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Bombay Cat Personality: How Do Bombay Cats Act?

Est. read time: 8 min.

Finding a cat that's right for you isn’t just about locating the cutest cat possible and taking them home. Researching and spending time with different cat breeds can help you get a feel for what you’re looking for in a companion. 

Every cat you come across will have a unique personality that they aren’t likely to change for you. Knowing what you’re looking for in a feline friend will make finding the perfect fit easier. 

If you are looking for one (or more) friendly, loving, and loyal cats that enjoy spending time with their people, the Bombay cat should be at the top of your list. This beauty looks like a miniature panther, but would much rather wait for their favorite cat food than go on a wild hunt across the jungle.

Though Bombays are friendly, they are also very needy. With a Bombay, it’s essential to consider all aspects of their personality to determine whether you would be a good match. 

Keep reading to learn more about the Bombay cat breed’s personality, and decide if you think adopting one would be a good fit!

Bombay cat lying down

Introduction to the Bombay cat

The Bombay cat breed is considered a medium-sized cat known for their unique panther-like appearance. They are muscular and strong, with a large frame and round body.

Both male and female cats will weigh between 8 and 15 pounds. Additionally, Bombay cats are long, at up to 20 inches in length, adding to their panther-like allure.

Bombay cats typically have black fur and bright, mysterious golden eyes—the poster cat for Halloween. It’s best to keep a watchful eye on this black cat during the fall because they are more likely to scare off trick-or-treaters than other cats.

Don’t be afraid, though, because these cats will surprise you with how needy and affectionate they are. You’ll feel honored with this wild-looking kitten snuggled up next to you on the couch. 

The Bombay’s personality traits 

Bombay cat looking up

We get that looks can be deceiving, and this is true for Bombay cats. Though mysterious and similar-looking to a wild cat, these felines couldn’t be more friendly if they tried. These cats need to be paid attention to throughout the day to feel included and content. So if you aren’t around for a majority of the day and don’t have other pets in the house, consider getting two Bombays at once. 

Friendly

Bombay cats want you to spend time fawning over them. They will greet you at the door with a sociable meow, crawl onto your lap each night, and adapt well to children or other pets in the house.

The Bombay cat is very people-oriented and will want to involve you in whatever they are doing. If you’re not available, they’ll go to the next person or pet to see if they can get the attention they need. 

Affectionate and attention-seeking

If you don’t want a little shadow following you around, in and out of every room, monitoring what you are up to, don’t get a Bombay. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself crazy wondering if you’re seeing a black panther in your house out of the corner of your eye. 

The Bombay thrives on affection and attention from their humans. They don’t know what to do if they are left alone to entertain themselves. This can result in separation anxiety and distress. The last thing your Bombay wants to feel is that they are alone, which is why getting another cat is helpful. 

If you don’t have a dog or other pet already in the house, adopting two Bombay cats can make your life easier (and possibly more joyful). This way, they have each other to grow up with and entertain one another when you are away.

However, it does mean that you need to be prepared to give twice the attention when you are home. That could be a good or a bad thing!  

Intelligent

Because the Bombay cat is so motivated to impress their people, they are willing to learn tricks and take part in more challenging tasks. For instance, your Bombay cat will learn to play fetch with you and will want to play all the time. 

Having plenty of toys, cat trees, and scratching posts around the house can help you give them the stimulation they need. You can even teach your Bombay how to walk on a leash, which allows for a kind of mental stimulation they don’t get often. This helps to satisfy some of their curiosity and lets them safely explore the world. 

The Bombay will instinctively use the litter box, but if it’s not clean enough for their standards, you might find they aren’t as pleased to use it. With a self-cleaning litter box like Litter-Robot 4, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after your cat as soon as they are finished. 

Energetic

Young Bombays seem to be bursting with energy at all times. They love to jump and chase shadows, climb to different heights, and follow around their humans. They are bubbly and affectionate, requiring lots of playtime and exercise.

Walking your cat, playing fetch, shining a laser pointer, or pulling a mouse on a string around the house will burn your cat’s energy, but it will also burn yours. If you don’t have the same energy level as a Bombay, having another pet in the house can take some responsibility off your plate. However, your Bombay will still need plenty of you-time.

Your Bombay kitten or cat will love to have another animal friend in the house. They get along well with cat-friendly dogs and other cats. If your other animals match your Bombay’s energy, you will see a beautiful friendship blossom. This way, your Bombay won’t get lonely either, and they’ll always have a playmate to snuggle up to while you’re gone.

Bombay cat sitting up

History of the Bombay

The Bombay is a relatively new breed that came about in the 1950s in the United States. Breeder Nikki Horner envisioned a cat that was like the Burmese cat in appearance and personality, but instead all black—a miniature black domesticated panther. 

She mated a black American Shorthair with her best Burmese cat. After some true dedication came along a litter with the body type of a Burmese cat but black fur and copper eyes like an American Shorthair.

Horner named this new breed after Bombay, India, the “land of the black leopard.” Additionally, their eye color and black coat inspired one of their many nicknames, “the patent leather kid with the new penny eyes.” 

These cats aren’t very common in the United States or the United Kingdom, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a devout fan club. When people see a Bombay, they are completely enamored. The people who do have a Bombay cat know just how amazing and loyal they can be, and wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Possible health issues

Bombay cats love to eat, so monitoring their food intake and providing them with a healthy diet will lower their risk of developing obesity and related complications later in life. Otherwise, Bombay cats are known to be healthy cats. 

They can experience epiphora, the staining of the face due to excessive eye-watering around the eyes. To avoid staining, you should wipe their face daily with a soft cloth or cotton ball in addition to their weekly brushing. 

Like many cat breeds, Bombays are at risk of developing a form of heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is when the muscular walls around the heart thicken, creating issues with airflow and circulation to the heart.  

Bombay cat lying on couch

Is this mini house panther the cat for you?

Before you adopt a cat, you should really consider what kind of companion you want. Do you want a cat that is as active and spunky as the Bombay breed, or are you looking for a cat that prefers to cuddle all day in the sun? Will you be traveling a lot for work and spending time away from your cat? Are you willing to get a second companion for your first companion? 

By answering these questions, you can save yourself from not being paired with a cat that matches your needs. 

Loving a Bombay cat

Bombay cats are magnificent pets to spend your time with. You will never feel lonely with your Bombay by your side, and you will spend your days creating memories with your cat. With a Bombay, you get unconditional love and adoration, as long as you give it in return. 

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