Pets with black fur: why don’t you look good on social media?

Pets with black fur: why don’t you look good on social media?

Seventy per cent of cats in RSPCA rehoming centres are black or black and white, down to a combination of factors including that they don’t look good in photos.

70 per cent of more than 1,000 cats in RSPCA care homes in Britain are black or black and white.

Black animals tend not to photograph as well as others, making prospective owners less likely to engage with them on rehoming websites instead gravitating to those with distinguishing markings. Superstition also plays a part in putting people off rehoming a black cat. In UK folklore black cats symbolise good luck, unless they cross in front of you.

Welfare officer Hayley Plows said: “Colonies of ferals and strays have been at a rough guess 85% black or black and white, I unfortunately do not think this is by pure coincidence.

“I’ll often find that if when I arrive at a job the cats and kittens concerned are ‘pretty colours’ that have found homes with neighbours, finders, feeders and the black ones are the ones left for the RSPCA to rescue and re-home.”

Guardian journalist Elena Cresci, finds it difficult to capture the details of her cat Pwdin:

“Whenever I take a photo of her she just looks like a black blob with some eyes. Any picture I take is usually on my phone, so it’s extremely amateur. She rolls around and sleeps in weird positions, but you can’t see how daft she looks in photos because she’s so dark.”

But the problem isn’t restricted to cats. All animals with back fur are notoriously hard to photograph, as dog owner Sarah Lewis knows all too well: “Black Jack Russells are very unusual, but it does mean I can’t show her off on social media sites as much as I’d like too. I don’t like it when people meet Polly and say she looks much cuter in the flesh.

“We are currently fostering another dog who is much fairer and more photogenic.”

Asked if the difficulty photographing Polly had influenced her decision she strongly denied it: “Afraid not. Both rescue dogs, the perils of dating a vet! I wouldn’t be that shallow!”

Elena also defended black animals: “If you’re getting a cat just to show them off on social media, then you need to have a think about whether you should have an animal at all.”

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