bombay catBreed origin

The Bombay was developed by Nikki Horner, a breeder in Louisville, Kentucky. She set out to create a "miniature black panther" by crossing sable Burmese with a solid black American Shorthair. Her first attempts in the late 1950’s were disappointing. A few years later, working with different breeding stock, she began to get the results that she was looking for: a cat with good muscular development and a very short, close-lying black coat. Recognition and acceptance of the new breed by the registering associations took 18 years; the Bombay was accepted for championship in CFA in 1976.


Bombay breeders frequently outcross to Burmese to retain the body type and coat texture. Almost no one outcrosses to American Shorthair any more, because it is very easy to maintain the (dominant) black color in the Bombay lines and such outcrosses would usually result in undesirable body type. Some associations no longer permit outcrossing to American Shorthair.

As a consequence, the Bombay shares many physical characteristics with the Burmese. Nikki Horner considers the Bombay a "black Burmese", but other breeders point out the physical differences. Bombays tend to be a little larger, with longer bodies and longer legs than the Burmese, and have a less pronounced nose break.

Bombays reach sexual maturity relatively quickly, so owners should plan on spaying females and neutering males between 6 and 9 months of age. A few males have been known to sire litters at 5 months of age. Their physical development, however, is somewhat slower. A Bombay male may not reach his full muscular development until he is almost two years old. An adult Bombay male will typically weigh between 8 and 11 pounds; females between 6 and 9 pounds.


The gene for the black coat is dominant, but many Bombays still carry the sable color as a recessive. A sable-colored kitten may appear in a litter from a Bombay x Bombay breeding. If both of the parents are heterozygous for black, one in four kittens will be sable, on average. A Bombay x Burmese breeding will frequently produce some sable kittens along with the black ones.

The Bombay also shares many of the behavioral characteristics of the Burmese. They are adaptable to apartment living and are generally calm. A Bombay will often accept dogs in the household more quickly than it will adapt to the other cats. The Bombay often wants to be the dominant cat in the household.


They are intelligent, actively seek interaction with humans and love to play games. Many retrieve and do tricks. Some have been sucessfully leash-trained. Like Burmese, Bombays are heat-seekers, and often like to sleep under the bedcovers.

Both Bombays and Burmese have a voice that is distinctive, but not as loud or harsh as the Siamese voice. Some individuals are quite talkative, but others rarely vocalize.