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Bombay Cat Vs Black Cat: How To Differentiate Them?

Bombay Cat Vs Black Cat: How To Differentiate Them?

If a black cat is standing side by side with a Bombay cat, an average cat fancier might not be able to tell them apart right away.

So, how are these two cats different actually? The most important of all is that the black cat is not a specific breed; This is just a description of any cat whose coat is black-colored.

On the other hand, Bombay is a hybrid cat. She was developed by crossing the black American Shorthair with a sable Burmese cat.

Now, this is the first essential information on the matter of Bombay cat vs black cat. Let’s go further and see how similar (or different!) these two cats are. 

Bombay Cat Vs Black Cat: Short Overview

Bombay catBlack cat
Eye colorYellow, orange, copperAny color
Coat colorBlackBlack
Coat typeShortShort or long
Body typeCompact and muscularLean and long
Size10-15 pounds8-12 pounds
EarsUpright with rounded tipsFolded or curled

Bombay Cat Vs Black Cat: Appearance

bombay cat vs black cat difference

The Bombay is a rare cat breed; This is why many cat fanciers would like to own a precious, intelligent, and outgoing cat like this.

But, if you’re not about to buy one from a reputable breeder, one you can really trust will sell you a healthy Bombay, you might have trouble separating this cat from a regular black cat.

You see – Bombay is also a black cat, but this doesn’t mean that all black cats are Bombays. 

Luckily, some differences can help you to differentiate between these two. Let’s look at them.

Body Shape

The Bombay is a medium-sized cat with an average weight of 10 to 15 pounds. This cat is very muscular and stocky. 

Hill’s Pet explains how the Bombay cat is round all over – including her head, eyes, chin, and the tips of her ears.

On the other hand, most black cats usually have a lean and long body. 


Bombay cats have copper or orange eyes; This is a feature that makes them stand out from regular black-coated cats.

Their eyes are something you will certainly notice right away! Take a look at the video below showing a Bombay cat’s eyes from up close.

This cat’s eyes are large, and round, and can be described as mesmerizing. Combined with their black coat, Bombay’s eyes make this cat so attractive and desirable.

While other black cats can have eyes of any color, for a cat to be a Bombay she needs to have these stunning golden eyes.

Furthermore, a regular black cat will usually have smaller eyes compared to Bombay.

Facial Features

Black cats not only have smaller eyes than Bombays, but their noses are also usually bigger. 

Bombay’s ears are upright, with rounded tips, while black cats usually have folded or curled ears.

You might not notice these features at first glance, but, if you carefully observe these two cats from up close, you’ll be able to see these facial differences.


A Bombay cat’s coat is exclusively short. On the other hand, black cats can also have short coats, but it’s also possible to see these felines with long coats.

So, if you doubt whether a black cat you’re looking at is Bombay or not – if her fur is long – then she’s just a regular black cat!

Also, a Bombay will always have a strictly black coat, while an ordinary black cat could have a bit patterned coat. While a Bombay’s coat is silky and shiny, a black cat’s coat is usually coarse and dull.

Interesting Read: Are Black Cats Hypoallergenic, Or Should You Avoid Them?

Bombay Cat Vs Black Cat: Temperament

bombay cat vs black cat different temperament

Bombays are very sociable, intelligent, and playful cats. They are also extremely active and demanding in the way that they want to be around their people all the time.

Black cats can have similar traits, too. They are usually very friendly and affectionate, and might require less attention than Bombays.

Here it’s also important to understand that a cat’s temperament cannot be exactly defined, since it’s dependent on both genetics and environmental effects.

For example, Isadora de Castro Travnik and her associates [1] investigated the temperament of domestic cats. Their study results showed that socialization has a great role in the creation of a cat’s temperament.

Kittens that were socialized in the critical period (from their second to the 12th week of age) were friendly later on with their families, and even with people they didn’t know. The kittens that weren’t socialized at this early age turned out to be less sociable.

Therefore, both Bombay and black cats might have desirable (or less desirable) temperament traits, based on their life circumstances.


Bombay cat sits in a field of grass

What’s the final resolution on the Bombay cat vs black cat issue? How can you tell whether you’re looking at a Bombay cat, or just at a regular cat with black coat color?

This can get to be difficult since both cats are black; You’ll need to get a good look at their specific body features to tell the difference.

I hope this article has helped you to see what distinguishes a Bombay from an ordinary black cat. I’m sure most of you will recognize this cat by her mesmerizing eyes!

Bombays are a rare gem; With their exotic appearance and friendly temperament they make many cat fanciers fall for them instantly.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that any other black cat wouldn’t make a wonderful companion for you, too!

Remember that a kitten of any breed will bring an immense amount of happiness and funny moments into your home.

[1] Travnik IC, Temperament in Domestic Cats: A Review of Proximate Mechanisms, Methods of Assessment, Its Effects on Human-Cat Relationships, and One Welfare. Animals (Basel). 2020 Aug 27;10(9):1516. DOI, Retrieved May 29, 2023.

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