to stay healthy. High-quality cat food that’s rich in protein should be the main part of their diet.

It’s also important to monitor their food intake as they have a tendency to overeat, which can lead to obesity. Always ensure they have access to fresh water. Regular vet check-ups will help you adjust their diet as needed and ensure they’re getting all the necessary nutrients.

In conclusion, caring for a Bombay cat involves regular grooming, plenty of playful exercise, and a well-balanced diet. With proper care and love, these ‘mini panthers’ will make a wonderful addition to your family.


Bombay cats are generally known for their good health and robustness, with an average lifespan ranging from 12 to 18 years. Some Bombays have even been known to live into their twenties. However, as with any breed, they can be prone to certain health issues:

Craniofacial Defect: This is a genetic disease that can affect the Bombay breed. It’s a severe condition that affects the development of the head and face.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): This is a common heart disease among all cats, including Bombays. Regular check-ups can help detect this disease early.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD): This isn’t a specific illness but a term that covers several conditions that can affect a cat’s bladder and urethra.

Excessive Tearing of the Eyes: This can lead to staining on the face and may require regular cleaning.

Weight Gain: Due to their stocky build, Bombays are prone to obesity if their diet isn’t monitored carefully.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your Bombay cat includes feeding them a balanced diet rich in protein and low in fats and carbohydrates. Regular exercise and playtime can help keep their weight in check.

Regular veterinary check-ups are also crucial. These not only allow for early detection of potential health issues, but also ensure that your Bombay stays up-to-date with vaccinations, which can prevent a range of bacterial and viral infections such as panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies.

bombay cat lying on the bed
Photo: Alex Wenz/Getty Images


The Bombay cat breed has a unique and fascinating history. The breed was first developed in 1965 by Nikki Horner, a breeder in Louisville, Kentucky. Horner aimed to create a domestic breed that resembled a black leopard, hence the nickname ‘mini panther’.

To achieve this, she crossed a sable Burmese with a black American Shorthair. The result was a breed that had the structure and appearance of the Burmese but with a deep, jet-black coat.

Despite its name, the breed originated in America, not in the city of Bombay in India. The name “Bombay” was chosen because Horner wanted her cats to resemble the black leopards found in India.

After years of selective breeding, Horner finally achieved the look she desired. The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognized the Bombay breed in 1978. Today, it’s recognized by all major cat associations, including The International Cat Association (TICA).

Bombay cats have since gained popularity for their striking appearance and friendly nature. Their history is a testament to the dedication and vision of Nikki Horner, who successfully created a breed that truly stands out in the feline world.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breed standards are devised by breed clubs and recognized by various cat registries worldwide.

These standards provide detailed descriptions of the breed’s physical characteristics such as body shape, size, coat type and color, eye color and shape, ear placement, and tail length.

bombay cat sitting on tree branch
Photo: Ion Ceban @ionelceban/Pexels


How expensive is a Bombay cat?

The price of a Bombay cat can vary widely, depending on factors such as the breeder’s reputation, the cat’s lineage, and location. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 to $700 for a Bombay kitten from a reputable breeder.

How rare are Bombay cats?

While Bombay cats aren’t the most common breed, they’re not incredibly rare either. They have a dedicated following among cat enthusiasts who appreciate their unique looks and affectionate nature.

Are Bombay cats friendly with other cats?

Generally, yes. Bombay cats are sociable creatures and typically get along well with other cats, especially if they’ve been socialized from a young age. However, individual personalities can vary.

Why do Bombay cats look like panthers?

The panther-like appearance of Bombay cats is no accident. The breed was specifically developed to mimic the look of a black panther but in a smaller, domesticated form. This gives them their striking, sleek black coats and bright copper or gold eyes.

What is the lifespan of a Bombay cat?

Bombay cats are known for their robust health and have an average lifespan ranging from 12 to 18 years. Some Bombays have even been known to live into their twenties with proper care and nutrition.

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