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Is a black cat bad luck in general?
Black cats are believed to bring bad luck, and there is quite a bit of superstition around this.
I wouldn't say "no" as a general rule, but I wouldn't put a lot of stock in them.
I haven't seen much in the way of "official" folklore about it, but my impression from living in the UK is that this varies between regions. Most people have some kind of superstition about black cats - some are afrd of them and some don't seem to care one way or the other. It seems more popular in Scotland, particularly the north, than England.
There are exceptions though. My own grandmother and mother would absolutely not eat roast chicken if a black cat was in the room, no matter how well-behaved it was. My mother is Scottish so she probably gets it from there.
There's also a fr amount of folklore about the origin of the superstition, which is probably due to the association of black cats with witches. I think that has pretty much died out though.
Anyway, from what I've seen, "bad luck" doesn't have much to do with what the color of the cat is. It's usually linked to its evil persona, or association with witches. As for why it matters in the first place, my guess would be that the first cat was black (because they look grumpy and scary) and people started associating it with danger.
Black cats have historically been associated with death, which is why they’ve become so popular for Halloween costumes: The black cat with white face features of a witch, and a black cat with a white body is that of a ghost.
This belief has roots in the days when witches rode on broomsticks, and the colour black represented the devil or evil itself. (Source)
As to why people feel that black cats are unlucky, no idea. As already stated, it’s generally associated with evil characters.
There's also the idea that a black cat is "unclean", which may have started because cats don't usually like to be washed in the normal way.
If a black cat crosses your path, pay it no mind.
If a black cat crosses your path, leave it to die in a ditch.
Don't pick up a black cat.
A black cat crossing your path is a bad sign.
An ill-omened cat may cross your path.
If a black cat crosses your path, it is either:
a message, or
a cat which is sick and needs to be looked after.
It is a very old belief that black cats, which is the color of the devil, will give birth to devil children.
Black cats have always been connected with witches and wizards.
In some English villages there is a traditional belief that if a woman
sees a black cat on her path, it's a warning that a witch is on her
way to get revenge.
Black cats are associated with death and disease.
When a black cat crosses your path it means you will have a
Never cross the path of a black cat, it will kill you.
The bad luck can’t be shaken off by any superstitious means.
An evil-eye, wishing stone, or similar object is not to be used.
No superstition is more widely believed than that which tells of the
bad luck following in the path of a black cat.
Witchcraft is also strongly associated with black cats.
It is sd that if a person of the black persuasion were to cross your
path, it means a witch is coming to visit.
Black cats are not welcome in the homes of the white persuasion.
The black cat is an ominous portent of ill luck to its white
If you look into a mirror in the presence of a black cat it's
a sign of your impending doom.
A white cat, crossing your path, may be a sign of good luck.
Seeing a black cat crossing your path may mean that you will meet a
The appearance of a black cat is a sign that someone you know has
You can read the whole article here: https://books.google.com/books/about/Cats.html?id=3vD1NAAAAYAAJ
Black cat: not only is it a sign of bad luck, but it could bring in the Devil!
A black cat is never supposed to cross a person's path. The same goes for a white cat, for a good reason.
Black cats bring bad luck. White cats bring good luck.
There is a saying that "a white cat crosses your path, it is a good sign. A black cat crosses your path, it means bad luck."
There are no hard and fast rules for which colours correspond to which aspects of the animal kingdom, but in general:
Green = nature/nature is favourable
Red = the opposite of green is bad luck
Blue = a change from green is very unlucky
Yellow = a change from green is only slightly unlucky
Black = black = bad luck
White = white = good luck
I will try to answer a slightly different question from the one asked. When we see a black cat does it have any significance? For example, if I'm walking through a graveyard will I be afrd? When I see a black cat is that a bad sign?
I believe there is no superstition connected to black cats. It is simply a fact that black cats have been associated with bad luck since medieval times, when black color was associated with the Devil, and the black cats would therefore be demons.
On the other hand, there are superstitions about white cats, because white color symbolizes purity, so they are associated with good luck.
EDIT: I would like to emphasize that this is not an exhaustive list of all the superstitions connected to black cats, and for example, there are not any studies on the subject. However, I found some interesting studies that can serve as references for future research.
Regarding bad luck from a black cat, there are many articles online on the subject. I'll list a few:
1) From the "Skeptical Skeptics":
The black cat is associated with the devil in the Christian tradition.
The name black cat is a variation of tabby cat and other cats of black and white color
A black cat crossing the path of a person, especially a young woman,
is considered to be a bad omen
3) From the "History of the Superstitions" Wikipedia:
The Black Cat of the 15th century is associated with a devil.
4) "The American Folklore Society:
The superstition that a black cat means bad luck is widespread. Black cats
are sd to be so unlucky that they can never bring luck to the owner
5) From "Black Cats: Origins, History and Folklore":
By the Middle Ages the association of a black cat with evil began.
If you want to look into the subject further, you can check out some research and see whether you find any more information that would support or refute the superstition that black cats can be bad luck.