RSPCA rescue centres throughout England and Wales are currently inundated with animals, but many shelter staff are puzzled as to why black cats are taking longer to rehome than any others.
With this in mind, the charity is calling on cat lovers to get into the spirit of the season this Halloween and take home a black cat.
Superstition claims that black cats are unlucky and are commonly associated with witchcraft and the RSPCA is concerned this is having an unfortunate impact on the situation.
Today, some people believe that it is bad luck for a black cat to cross your path. But other people think that black cats are a good luck charm and the RSPCA is hoping this positive view will work in the cats favour.
The RSPCA is urging people to consider getting a cat from a rescue centre rather than via an advert in a newspaper or a pet shop. For an adoption fee your pet will have a full veterinary check, worming, flea treatments and any required vaccinations as well as being neutered and microchipped.
Southall centre manager Beverly Leavy said: “Unfortunately, black cats often do spend longer in our rehoming centres than others as they are frequently overlooked by potential owners.
“Their fur colour makes no difference to how much love they have to give and their ability to make a welcome addition to any family. The cats are ready to make wonderful pets and we would love to hear from anyone who is willing to give them a new life.”
Sadly at this time of year the RSPCA is also bracing itself for a surge in the number of calls reporting cases of deliberate cruelty against black cats. During Halloween season, the RSPCA takes around 50 calls reporting such incidents where black cats have been intentionally injured or targeted in attacks.
The society is reminding members of the public that, under the Animal Welfare Act, those causing unnecessary suffering to animals face a 20,000 fine and/or up to six months in prison.
To find out if there is a black cat near you wanting a new home, log onto www.rspca.org.uk