The diverse variations and hybrids of the different life species on earth is made possible by the genetic nature of life. Such a nature offers life with unceasing possibilities and opportunities for new breeds to occur, reflecting the inherent creativity of life.
The Bombay is one such example of a beautiful cat breed that is the result of a cross between sable Burmese cat type and black American Shorthairs. Breeder Nikki Horner of Louisville, Kentucky, was credited for the development of this gorgeous cat type in the late 1950s.
Bombay was conceived to resemble the appearance of a black panther and to acquire the temperaments of a domestic cat. The successful outcome had led to the full recognition of Bombay by the Cat Fanciers Association and various other cat registries in the late 1970s. The Bombay has also won itself the championship status with its stunning characteristic and personality.
Physical appearance and attributes
The Bombay is a medium-sized cat that weighs more than it looks. The male weighs more than 12 pounds and the female weighs between 8 – 12 pounds. Even though it is likened to the Burmese cat, there are a few distinctive physical traits.
The body and legs of the Bombay are longer and it boasts a well-muscled body held by a substantial bone structure. Contemporary Bombay has a rounder head with no prominent angles. Its short muzzle with a distinct nose break contributes to the feature of a full face with an open and sweet expression.
Traditional Bombay, however, has a longer and narrower muzzle than the contemporary one. Both have chins that are firmly rounded. The ears of the Bombay are well proportionate to its head, broad at the base and rounder at the tips. They are set wide apart and tilted slightly forward. The large rounded eyes are substantially spaced; dipped in rich copper or gold they gleam against its dark coat like two new copper pennies.
Accentuating the well-developed body is a medium-length tail of an average taper. What is distinctively Bombay is the coat of extraordinary black hair from root to tip that allows for no tendencies of other colors. The short and fine hair is flat and close-lying to the body, giving the coat a sleek finish. The luster of the coat appears like finest satin, melting onto the flattering contours of the body and radiating with varying intensity of the deepest black imaginable.
Personality and temperament
The Bombay breed is not as intimidating or aloof as it looks. Its personality is marked for its friendliness not just towards those familiar, but also to other pets and strangers around the house. The calmness of Bombay is credited to its ability to adapt exceptionally well to any lifestyles and households with dogs and children.
However, the Bombay might have a different attitude towards other cats. Though friendly and adaptable, the Bombay seeks pleasure in being at the center of attention. Thus, unless other cats have a willing and agreeable nature, the Bombay might not be able to blend well with them as they fight over the position as the top cat of the house.
The love for attention propels its love for people and the need to endear and attach itself to those who are close. Expect to find the Bombay staying close by, seeking every opportunity to snuggle and cuddle. It has a keen sense of curiosity and playfulness that obtains enjoyment in learning tricks and engaging in toys of the simplest form, such as a paper sack and plastic water bottle. However, its level of activeness does not demand for incessant attention and play time that would wear you out.
The highly intelligent mind of the Bombay qualifies it for all forms of puzzle toys and tricks, which it will receive as a form entertainment rather than a challenge. Rewards will be desirable for every puzzle that it manages to manipulate.
Care and health issues
The breed is generally healthy with an average life span between 12 – 15 years. Health issues that might be of a concern include Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease, excessive tearing of the eyes and breathing difficulties from those with short muzzle.
There have also been rare occurrences of craniofacial defect - a genetic disease seen in the Burmese breed - which causes severely deformed head. However, kittens with such disease would be euthanized, thus, buyers will usually not encounter such an issue.
The coat of the Bombay requires little effort to groom. A weekly brushing would suffice to maintain a healthy glowing coat. The use of a rubbery brush would provide for a good massage at the same time.
Other cares include occasional ear cleaning with a gentle cleanser, a weekly trimming of nails and the frequent brushing of teeth with vet-approved toothpaste. Wiping the eyes with a clean cloth would prevent under-eye stain that might occur due to its eyes’ tendency to tear.
The ideal home
The Bombay is a valuable breed for singles, couples and families with children and other pets. Spaces should be created with the necessary toys and climbing poles to keep this active and agile breed entertained and growing well. The Bombay would also love the freedom of a secured and enclosed outdoor garden to explore and hunt.
Being a dominant cat, this breed would prefer dogs to other cats. Thus, cautions would need to be taken if other pet cats are being introduced into the home. The lively, entertaining and people-loving nature of Bombay has made it an endearing pet to have, showering those who are close with its unreserved affections, devotion and love.