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Bombay Breed Description

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Breed Organization

TICA Executive Office

The Cat Fanciers' Association

Native Country
United States of America

Other Names

Coat Length

Life Expectancy
No Information Available

General Description

The Bombay is a sleek muscular cat with great big copper penny eyes and a shiny midnight-black coat that resembles black patent leather. The combination is spectacular and resembles the mini-panther that the late Nikki Horner had in mind when she began developing the breed in 1953. The Bombay is a man-made breed developed from crossing a black American Shorthair with a sable Burmese.

Breed Standard

Head: Medium in size, rounded, with no sharp angles Rounded forehead. Full cheeks. Moderately short nose. Broad, moderately short muzzle with a slight nose break. Firm, rounded chin. Powerful jaws.
Eyes: Large, round, set well apart. Bright, shiny gold to copper eyes (gold is preferred).
Neck: Medium in length; thick and arched.
Body: Medium in size, semi-cobby. Powerful shoulders and well-developed, broad chest. Heavy bone structure. Firm muscles.
Paw: Medium in length, in proportion to the body. Heavy bone structure, muscular. Paws small to medium in size, round.
Tail: Medium in length, straight, moderately thick and tapering to the tip.
Coat: Short and very close-lying with a shimmering sheen. Almost complete absence of undercoat. Satinlike texture. Color: Black only. Skin and pads are also black. Definitive eye color is attained by six months of age.
Fault: Flat skull, green eyes. Overly exotic body type. Overly fine tail or bone structure. Wooly coat. Nose leather or paw pads other than black. White spots.


Nikki Horner, an American breeder from Kentucky, crossed a sable Burmese queen with a copper-eyed black American Shorthair. The result was the creation of a "miniature black panther" (the name referring to the black panther of India). The breed was recognized by the C.F.A. in 1976 and by T.I.C.A. in 1979. The first Bombay, a female named Opium, imported to France arrived in 1989. Though highly popular in the United States, the Bombay is almost unknown in Europe.


This is a self-assured cat. Bombays are athletic, playful, curious, and remarkably agile. This highly social cat adapts easily to his surroundings and makes a good companion. Bombays can live with dogs, but do not always get along with other cats. Affectionate and extremely gentle, the Bombay loves to snuggle, though often restricts his affections to his owner. This cat does adjust well to solitude. Though less talkative than the Burmese, the Bombay has a rather husky voice. Care is simple. Bombays are sensitive to loud noises and tend to be wary of children and the outdoors.


Cherry Eye, Cleft Palate-This is a birth defect of the nasal and oral cavities commonly associated with harelip. It is caused by failure of the palate bones to develop and fuse. This results in an opening from the oral to the nasal cavity. It is usually impossible for a kitten to nurse. Survival depends on tube feeding. A similar condition can occur in adult cats from a blow to the face associated with a fracture of the palate. Harelip can occur by itself. It is due to abnormal development of the upper lip. This problem is primarily cosmetic, and can be corrected with plastic surgery. Skull, Jaw, and Tooth Malformations.

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