Why It's So Difficult To Adopt A Black Cat During Halloween

Black cats have long been associated with bad luck. The superstition dates back to as far back as the 13th century as evidenced by a church document titled "Vox in Rama," decreed by Pope Gregory IX in 1233. The papal bull was sent to declare Luciferianism as heresy. In it, he declared cats as instruments of Satan, particularly black cats that were seen as Luciferian, as noted by History. To this day, those who are superstitious still believe that black cats bring bad luck, and crossing paths with one is a bad omen.

Black cats are common fixtures on Halloween decorations, along with pumpkins, ghosts, witches, and skeletons. With that said, it may be difficult to adopt a black cat from animal shelters during the Halloween season, not because of bad luck. Some animal shelters wait until Halloween is over before resuming to adopt black cats, which has something to do with the felines' welfare.

Black cats and ritual sacrifices

According to some animal shelters, they stop the adoption of black cats during the Halloween season, as they may be used for ritual sacrifices, as reported by Vice. A shelter based in Los Angeles was asked about it, and they said, "We're afraid they're going to harm them." These shelters are wary of people who only adopt the cats to use for nefarious purposes. Another shelter from Newport Beach gave the Daily Pilot a different reason. In their case, they fear that black cats will only be used as decorations or props during Halloween and will be dumped when the season is over.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, there is no concrete proof that people go through a sometimes-lengthy adoption process just to sacrifice a black cat during Halloween. However, some animal shelters want to err on the side of caution and would rather not risk it. Interestingly, October is International Black Cat Awareness Month, and it is celebrated by dispelling the superstitions about black cats. National Black Cat Day is also celebrated on October 27 every year in the United States (via National Today).

Some shelters allow adoptions on Halloween

There are no official rules to follow when it comes to the adoption of black cats during Halloween. It's the prerogative of an animal shelter whether they choose to do it or not. Becky Robinson, the founder of Alley Cat Allies, said that black cats being used for ritual sacrifices is only a myth. "It's just an old fear that black cats are going to be adopted by people with bad intentions," she told USA Today. She further stated that some shelters even use Halloween as a promotional tool to get black cats adopted.

Although it may be difficult to adopt a black cat during Halloween, it is not impossible. It all depends on the animal shelters near you and whether they allow it. Nevertheless, shelters follow strict adoption procedures — Halloween season or otherwise — to ensure that animals go to a loving home. According to a New York Times report, shelters do their research before giving away their animals. Some do background checks, others perform house visits, while others do extensive interviews. Whether or not they adopt out black cats during the Halloween season, their main priority is the animal's welfare.