Black cats being rejected because they don't look good in selfies, says RSPCA

Tabby kittens prove most popular on RSPCA Facebook page

The RSPCA has reported that 70 per cent of more than 1,000 cats in care in Britain are black or black and white, with the historically unlucky felines facing a new challenge in the photo-obsessed 21st century: the selfie.

The disproportionate number of black cats being abandoned each year is undoubtedly at least in part down to them being less aesthetically pleasing in the eyes of some owners, and the ever-growing trend of posting cat pictures on social media has surely only compounded this.

One cat rescue centre owner in Nottingham told The Telegraph it is "full to bursting" with cats of a dark hue, adding: "We have had a lot of black cats in this year – people don’t like black at the moment.

"Others look at the black cats and then just say 'Oh, have you got anything else?’ Ginger male cats are the most popular but I think the black cats are beautiful and photograph fine."

Black cats have suffered from an image problem since the Middle Ages, when they were first associated with witchcraft. Posing for selfies with cats is ubiquitous on Instagram, Facebook etc (Picture: what_a_cat_astrophe)

Most Britons now consider them good luck if anything, but their perceived un-photogenicity is a growing problem.

"In UK folklore, black cats symbolise good luck, yet sadly in reality they are not so lucky," an RSPCA spokesperson said.

"There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from the fact that black cats are harder to tell apart than cats with more distinctive markings and the fact that black animals tend not to photograph as well."

Read more: Cats recognise their owners' voices but never evolved to care, says study
Here are some handsome black cats we want to take a selfie with
 

The issue is the same with black dogs, whose features tend not to stand out when photographed.

Animal charity Blue Cross said it had seen a 65 per cent rise in the number of black cats it took in each year between 2007 and 2013, while a north-east London branch of the RSPCA said it sees less inquiries on Facebook about black cats.

"We had some photos of a single eight-week-old tabby kitten on our Facebook page and received around 30 calls in two days from people keen to adopt him," a spokesperson told The Telegraph.

"We had maybe one call in relation to the black kittens which were posted for rehoming on the same day."

Read more: Here are some handsome black cats we want to take a selfie with
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea