Bombay Cat Information and Personality Traits

An active, curious cat, the Bombay loves watching the world around her and can be so affectionate that she demands time with her parent.

Bombay At a glance
The Bombay Cat Breed

The Bombay’s characteristic walk has the appearance of a sway, resembling the Indian black leopard.

Weight range:

Male: large: >12 lbs.
Female: medium: 8-12 lbs.

Eye color:

Copper, Gold


Longevity Range: 9-13 yrs.
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Tendency to Shed: Low


Length: Short
Characteristics: Smooth
Colors: Black
Less Allergenic: No
Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club recognition:

Cat Association Recognition:
Prevalence: Rare

The Bombay is a medium-sized cat. When you pick her up, she feels considerably heavier than she appears.

This breed is stocky and somewhat compact, but is very muscular with heavy boning. The Bombay is round all over. The head is round, the tips of the ears are round, the eyes, chin and even the feet are round.

The coat of the Bombay is short and glossy. When the coat is in proper condition, its deep black luster looks like patent leather.

The Bombay has a characteristic walk. Her body appears almost to sway when she walks. Again, this walk is reminiscent of the Indian black leopard.


Younger Bombays are active, curious cats and adapt very easily to change. At any age, they love to look at the world around them and their favorite place may often turn out to be a window where they can observe the world outside. These cats are very affectionate and will, at times, demand time with their parents.

The Bombay is well known for jumping on a person's lap and spreading her beautiful body across the newspaper the person is reading. However, as they get older, some Bombays can tend to become a bit too placid, preferring to watch rather than get involved in activities.

Living With:

The Bombay is a very solid cat both in looks and in feel, and has great strength. She is a good climber and jumper and should have cat trees and perches. The Bombay is a sturdy, stocky cat and you might have to watch her nutrition carefully to prevent obesity, particularly if she does not get enough exercise.

While adult Bombays are placid, they also tend to be very kittenish and love their daily play time. They love being adored by their parent and having their stomach rubbed and being petted. A daily petting session is a must for any Bombay.


In the late 1950s, American breeders desired a cat that had the structure and appearance of the Burmese but wanted the cat to be a deep, glossy, patent leather black. Hopefully, this breed would remind one of the Indian Black Leopard. To this end, a breeding program began using the Burmese and a black American Shorthair with bright, copper eyes. The resulting cat was named the Bombay to remind people of the Black Leopard, which she actually does resemble.

The Bombay was recognized for the show bench in the late 1970s. While still not common, Bombays are crowd pleasers at every show where they are exhibited.

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