≡ Menu

Bombay Cat Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Bombay cat breed

Some people in this world believe that no matter what anyone tells them, they will never, ever enjoy owning a cat. This is because, at their “core,” they are a “dog person.” And any actual dog person will tell you that there isn’t a cat in the world that could replace a good dog!

But these same folks should be warned because if they’ve never met a Bombay cat or someone who has owned a Bombay cat, there is a good chance that their world might be turned upside down when they finally get properly introduced to this fellow. Because, as many Bombay cat owners will tell you, these guys are very “dog-like” in that they are very affectionate, not opposed to playing fetch, and even willing to go on a walk with their owner on a leash!


They’re only going to take up the space of most dogs, and most landlords aren’t going to kick you out of your home or charge you extra for owning one of these guys, so there you go, just one more reason why the Bombay cat breed is slowly becoming one of our favorite cats breeds out there. Oh, just in case we forgot, these guys are good-looking!

But that doesn’t…

You should automatically run out and adopt the nearest Bombay kitten you can access because, like any cat breed, not every cat is “right” for everyone. This is why, in this article, we wanted to take a moment and “describe” what it might be like to own a Bombay so that if you ever get a chance to own one, you won’t regret your decision to adopt one six months later. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Bombay Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  United States

Size:  Medium to large

Eyes:  Big and round (copper-colored or gold, copper being the more favored)

Head Shape:  Round

 Lifespan:  15 to 20 years!

Origin of the Bombay Cat Breed

The Bombay cat breed was first “created” back in 1953 when a breeder named Niki Horner from Louisville, Kentucky, decided to try and cross-breed a black American Shorthair with a Burmese cat to “capture” the sleek and shiny coat of the Burmese breed with the dark rich black coloring of the American Shorthair all wrapped up into a friendly demeanor. And that’s precisely what she got! Plus, a lot more because in addition to creating a beautiful cat, she also made one with a great personality and beautiful copper-gold eyes!

This is probably why, in 1978, the Cat FancThis Association (CFA) decided to fully recognize the Bombay breed, sparking other organizations to do likewise. Today, this breed is accepted by each cat association.

Physical Characteristics

The first thing you’ll notice about this cat is that it looks like a “miniature black panther.” While we can’t prove it, we’d be willing to bet that many Bombay cat owners have been tempted to name their Bombay “Bagheera,” the name of the black panther in the Disney Jungle Book Movie. And why not? With their striking jet-black fur and copper-gold eyes, it’s easy to imagine that if your Bombay copper golds were on 200 pounds, they would be a formidable “beast.”

The good news is that despite their “wild” appearance, the Bombay cat is a sweetheart. She was a sweetheart with a long torso, lengthy legs, and medium-sized ears packed into a compact yet very muscular build.

Temperament and Personality

Now, we here at IndulgeYourPet will freely admit that we’re a sucker for a cat with amazing eyes. So, even if this cat was a complete “terror,” we’d probably still love having one! But the truth is owning a Bombay is an absolute joy, particularly if you like to have a cat that is going to be:

  • Great with kids,
  • Playful,
  • And eager to sit in your lap!

And as we’ve already mentioned, these guys are brilliant, too. If you’re interested, you can teach your Bombay a lot of fun, including fetching them for you and going for a walk with you.

They are also…

Very interactive with people, so you need not worry about him becoming “skittish” if you have “a lot of “visitors over to your home or freaking out whenever there is a loud noise. Plus, the Bombay cat’s coat is straightforward to maintain with a quick petting and, if needed, a brush once a week. The Bombay does not need to be bathed regularly to keep itself clean.

Potential Health Concerns

In general, the Bombay cat breed is relatively healthy. However, like all pedigree breeds, they may be at an increased risk for some of the more common feline health conditions, including:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This condition causes the walls of a cat’s heart to thicken, which decreases the heart’s efficiency, and nature creates symptoms in other parts of the body. Sometimes, there are no signs of this problem, while other times, the feline will have labored, rapid breathing, open-mouthed breathing, and general lethargy.
  • Difficulty breathing and excessive eye tearing. Because Bombay has a short muzzle, it may have difficulty breathing and may frequently develop eye tearing that needs to be gently cleaned from the eyes.

These concerns are for the Bombay cat breed, so you should avoid some of these conditions, provided you choose to work with a reputable and responsible Bombay cat breeder.

But, it’s essential to…

Remember that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how “don’t you can be” or how” putable” your breed may be; “sometimes cats get sick (or even injured). This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet always remind folks that while they’re spending all they’re “researching” what “kind of cat you should buy,” they should research what it might take to insure their new pet.

You see, the last thing in the world that you would want to have happen is for you to purchase a Bombay kitten, fall in love with it, and then not be able to afford the care it needs if she or she ever becomes sick or injured in the future!

But don’t fret…

Just look at the Top Pet Insurance Companies article, highlighting some pros and cons of owning a pet insurance policy so you can decide if purchasing one makes any sense.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Troy D April 28, 2020, 10:21 am

    I have a Bombay cat and he is adorable! I was just wondering if they eat excessively? And if they have blueish-green eyes? But other than that DJ is my favorite cat in the world, and I would never do anything to hurt him. Also thank you for the pet insurance I’m definitely gonna look into that. This article helped a lot, and now I know that when I went to the pet store I definitely choose the right cat. 🙂

  • Lexi August 28, 2020, 3:35 am

    We love our Bombay!!!!! And yes, he eats a LOT but he isn’t excessive. When he’s done, he walks away. He is playful, extremely smart, friendly, pouncy, playful, social… everything this article says. His eyes change color and have been blueish- gold, green- gold and straight gold. The older he gets, the more they default to gold. I’ve had many foster cats and a handful of my own over the years, and he definitely stands out ftom them all for all the right reasons. >^•.•^<

    • Mike November 13, 2020, 9:26 am

      Hi! Is it really true that Bombay cats shed much less than other cats? And is their hair hard to clean? Having hair all over my home is the only reason keeping me from getting a cat at this point…

      • Callie November 14, 2020, 7:45 pm

        Hey Mike! I did a little researching on this for you and it looks like this really is true. I myself am looking into getting a cat that sheds less, so this seems like it would be a great pick for you. I hope you are happy if/when you get a cat!

        • Mike November 16, 2020, 4:41 pm

          That’s great, thanks! I’ll definitely look into it 🙂

  • liam January 14, 2021, 8:28 pm

    we had a bombay that was an unknown age before our current one. our last one got cancer and it took up half of her face, she couldnt eat or drink because it took up her entire tongue, so we put her down so she didnt starve to death. she was an untamed rescue, so she probably was way older than what we thought. she was a bit on the mean side, but if you were to just let her come towards you she’d sit on her lap. two years later we got another bombay. this time 6 months old. she was saved from her mother who started eating her babies so someone took her and her sister away and to the shelter. after coming out of a foster home with a scar from a old grumpy cat, nobody wanted her and she was about to be put down because the shelter was running out of room, so we heard about her and adopted her. shes the sweetest thing! we adopted her around 2 weeks ago and she acts like shes been here all her life! her name is kirby and we named her that because of how much she eats, and how she never seems to gain weight lol. she loves to come into my room at night and cuddle. shes the only cat ive ever seen who actually enjoys being picked up or having her paws touched or being hugged. in fact, the person who fostered her and the cat lady said that she was so friendly she never got into any fights and has never scratched or hissed any cats or humans, she just walks away if she doesnt like something, which i think is a good life lesson lol

  • Elaine April 5, 2021, 1:26 pm

    Couple traits found when researched. Sooty slaps his tail on the floor or back & forth, like angry, but isn’t: it’s a trait. Interferes with attention to others. Not sure a trait, but he’ll buck like a bronko in the air to get petted (a 1st for me). Interferes with attention showed
    elsewhere. He’ll wag the very end of tail when relaxed and totally content, like other cats. The breed can accidently bite down too hard during play. Willow learned that. Nails are black. I got him from an estate where he only lived in a room with no light. He’s afraid of outdoors, purrs loud only in a.m. quite lovable in spite of early unhealthy environment.

  • Joe April 28, 2021, 3:20 am

    Wow, none of those last details were necessary at all, and that’s quite a racist way to put. Just say it came from a bad environment. Would you have made the same comment if it came from the same environment with a white family.?

    • indulgeyourpet April 28, 2021, 6:34 am


      It was, and never is, our intention to promote any type of “racist” views which is why we found your comment quite concerning.

      However in reviewing our article, we would have to disagree with your interpretation of what we have said.

      In fact, we are of the opinion, that it is your view that AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMES that only somone of a particular nationality or color would choose to breed a Bombay would “technically” be more considered racist by most than our statement which simply advises any new pet owner to be careful when considering a breeder to buy from.

      Even more so when you factor in the fact that this advice which seemed to offend you is usually given at then end of every article that we provide on this site regardless of breed.



      • KEVIN June 26, 2021, 1:35 pm

        I think Joe was responding to Elaines comment about being in a “early drug ridden bad environment” and not your actual article itself.

        • indulgeyourpet June 26, 2021, 3:39 pm


          Good catch, we think you’re right. We’ve taken the liberty of editing all comments so that nobody can take any offense.



          • Mary L. August 8, 2021, 6:32 pm

            I have 3 kittens I rescued at 8-10 days old. They are now 5 months old. They have all the Bombay characteristics long body long legs and patent leather black short hair. My question is they have yellow eyes can they still be Bombay.

      • indulgeyourpet June 26, 2021, 3:41 pm


        It was brought to our attention that your comment about racism on this page was probably directed at a readers comment and not our actual article itself. If this was the case, please allow us to appoligize for misunderstanding your original comment because if it was in response to one of our readers posts, we totally agree with you.



  • Valerie March 3, 2022, 4:12 pm

    My friends have a bombay mix that I met the past week and I love him so much! He sat with me for an hour and loved being pet and cuddled. They are so soft and cute and I really want one of my own. This article definitely helped out with learning more about the breed!

  • Tina W. March 13, 2023, 3:37 pm

    Bombay cats are my favorite I rescued one from a Tim Hortons here in Canada and we both never looked back. He will be 12yrs this year and saucy as ever. He has a 5 word vocabulary. His nickname is WHAT lol . You say his name and with the tone of his voice he says what. It’s so funny. Raider is my everything

  • Contessa November 20, 2023, 7:38 pm

    I found my first Bombay in 2018 when she was thrown from a car onto my farm. I fell instantly in love with Panther. She then had her son, Steve (he’s my soul cat). They are indeed playful, sweet, silly, opinionated, and far too clever! Shedding is low, their coats are shiny and thick.

    They can be prone to flea allergies (fur loss and excessive grooming/itching) so, even though they are strictly indoors, if you live in the countryside- keep them treated for fleas and supplement with fish oil in their food if their fur thins.

    Be mindful that they do not overindulge in food as they can easily gain weight- set portions and meal times- no grazing! They prefer running water to still and sneak drinks straight from the tap. Don’t be alarmed if they jump into the shower or sit on the edge of the tub whilst you bathe as they love the water.

    They are the best snuggle buddies and, although they tend to choose their person, they are friendly with the whole family (including other pets).

Leave a Comment