Bombay Cat Breed: Facts, Health & More Information

The Bombay breed is a curious and active cat. They will happily spend hours watching the world around them. They are also affectionate felines that will demand some attention from their humans. 

This breed is a medium-sized cat. The female Bombay cat can end up weighing between 3 and 5 kg. The male cat can end up weighing a maximum of 5 kg. This agile cat will feel heavier than they look when you pick them up. 


Quick facts about the Bombay

Weight: 8 to 15 pounds Height: 9 to 13 inches
Life span: 12 to 20 years
Intelligence: high Temperament: social | affectionate
Playfulness: high Activity level: active
Vocalness: when necessary Coat length: short
Shedding amount: seasonal
Good with: kids | seniors | other cats | families
Traits: The Bombay cat has a lot of traits that make it a great pet. It is easy to train, easy to groom, and friendly toward humans, other pets, and strangers.

The Bombay cat has a small and stocky build. They have heavy bones, and they are muscular cats. The tips of their ears are round. These cats also have a round head, chin and even their wee paws feet are round. The Bombay cat has a short coat that’s also glossy. When their coat is healthy, it might have the look of black patent leather. 

Even the Bombay cat’s walk is unique. When they walk, the feline almost looks like they’re swaying. Their walk might remind cat owners of the stride of the Indian Black Leopard. This breed can live for as long as 13 years. 


When they are young, the Bombay cats are energetic and lively. They can adapt to change easily and are very curious. You might find your Bombay cat sitting by the window and watching the world. This is because they never grow out of their curiosity. 

This affectionate feline will often jump on your lap to demand some attention. They might even stretch themselves across your keyboard while you work or the newspaper that you’re reading. But as they get older, some Bombay cats will prefer to keep to themselves and observe. 

While the Bombay cat is strong and sturdy, there are some health issues that you might have to watch out for. You’ll have to monitor their nutrition to make sure that they don’t become obese, especially if they don’t get enough exercise. 

Even though the adult Bombay cat has a calm nature, they still have moments when they will behave like kittens. They enjoy their playtime with their humans. The Bombay also enjoy having their bellies rubbed and being petted. 

A breeder from Kentucky named Nikki Horner developed the Bombay cat in 1958. She wanted to create a domestic cat that looked like a mini black panther. Nikki was finally successful in creating this breed in 1965. 

Then in 1970, the International Cat Association and Cat Fancier’s Association officially recognized and registered the Bombay breed. Today, this breed has become a rare crowd-pleaser at cat shows.


United States


Dr. Adedapo Adisa:

With a strikingly similar appearance to the black panther or a miniature black wild cat, the Bombay cat breed is a hybrid gotten from a cross of a black American shorthair and a Burmese. This breed is native to the United States and not the city of Bombay as many might have thought. 

Although there is a variant known as the British Bombay, gotten from the cross of a Burmese and black British Shorthair, the Bombay cats are known for their upbeat social personality. They enjoy a good amount of health, and they have a life expectancy ranging from 12-20 years. 

Because of their hybrid genetic makeups, the Bombay cat is known to have excellent health. However, there are a few inherited health issues the Bombay breeds are prone to. 

An inherited genetic condition is craniofacial head defects, also known as Bombay head defects. This is a medical condition affecting Bombay kittens resulting from a genetic mutation. 

The genetic mutation disrupts the kitten’s normal head and bone process formation in-utero (during pregnancy). 

As an autosomal recessive condition, this mutated gene must be found in both partners to cause craniofacial head defects in Bombay kittens. 

However, if found in just one parent, the Bombay kittens would present a shortened face and a rounded head typical with a brachycephalic head.

Some common signs of the craniofacial head defects in the kittens of Bombay cats include;

● Malformations of the hard palates in the kittens or doubling of the hard plates (The roof of the mouth).

● Improper closure of the skull, making the brain protrude under the skin.

● Malformations in the eyes and ears or a total absence of the eyes and ears.

● Incomplete formation of the lower jaw and nostrils.

● Inability to breathe efficiently.

A DNA test is carried out in detecting Bombay cats that are carriers of the defective gene that causes craniofacial head defects in kittens. Bombay cats found to be positive should be removed from breeding programs.

Although some Bombay kittens with craniofacial head defects are born as stillbirths, others are birthed alive, and survival chances are very slim.

Euthanasia is always recommended when Bombay kittens have craniofacial head defects.

Another health problem the Bombay cats face is nasal and sinus problems. This is due to the anatomical presentations of their head. The head and face of the Bombay cats are round and short, giving them brachycephalic appearances (short face appearance).

The brachycephalic facial anatomy affects other soft tissues present in the face, like sinuses, nostrils, trachea, soft palate. 

This could affect the way the Bombay cats breathe due to resistance in how the air comes in and sometimes might predispose them to have asthmatic signs or other upper airway abnormalities.

Some common signs of these conditions seen in the Bombay cats include;

● Breathing through the mouth.

● Cats may snore when relaxed or asleep.

● Cats may have noisy breathing.

● There might be exercise intolerance, and in severe cases, the Bombay cats may faint.

● The cats may also experience cough or gag reflexes.

It’s best to schedule regular Veterinary appointments to catch these health conditions in the Bombay cats.

If diagnosed, such cats must be stopped from further breeding activities.

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