Bombay Cat

Bombay Cat


The Bombay cat's black coat and copper eyes may resemble black leopards, but their personality is much less wild, although equally attractive. Highly intelligent, affectionate, and outgoing, these cats always want to be with their people, at the center of attention.

Lifetime Care

Breed Profile


9 - 13



Males: 8 - 10
Females: 6 - 8


Life Span

15 - 17





of cats

What is it?

Gingivitis is an extremely common minor health condition involving inflammation of the gums inside a cat’s mouth.

Clinical signs:

Excess plaque on teeth, swollen gums, red gums, lack of appetite (especially for dry food), difficulty chewing, halitosis (odorous breath)


Dental cleaning to remove excess plaque/calculus, possible tooth removal, anesthesia

Other risks:

If left untreated, could develop more serious conditions

Eligible vet bill


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan could cover*


Your Net payment


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*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been satisfied and the annual coverage limit has not yet been met. Annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit and coverage limits, and exclusions may apply. Eligibility may vary. Visit for full terms. For Canada enrollments only, reimbursement rate is based on the pet's age.


Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

10 - 15%
of cats

What is it?

HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) is a cardiac disease found commonly in cats that involves swelling of the muscles in a cat’s heart which impairs cardiac functionality.

Clinical signs:

Sometimes asymptomatic, otherwise labored breathing, hyperventilation, weakness, lethargy, pain or paralysis in hind limbs, collapse, shock, blood clots


Medical therapy, nitroglycerine

Other risks:

Treatment manages symptoms, but there is no known cure

Eligible vet bill


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan could cover*


Your Net payment


Click For Price

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been satisfied and the annual coverage limit has not yet been met. Annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit and coverage limits, and exclusions may apply. Eligibility may vary. Visit for full terms. For Canada enrollments only, reimbursement rate is based on the pet's age.



With a high level of intelligence, Bombay cats are capable learners and playmates needing plenty of mental stimulation throughout each day.


Bombay kittens and cats love to be around people (and pets), both family and strangers, at all times and should be given plenty of attention and quality time.


Outward demonstrations of affection are abundant, but they should abundantly receive it back as well. Love these cats, and they will love you to no end.


Bombay cats enjoy play, whether chasing a feather wand, retrieving a ball, batting around a cotton ball, or digging into a scratching post. Cat toys and puzzles will appeal to this breed.


Plenty of energy is in store for a Bombay cat, although they do a good job of taking care of their own exercise needs without any special encouragement. Just don’t expect them to be lap cats all day!

Lifetime Care


The short, sleek coat of the Bombay cat is most traditionally a glossy dark brown (sable) or a patent leather black. However, it does come in variations, including champagne, platinum, and blue-tinged. It’s not particularly well suited to keeping them warm, so provide them plenty of heated spaces (especially during cold weather).





As a domestic shorthair breed, these cats’ short, low-shedding coats are easy to take care of, requiring moderate weekly brushing during shedding season and minimal attention the rest of the year.


As highly intelligent cats with no desire greater than to be with their human, Bombays are exceptionally receptive to training – especially if it involves games and rewards!

Bombay Cat: Breed Information Guide

The big cats of the wild – lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, and many others – are some of the most beautiful creatures on earth.

Unfortunately for most of us, we aren’t going to be able to see these incredible wild cats in person on any kind of regular basis.

However, with some designer breeds, we can get a little picture of these beasts from our domestic cat friends with some designer breeds. Cue the American Bombay cat.

A black American shorthair breed, Bombay cats were bred to look like black leopards or black panthers — but that’s just one of the many ways this rare breed delights any human lucky enough to live with them.

If you’re considering a Bombay cat, this is the guide for you! At Spot Pet Insurance, we believe it’s essential that every pet parent understands a cat breed fully before bringing one of them into the family. That’s why we write guides, like this one, to help cover all the essential info related to cat breeds of all varieties.

Today, we’re going to give you the Bombay cat breed primer.

Meet the Bombay cat

With copper eyes, a rounded head, and a sleek black coat, these domestic cats often look like a smaller version of an Indian black leopard. Their striking coat appearance and eye color can make them top cats in CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) and TICA (The International Cat Association) shows.

That was, after all, the intention when these designer black cats were first bred in the mid-20th century. Decades later, they are rare and prized cats, with personalities as wonderful and striking as their appearance.

While their highly intelligent, social cat personality is enticing, owners must also ensure that these cats get plenty of attention and mental stimulation on a daily basis.

Where does the Bombay cat breed come from?

Bombay cats are a designer breed created originally in the 1960s by an American breeder named Nikki Horner in Louisville, Kentucky. She combined the American Shorthair breed with the Burmese to create the breed we know today.

Although the Bombay is sometimes still confused with the Burmese, it tends to have a deeper coat color than the lighter brown sable Burmese cats. The Bombay is a medium-sized cat that more closely resembles the black leopards of India with its sleek black coat and copper-colored new-penny eyes.

Today the Bombay breed is recognized by major organizations and, while rare, is well-loved by those who encounter it.

What are the potential health conditions for Bombay cats?

The Bombay is a very healthy breed in general. While some cats have specific genetic predispositions to major conditions that owners should be aware of, the Bombay cat has no such thing. This means they have a longer lifespan, with some living over 20 years.

As with all cats, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heart disease to be aware of. Other minor health risks include dental diseases or diabetes mellitus.

Responsible breeders must screen for known health conditions before breeding to minimize any chance of a hereditary disease passing on. You should always request proof of these tests from any breeder you buy from. Shelters often have this info as well.

Are Bombay cats affectionate with family?

This breed may not be considered a lap cat breed, but make no mistake that there will be plenty of affectionate displays.

Bombay cats show love to their people in different ways: nudging, cuddling, playing, following around the house, and talking.

They are well known for sticking closely to their humans at every chance, even sleeping together in bed or hopping into the shower. Nicknames such as “velcro” cats are commonly attributed to these leopard-like felines, and others might call them “in your face” or clingy.

Thankfully, it is not typical for this cat to bond to one family member above all others, as some other breeds might. Bombay cats are friendly to all and don’t necessarily pick favorites, although this could always vary on an individual basis.

If you bring a Bombay cat into your family, it is vital that you can reciprocate their affection. Numerous problems could arise if a Bombay feels neglected, ranging from depression to destructive behaviors.

Are Bombay cats intelligent?

One of the strongest traits of the Bombay breed’s personality is intelligence. The bright and brainy Bombay breed is known for needing lots of mental stimulation but rising to every challenge with clever solutions.

Ways to keep a Bombay cat mentally stimulated can include playing games together and providing interactive toys or puzzles they can do on their own (including puzzle feeders, making food time a fun time).

Although they prefer to actively play with you, you can entertain a Bombay cat while you are gone by hiding treats around the house or putting their favorite toys on (approved) perches, so they must climb around to get them.

Bombay cats may not be satisfied sitting by an open window all day, but giving them plenty of places to observe the outside world can provide extra stimulation throughout the day. Perches and cat trees also give these athletic cats room to move around and see what’s going on inside the house.

Of course, training is another way to keep them mentally stimulated. Training also strengthens your bond together and helps with daily routines. Bombay cats are typically very receptive to training, ranging from obedience to tricks and even leash-walking.

Do Bombay cats do well with children?

Children tend to appreciate cats that enjoy attention and give it in return. Bombays fit that bill perfectly. In fact, introducing children to your Bombay can be a great way to give yourself a break so you can sit back and supervise while they play along with your cat.

It’s also common for children to love holding cats, and Bombay cats can enjoy this as long as the child in question is taught how to properly handle a cat.

Even with a friendly breed like Bombay cats, you should always supervise every interaction between kids and cats for the safety of all parties involved.

How are Bombay cats with strangers?

Meeting strangers is a strength for Bombay cats. They are not only well equipped for these social interactions; they are even eager to participate!

This breed is known for running to the door when someone arrives at the house or being the first to greet anyone they meet.

As with any cat, this is all dependent on proper socialization from a young age. Even with the best instincts, smooth social interactions rely on guided exposure to new people, pets, and places. Bombay cats make this process easier, but it is still a vital part of their training.

Do Bombay cats get along with other pets?

Yes, Bombay cats get along with other pets and often prefer to have such siblings, whether they be cats or dogs.

Since they are so social, and humans can rarely devote every moment of their attention to these cats, Bombays usually need other partners that can meet their attention needs. Having a second or third animal in the house can give them someone to play with when you need a break.

It’s recommended to choose another playful, active breed, but beware of power struggles. Bombay cats typically like to be in charge and may not take kindly to competition for your attention.

How to be the best pet parent for a Bombay cat

A core part of being a great pet parent for any cat breed is understanding your responsibilities, both generally as a cat owner and specifically for your cat’s breed.

At Spot Pet Insurance, we’re here to help along the way. Our breed guides like this one are a solid foundation, and our Blog has tons of additional resources to aid in other areas such as health, training, lifestyle, and more.

There are a few more areas we should touch on related to the Bombay cat. Let’s look at those now!

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your Bombay cat

Bombay cats are intelligent and enthusiastic to be trained, so don’t be afraid to pursue some things that other breeds may not be as capable of!

Socialization and obedience should always be the foundation of cat training, but tricks, games, and leash-walking are achievable with a Bombay cat.

Remember that cats are generally sensitive, so positive reinforcement is always the best approach over aversion techniques.

What types of foods should Bombay cats never eat?

As with all cats, there are certain foods you should never give a Bombay cat, even if they might be fine for human consumption. Here are a few examples you might find in your household:

Exercising tips to keep your Bombay cat staying fit and healthy

Bombay cats are energetic creatures who typically keep themselves well exercised and healthy without extra motivation. Nonetheless, you can play a key role in this area.

Bombay cats crave social interaction and attention, so helping them stay active is the perfect way to give it to them. By playing with your cat, or at least providing plenty of infrastructure for play (like toys and cat trees), you can channel their energy in a positive direction.

Bombay cat life stages

Kitten: 0 - 2 years

Adult: 2 years - 11 years

Senior: 11 years - end of life


  • Bombay Cat Breed Information & Characteristics | Daily Paws

  • Bombay at a Glance | TICA

  • Gingivitis in Cats | PetMD.

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A Spontaneous Large Animal Model of Human HCM | PMC

  • Best Games to Keep Your Cat Entertained | Newsweek

  • The Myth of Hypoallergenic Dogs (and Cats) | The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

  • How to Socialize Your Kitten | PetMD

  • Potentially Dangerous Items for Your Pet | FDA