Other names: Black Burmese


As long as you’re not superstitious, and love Bagheera from The Jungle Book, this cat is for you! The Bombay was bred to look like a mini black panther and you won’t find a single white hair on them. Their black coats, and piercing yellow eyes give them an undeniable charm!


Key facts about the Bombay

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 15 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate
  • Type of coat : Short
  • Price : Around £50

Physical characteristics of the Bombay

Adult size

Female cat Approximately 12 in
Male cat Approximately 12 in

They reach adult size around 1 year of age.


Female cat Between 7 and 11 lb
Male cat Between 7 and 11 lb

Coat colour

Completely black.

Coat patterns


Type of coat


Eye colour

Yellow, copper
Their eyes are bright.


Their bone structure and muscles are reminiscent of the American Burmese. Their athletic bodies are heavier than you would think and their shiny black satin coats contrast beautifully with their yellow eyes, which are set in their rounded heads.



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Bombays are big softies, with their personality matching the softness of their coats. They really are affectionate little domestic black panthers!


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Their athletic bodies make the Black Burmese very agile, and they use these to run and play on a daily basis.


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Nestled at the top of their cat tree, out of sight, they’ll have an ideal viewpoint  to watch you and take naps.


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The most curious Bombays are very good at getting what they want, and they are patient enough  to wait for it.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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A new person arriving loudly into your home may frighten your cat. Put yourself in their shoes!  However, quickly their natural curiosity and vivacity helps them to approach newcomers.


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Bombays can be both solitary and sociable. It just depends on their mood. Whatever you do, don’t force them into your arms. They will come of their own accord, when they wish!

Behaviour of the Bombay


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Their voices are quite hoarse and aren’t particularly loud, as they are not a Siamese or Oriental breed.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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You should be able to keep them occupied with small balls and other toys hidden around your home. However above all, you should try to make your little panther jump by brandishing a toy in front of them to help expend their energy! They need the short bursts to get rid of all the energy they’ve build up from napping and relaxing throughout the day.

Tendency to run away

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Their natural curiosity and athleticism may encourage them to explore new places once they’re out and about!

Greedy / Gluttony

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This muscled breed has a big appetite to meet their energy needs. They generally prefer small meals throughout the day, so an interactive bowl would be the best plan, to make sure they eat slowly but surely!


Bombay and cats

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Bombays have a reputation for being independent, and thus don’t need the company of another cat to keep them entertained. They will, however, accept a feline friend if you introduce them to each other carefully without rushing things.

Bombay and dogs

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Their character normally means they get on well with dogs, particularly if they have been introduced to them from an early age. If this is not the case, don’t worry! They can still build a strong relationship, it's just about being patient and watching them carefully.

Bombay and children

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This cat is a good companion for children as long as they are calm and respectful of animals.

Bombay and the elderly

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They are not the best companion for the elderly, due to their need to be active (especially when they’re young), and their love of watching their owner’s activities.


On average, a Bombay costs approximately £50. Their prices can vary based on their pedigree, their lineage, where they’re from, their age and even their sex. However, you will have to be put on a waiting list as there are not many breeders in the UK.
In terms of a monthly budget, it costs around £25 / month to keep them healthy, and to provide them with a good kitty litter and high quality food.


Just like the Burmese, Black Burmese have almost no undercoat. Weekly brushing is sufficient.


Their spring moult is so scarce that it shouldn’t even need more regular brushing during this period.

Nutrition of the Bombay

It is key to adapt their diet to their living conditions, and to guarantee that it is high quality.

Health of the Bombay

Life expectancy

On average, they live between 12 and 15 years.

Strong / robust

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Their short, shiny hair and lack of an undercoat makes them ill-equipped for cold climates. Black Burmese definitely prefer warm weather.

Tendency to put on weight

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They have a good appetite thanks to their activity levels and body type. Care must be taken to diversify their activities so that they are not tempted to eat due to boredom.

Common illnesses

Bombays can develop the same diseases as other cats such as oral diseases. They can also suffer from breed specific illnesses. 

Burmese Cranio-facial abnormality or the Burmese Head Defect (BHD) is defined by poor development of the head. Affected kittens have no nose, as well as eye or brain problems. Their survival is then compromised. A genetic screening test exists for this disease.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the thickening of the heart muscle. This can lead to heart failure due to arrhythmias, pulmonary edema, thrombosis of an artery, etc. Screening is done by means of an echocardiography examination, which is usually renewed annually. Treatment can be administered according to the echocardiography results to improve the cat’s comfort.


Bombay females have litters of 3 kittens on average.
The only cross breeding permitted are those between the Bombay and the sepia black American Burmese.

Good to know

Black cats normally go a tinge of brown if they get too much exposure to the sun. However this is not the case for Bombays. Their coats are totally black. Interestingly, their skin and paws are the same color as their hair.

Origins and history

This majestic breed, native to the United States, was born in 1958 because an American breeder wanted to have a mini black panther. Nikki Horner succeeded in creating this breed, by crossbreeding her sable-colored Burmese cat (sand) and a black American Shorthair. And it was only in 1972, after multiple litters, that she was satisfied with her breed. It was recognized in 1979 by TICA. This breed is not particularly widespread In Europe and only about 50 Bombay were registered in 2015.


Good names for a Bombay cat: Blackie, Gizzy, Lass, Paula

Find out name ideas for your cat here