The posts are popping up again around Facebook, as they always do this time of year: Animal-loving folks (including those involved with some shelters and rescues) urgently warning against adopting out black cats and kittens near Halloween. They cite the potential for them to be abused, tortured and even killed by mischief makers or those dabbling in the occult.
We agree that this would be absolutely terrifying — if it were true.
The fact is, it’s not. National Geographic even did an article in 2007 titled “Ritual Cat Sacrifices a Halloween Myth, Experts Say.” Specialists on Halloween and the occult have found “no confirmed statistics, court cases, or studies to support the idea” that black cats are targeted at Halloween.
No evidence exists that animal abuse in general increases at Halloween, either. Anecdotal testimonials, in the form of “My friend heard from an animal control officer who said…” or “This one shelter in (Some Other Place) said this one time, someone sacrificed a dozen cats in October!” abound, of course. The thing is, none of these assertions have ever been proven to be true, or reported on by any media. Go ahead and Google it — you’ll find plenty of warnings about keeping black cats safe at Halloween, but no actual *substantiated* cases of them being harmed.
But myths like this one die hard, especially since it’s being perpetuated by well-meaning people who truly love cats, but are unfortunately just passing on an urban legend.
Black cats already have it hard in shelters, taking two to three times longer to be adopted than their more colorful counterparts. The ASPCA, The Humane Society of the United States, and Best Friends Animal Society all encourage the adoption of black cats both around Halloween AND throughout the year.
Please, don’t be part of the problem by spreading this untruth about black cats being at risk at Halloween. They have a hard enough time finding good homes as it is. And if you’d like to open your heart to a terrific black cat or kitten, at this time of the year or any other, we’d be happy to help you adopt a fabulous feline friend. 🎃