August 3, 2014
Black Cats Abandoned By Owners Because They Don't Look Good In Selfies, Animal Welfare Charity Says

Black cats gets a bad rap in many regards, but in the day of modern technology, it seems the black cat has drawn the short straw in another regard - the selfie. From being a symbol of bad luck and impending doom to being unable to take a good photograph, black cats are left abandoned at animal shelters at a higher rate than their lighter furred counterparts.

According to the Daily Mail, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in the United Kingdom said that more than 70 percent of the 1,000 cats in its care were black, and blamed the trend on black cats being unable to take a good selfie. A spokesperson for the RSPCA said,

"There are a number of reasons for us having so many black cats, including the fact that black animals tend not to photograph as well as other cats with more distinctive markings."
The RSPCA outlined a number of reasons they believe that the ability to photograph well is important to potential adopting families. The animal welfare group notes that it is harder to tell black cats apart because they don't have as many distinguishing features, and the features they do have don't show up well in photographs. Shelter workers often complain about how hard it is to get a good photo of a black cat and note that many simply don't photograph well at all. Though black cats can be beautiful in person, many shelter workers feel that their true beauty doesn't shine through as well in photographs, and so they are easily overlooked on adoption websites.

However, not everyone is buying into the hype that a bad selfie has doomed cats to longer stays in shelters. ABC News reports that black cats are seen in larger numbers at shelters simply because there are more dark colored cats than light colored ones. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) spokesperson said,

"The genes that code for black [fur] are dominant genes. There are simply more black cats coming in the door, which will make it look like those cats aren't getting adopted."
Christie Keith, the social media manager at Maddie's Fund, agreed with the ASPCA's analysis, but conceded that "it's certainly true that black pets are more challenging to photograph, but it's not true that they're less popular."

Sadly for some less attractive homeless animals, Keith does acknowledge that in the media age, the ability to take a selfie might be important to some.

"With the rise of social media and the number of people posting 'selfies' with their pets, yes, it's something to think about."
Fortunately for the darker colored pets of the world, a good selfie is not impossible. Keith suggests taking multiple photos and not focusing on still shots. Instead, get the animals attention and let the camera roll with some action shots.

What do you think? Is the inability to take a good selfie hurting black cats chances at a forever home, or are there simply just more black cats up for adoption?

[Image Credit: Daily Mail]