A miniature black leopard is a commonly used term to describe the Bombay cat and they certainly fit the description well. The breed was developed in Kentucky in 1958 by Nikki Horner of Shawnee Cattery, who mated a sable Burmese with a black American Shorthair. Her aim was to create a copper eyed mini panther. Nikki thought the Bombay resembled the black leopard of India, hence the name Bombay.
The Bombay is of the Burmese type but with a jet black coat. British breeders were able to create the same cat by mating Burmese to domestic or British shorthairs. The Bombay is classified as part of the Asian group in the UK.
As a result, there are two “types” of the Bombay cat. The American Bombay & the British Bombay. The American Bombay shares a genetic disorder with their American Burmese cousins known as “Craniofacial Defect”. This disorder affects the development of the skull as a fetus. This condition is seen in newborns who need to be euthanised at birth. British Bombays don’t have this condition.
The American and British Bombays share the same name but are considered to be two different breeds of cat. Both breeds do share many physical characteristics.
The black coat colour is the result of a dominant gene, however, if both parents carry the recessive sable gene, some kittens will be born sable (brown).
The Bombay was given full recognition by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1976.
Appearance of the Bombay cat
The Bombay body is a small to medium sized cat with a muscular body. He has a beautifully sleek, jet black coat which sits close to the body.
The almond shaped eyes range in colour from golden to a deep copper. Ears are set wide apart, slightly rounded at the tip, head is rounded, with a rounded forehead.
Personality of the Bombay cat
The personality of the Bombay is similar to the Burmese. They are friendly, outgoing, sociable cats who thrive on human companionship. They are full of energy and love to play games. The Bombay has a distinctive meow and some can be quite talkative.
They are extremely intelligent and have been successfully trained to walk on a leash. Many Bombays also love to play fetch. He gets along well with humans, including children, and other pets. Bombays adapt well to apartment living & should not be allowed outside to roam.