Bombay Cat Breed

With copper eyes and short black hair, the Bombay cat has an exotic appearance.
By: PawCulture Editors
Bombay Cat Breed

About This Breed

With copper eyes and short black hair, the Bombay cat has the exotic appearance of a tiny black leopard. In fact, the breed derives its name from the Indian city of Bombay, which is also considered the land of the black leopard.

Physical Characteristics

Curiously, this well-built, medium-sized cat looks rather mundane as a kitten. The Bombay does not develop its lustrous, satin-like coat, stunning gold eyes and other exotic characteristics until after the fourth month.




Short and shiny.

Personality and Temperament




Bombay cats get along well with children and prefer to be around humans. In fact, not only will it display affection and attach itself to one particular member of the family, but to all members. However, it will only call for attention in a gentle and polite way, without being troublesome. This intelligent cat also enjoys playing and exploring.


Bombays enjoy being the center of attention and are curious and alert, which means they may get into things while you’re away. Consider providing them with active puzzles or cat trees to keep them occupied when you’re unable to play.



A generally calm breed, the Bombay can adapt well to a variety of living conditions, including one with other pets and children. It does, however, like to be alpha in the home and may not do well with cats that have been members of the household before it arrived.


A chatty breed, the Bombay loves talking with its people and is not afraid to ask for attention. Its short coat requires minmal grooming attention beyond a weekly brushing.


A generally healthy breed, Bombays are prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a common form of heart disease in cats) and may have breathing trouble because of their short muzzles.

History and Background

The late Nikki Horner, an American breeder, is credited for creating the first Bombay in the late ’50s. Her objective was to breed a cat which looked like a miniature panther, with a glossy black coat and yellow eyes. However, she wanted the cat to have certain characteristics of the Burmese.

Although her first attempt at crossing Burmese cats with black American Shorthairs were unsuccessful, she continued to persevere. Eventually Horner succeeded when she crossed a black American Shorthair male, endowed with rich eye color, with a champion Burmese.

To her dismay, Horner found that the various Cat Associations showed reluctance in accepting her creation, and her breed was denied Championship status. But Homer persisted in her efforts and in 1976 the cat was finally registered by the Cat Fancier’s Association. After almost 18 years of struggle, the breed was allowed to compete in the Championship Classes on May 1, 1986.

Though this breed is not easily available, the Bombay has found favor with many people and has a steady fan following.