Origin: United States
Type: Cross breed
Coat Length: Short hair
Body Type: Moderate
Appearance: The Bombay is a medium-sized cat breed with a muscular body. The males weigh between 3.5 and 5kg and females 3 to 4kg. They have a fine and sleek coat almost exclusively in black (in rare cases sable kittens are born). The Bombay’s ears are medium in size and set wide apart. Their eyes can vary from gold to copper.
Grooming Requirement: Not a lot grooming needed
Activity Level: High
Time Alone: 4 to 8 hours a day
Attention: Needs a lot of attention
Temperament: Bombays are smart cats and can adapt relatively easy. They are people-friendly and extremely devoted. This is a pet that will crave for attention and will happily sit on your lap between bouts of playfulness. If you’re looking for a breed that’s both playful and loves to snuggle, the Bombay is a great choice for you.
Interesting Facts: The name of the breed comes from the city of Bombay and it is inspired by the Indian black leopards.
Behaviour Toward Other Animals and Kids: Like most cats Bombays are great family pets even if you have children. The breed has no particular problems with catfriendly dogs. As ever, you’ll want to keep an eye on the relationship and interactions between toddlers and cats.
Common Health Problems: Bombays are a healthy breed in general but they do have some genetic issues. They are closely related to Burmese and have predispositions to similar health issues– eye tearing, breathing problems and dental disease including gingivitis which if untreated can lead to other diseases. In some cases craniofacial defects, gangliosidosis and inherited heart diseases can be seen.
Lifespan: Average 12 to 16 years.
The breed’s moniker “parlour panthers” does justice to the smart elegant Bombay cats with a silky black coat and muscular build. Bombay cats were developed in the second half of the 20th century and were meant to resemble a miniature version of a black panther. They were one of the cat breeders’ attempts to achieve a distinct look by combining two established breeds. In the USA, breeder Nikki Horner of Shawnee Cattery in Louisville, Kentucky mated a sable Burmese with a black American Shorthair in order to achieve a “copper eyed mini panther”. The breed was named Bombay, as Horner thought that the cats resembled the black leopards of India. In Britain, breeders crossed Burmese with black domestic cats to develop the Mini-Me black panther, which is now classified as part of the Asian group in the UK.
The Bombay was registered with the CFA in 1970 and achieved championship status in 1976. TICA accepted the Bombay for championship competition in June 1979. Today the breed is recognised by all cat registries. Although the American and British varieties share the same name and many physical characteristics, they are considered to be two different breeds of cat. Bombays may be outcrossed to sable Burmese in order to maintain the coat texture and body type, and the CFA also permits outcrosses to black American Shorthairs. However, breeders rarely do this because of differences in body type.
The Bombay standard is very similar to the Burmese standard, with the exception of the coat. The glossy jet black coat of the Bombay is short, lying close to the skin, and accentuates the rippling sleek muscular body type. Breeders and owners describe the Bombay as a combination of the easy-going nature of the American Shorthair and the inquisitive, affectionate personality of the social Burmese.
The Bombay is an active cat and requires 80 Kcals per kg of body weight per day of food. A well-balanced diet of different types of high-quality commercial food is sufficient for the Bombay’s nutritional needs. All varieties – dry, semidry, and wet food should be rich in protein and free of grain fillers and by-products. Dry foods prevent tartar build-up and tinned wet food provides enough moisture to reduce the risk of urinary infections and dehydration. The Bombay’s diet can be varied with boneless lean meat and fish, and cheese bites. Provided the cat is not lactose-intolerant, he can be fed small quantities of milk or yogurt.
The Bombay is generally a healthy breed, subject to few genetic health problems. Some of the issues that may affect the breed are excessive tearing of the eyes, breathing difficulties because of the cat’s foreshortened nose, and dental diseases including gingivitis. Bombays should have their teeth checked and professionally cleaned when they visit the vet for their regular general check-ups. Although the breed is not typically prone to obesity and most Bombays can successfully regulate their own diets, owners should still monitor their calorie intake to prevent the cat from piling on the pounds. Keeping the weight under control is one of the easiest ways to ensure a healthy and long life for the Bombay.
The shiny coat of the Bombay sheds little and requires practically zero maintenance. If given a monthly bath, their shedding is almost non-existent. The massage-like feel of grooming with a rubber curry brush once a week will appeal to the Bombay and help keep his coat clean and glossy. Frequent teeth brushing with a veterinary-approved pet toothpaste prevents mouth infections and bad breath. If the eyes are tearing, using a pet wipe or soft cloth dampened with warm water will prevent under-eye staining. Regular nail trimming, usually once a week, and ear cleaning when necessary is the only other grooming the Bombay needs.
The Bombay is a highly intelligent cat and will enjoy food-dispensing puzzle toys that will reward him with kibble or treats when he successfully manipulates them. Their inquisitive nature and penchant to investigate everything and anything are a reflection of their great intelligence. Bombays can be taught to do tricks, retrieve toys, and walk on a harness. Although the breed is strong, agile, and athletic, their exercise needs are not over-demanding and a Bombay may keep himself entertained for hours even with household objects, such as crumpled paper bags or bottle caps. The breed is typically fond of human company and make excellent game companions for children.