Bombay Cat vs Black Cat: What Sets Them Apart?

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ


Any black cat can be mistaken for a Bombay cat because of their coats and some visual features that they share.

Actually, a black cat you met on the street is not necessarily a Bombay cat but if you’re wondering what Bombay’s look like, they’re all black.

In fact, Bombay is a purebred type of feline with a specific appearance and personality that differentiate them from others. Meanwhile, black cats can be of any type (like a black Exotic or a Japanese Bobtail).

Find it too challenging to tell whether your kitten is a Bombay? Keep browsing to see our detailed guide for Bombay cat vs black cat. You’ll become an expert soon!

Summary Information of Bombay Vs Black Cats



Bombay Cats Black Cats
Size Weight:  8 to 15 pounds

Length: 13 to 20 inches

Weight: 7 to 14 pounds

Length: 9 to 14 inches (average)

Eyes Color: golden/copper

Shape: round

Color: green/blue/hazel/amber/…

Shape: Oval/round/almond/Soft triangle/…

Ears Medium size with rounded-shape tips

Slightly forward

Round/triangular shape straight/curled/curling/folding
Coat Short-haired

sleeking black coat all over their body


dark black/dark grey/coal black/…

Paws Pure black; round shape Black/brown/grey/pink
Body shape Muscular body Leaner body
Personality Playful; talkative; intelligent; highly social; affectionate Friendly; powerful;
Lifespan 12-16 years About 15 years

Bombay Cat Vs Black Cat

Bombay is a perfect combination of Burmese and American Shorthair. Thus, they have visual characteristics and personalities related closely to these two cat breeds but lean a bit more towards the Burmese one.

Their sleek sable coat is the striking point that gains them an exotic look. For this feature, they earn the nickname “mini black panther” or “parlor panther,” making them more charming and heroic.

Outstanding as it is, the color “black” is still the main cause that makes those who don’t know clearly about feline types hardly point Bombay’s out from the crowds of black cats.

But worry not since we’ve made up a detailed comparison below.

From facial and body appearance to temperament, distinguishing features make Bombay cats one-of-a-kind. Let’s see how different they are in the feline world of black.

1. Eyes


The clearest part that differentiates Bombay from other black cats lies in their brilliant eyes. While others have a wide range of eye colors (you might see a black cat with green eyes breed or some other black cats with yellow eyes breed), Bombays are well-known for their glorious golden or copper eyes.

Additionally, the mini panthers have more round and larger eyes, which are also considered the “penny eyes”, making them more gorgeous and unique.

2. Ears


Another facial feature that helps you identify a Bombay cat is his ears. They have a medium size and rounded-shape tips. Plus, these ears tend to be slightly forward, with no possibility of curling or folding like some other sable cats.

3. Fur


Though Bombay and other black cats share a coat of the same hue, there are still some different details.

If you’re wondering whether Bombay cats are long-haired or short-haired, the answer will be the latter. Thus, when you come across a black kitten with fur long like a Himalayan, he’s not a Bombay at all.

Not only that, they own a glossy, satin-like coat all over their body (including their nose and paws), with no patterns at all. This unique feature makes them shine and give them credit for “black cats look like panthers” that no other feline has.

4. Paw


Bombay’s paw pads are distinguished by two main characteristics. The first one is their pure black color (as we’ve stated earlier), compared to the usual paw colors of pink or grey that you might see in other types.

The other feature is that they come in a round shape and have no points. This detail might not be the main helper, but at least it helps you eliminate those with heart or triangle shapes from the list.

5. Body shape


Looking for another way to tell Bombay cats apart based on their body? Here’s a hint.

They are considered black leopards not only for their shimmering fur but also for their strongly-built muscular body. Bombay cat size varies from 13 to 20 inches in length and between 8 to 15 pounds, making them look more compact than any other sable feline.

Having big bones and that dense body, they tend to be heavier than you might see.

6. Temperament


Black cat personality is diverse. When it comes to the black panther cat breed, you can easily recognize them since they appear to be one of the most intelligent and energetic cats on earth.

You can teach them tricks and commands like to sit, roll over, high five, and more. They’ll also show their interest in games and other fun activities.

Being active and mischievous as they are, black Bombay cats are still affectionate, talkative, and social-friendly. They love to spend time and have conversations with you and seek attention from you.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are Bombay cats only black?

A sable cat can belong to any feline type. But if he’s a Bombay, he’s totally black.

Bombays are distinctive for having a shimmering black coat. That’s why they’re also called black panthers in the miniature.

Why are Bombay cats so special?

Bombays are outstanding for having a sleeking black color from head to paw. Accompanying copper/gold penny eyes (compared to numerous black cats with brown eyes or green eyes) and a muscular body, it seems like you’re having a wild mini patent panther right in your home.

Being charming and majestic as they appear, Bombay cat personality shows that they are one of the most affectionate and social cats on earth.

Not only are they curious about the world that they keep exploring and adapting but they’re also human-demanding – always looking for our love and attention.

Are Bombay cats expensive?

If you want a purebred Bombay kitten, you have to spend around $500 to $700. For a show-quality cat, the price would be much higher (reaching $2000 maximum).

However, there’s not much difference between these two types. So consider carefully before making a purchase.

Are Bombay cats rare?

The collaboration of American Shorthair and Burmese cats creates one of the most unique cat breeds in the world.

You might’ve seen a lot of black cats everywhere, but the truth is that Bombay just takes a small number of them.

Read this comparison between black Burmese cat vs Bombay to know the different!

Do Bombay cats shed much?

This short-haired feline doesn’t shed much, ideal for anyone who’s crazy about cat’s hair all around their house and clothes.

However, if you’re wondering whether Bombay cats are hypoallergenic, the answer would be no. Though they shed less than many other types, there’s still a likelihood of an allergic reaction to those people having severe feline allergies.

Plus, don’t take it for granted that your Bombays need no maintenance at all since they’re low-shedders. Occasional baths and brushing are still essential to not only keep them clean but also retain their glossy hair.

How to care for a Bombay cat?

Weekly grooming and nail trimming two times a week are required for your little panther.

Realizing an abnormal sign on your Bombay cat’s fangs? Make an appointment with the vet immediately to check and get a precise diagnosis.

Plus, you’ll be given advice on suitable products (such as toothpaste, toothbrush, or dental treats) to ensure the best development for your Bombay cat’s teeth.

What makes a black cat a Bombay?

It’s no mistake saying that Bombays are cute felines with their glorious sable coats and big eyes. They are cute and are sure to bring us joy and warmth, contrary to people’s old conception about bad-luck black cats.


Our detailed “Bombay cat vs black cat” guide is all you need to pinpoint the mini panther from the crowd or to differentiate him from his relative – black American shorthair cat.

Knowing which feline species your kittens belong to is not just for satisfying your curiosity. It’s also critical to provide them with the best care and a suitable diet.

Thus, if you want to add an extra black spot and wilderness to your home, Bombay is a great idea!

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