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American Bombay Cat – Cat Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: American Bombay cats are medium-sized domesticated felines. Coat
Coat Type: American Bombay cats have short hair coat length and black in color.
Body Type: American Bombay cats have moderate-type of bodies.
Grooming Requirement: American Bombay cats require very little grooming attention.
Vocal Tendency: American Bombays are cats known to be very vocal. Energy
Energy Level: American Bombay cats are highly energetic cats with high levels of
Time Alone: An American Bombay cat will require four to eight hours of personal time every day. Care American cats may not require special attention and lots of time when it comes to grooming, but these cats will demand a lot of time in terms of attention, interaction and activities from their human family. These cats are considered somewhat moderately docile when it comes to handling.
Care: These cats are somewhat prone to all sort of health issues

Adopt an American Bombay Cat, Cat Breed Guide


The American Bombay is a shorthaired domestic cat breed that is typically a Burmese-type. This breed is not a naturally domesticated breed but a hybrid that was specifically created to physically resemble that wild Indian Black Leopard but have a very docile and pleasing temperament. Except for the consistent jet black coat color, American Bombays and American Burmese cats share great similarities when it comes to the set standard appearance.

This is because the breed was developed from the crosses between American Burmese and American Shorthair cats.

The American Bombay cat breed is the first version of Bombay cats. It is where the European lines where bred from. It is considered to be one of the rarest breed in the world, but also one of the popular domesticated felines today.

Official Name

This breed is officially recognized as the Bombay Cat breed by the American Cat Fanciers Association, Co-Ordinating Cat Council of Australia, Cat Fanciers’ Association, Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, Southern African Cat Council, The International Cat Association, Livre Officiel des Origines Félines and the World Cat Federation.

American Bombay is the unofficial name of this breed to distinguish it from the European Bombay lines and the British Bombay breed that is considered as an experimental cat breed.


The Bombay Cat or American Bombay originates from the United States. This hybrid cat was first developed in the State of Kentucky in the 1950’s and was created by Ms. Nikki Horner. The purpose of this breed was to develop a domesticated cat breed that looks like a miniature versions of the wild Indian Black Leopard, but the temperament of very people oriented cat that is ideal to have as a family pet.

Recognized by:
American Cat Fanciers Association – First to accept and recognize the breed in 1970, accepted as a Championship Class in 1976. Cat Fancier’s Association – Recognize the breed and accepted as a Championship Class.
Co-Ordinating Cat Council of Australia – Recognize the breed and accepted as a Championship Class.
New Zealand Cat Fancy – Recognize the breed and accepted as a Championship Class.
The International Cat Association – Recognize the breed and accepted as a Championship Class. World Cat Federation – Recognize the breed and accepted as a Championship Class.
Livre Officiel des Origines Félines – Recognize the breed and classifies it under the Shorthair Breed Group.


Bombay cats or the line that is called as the American Bombay is a hybrid breed that was bred out from the American Burmese cat breed. This particular Bombay breed variety is the first to appear among all modern Bombay cat types. The initial breeding development started sometime in the 1950’s by breed creator Ms. Nikki Horner in her cattery in Louisville, Kentucky. Ms. Horner’s goal was to produce a miniature version of the wild Indian black leopard. She started a selective program to produce this desired physical appearance and aimed to create a cat breed that has a consistent black shorthair coat, copper colored eyes and a very exotic physical appearance that will make the cat look like a mini-panther. For the initial foundation stock, Ms. Horner used a black coated American Shorthair cat that has very rich and prominent eye color to cross with a Grand Champion Burmese female with a sable coat.

After a lengthy and rigorously selective breeding process as well as out-cross breeding of the produced specimens with American Shorthairs and American Burmese cats, Ms. Horner successfully produce a very consistent lineage of black coated cats that has a an appearance never before seen in the domesticated feline world. By 1970, the breed was registered and was accepted as a distinct shorthair-type cat breed by various major feline associations. The Bombay that was created by Ms. Horner first earned full recognition as a pedigree and accepted as a Champion Breed in 1976 from the American Cat Fancier’s Association. Today, the Bombay cat breed that was first bred in the USA is famous on both sides of the Atlantic, with European and British breeders producing lines from this original breed. It also reached the Australian continent, with local breeders developing a pedigree of Australian Bombay cats that has a foundation stock patterned to the initial breeding process used by Ms. Horner.


American Bombay cats are very athletic, agile and strong. These cats possess high energy and often very active outdoors. They make great household pets, as this breed is considered to be more sedate compared to the other cat pedigrees. American Bombay cats are even-tempered with a very gentle disposition. American Bombays may be gentle, but these are not lethargic cats. They are very playful cats that will always show their fun-loving nature and outgoing demeanor.

These cats are known for their very tolerant trait and will get along perfectly with children of all ages, dogs of all sizes and even other house cats in the family. The American Bombays are known to purr and vocalize more compared to its European and British cousins. Overall, this exotic shorthaired cat breed is very intelligent, very affectionate and will make an ideal cat companion for all family types and sizes.

American Bombay cats are medium sized domesticated felines that may weigh from six to ten pounds, very muscular in built and comes only in short and sleek black coats.

The American Bombays have smooth black coats that are sleek and is laid parallel to the skin. These cats have very similar traits with the American Burmese.
American Bombay cats have medium sized bodies that are muscular and not compact or rangy in appearance.
Head, Ears and Eyes
American Bombay cats have heads that are pleasingly rounded in shape that has no sharp angularity. These cats have full faces with major breadth between the eyes, gently blending in their broad and very developed muzzles that are moderately round in shape, maintaining and complimenting the round contours of the head. The ears are medium in size, broad at the base with tips that are slightly rounded and set well apart but showing a tilt that is slightly forward in direction. These cats have a profile that are not “pugged” in appearance or display a look that is considered “snubbed”, with a moderate and visible stop. This moderate stop is not a “break”, rather a slight indentation at the nose’s bridge area. Bombay cats of these types have eye colors that range from gold to copper, set far apart and with a rounded aperture.
Coat and Tail
American Bombay cats have tails that are straight and medium in length. These cats have short and fine coats that are satin-like in texture and lying closely to the skin.
American Bombay cats have coats that are glossy jet black in color and shall be sound and consistent to the roots.
The American Bombay cats are known to be at high risk on acquiring the genetic disorders and health problems of the Burmese cats. These medical issues range from deformities of the skull, eye problems with excessive eye tearing being prevalent, respiratory problems mainly due to a nose that is foreshortened in structure and various dental problems with gingivitis being the most common.