Sorry for the spoiler for the superstitious but black cats bring bad luck about as often as Friday the 13th brings bad luck. The answer, in short, is "No": there is no scientific research that backs up any relationship between black cats and bad luck.

According to the Science ABC website, the fear of black cats stems from European Folklore from the Middle Ages: it was believed that black cats could morph into human shapes to act as spies for demons and witches. Witches and psychics used to use the skulls of black cats to prepare "medicines", which, no doubt, helped reinforce the false belief that black cats were evil/bad omens.

Townsquare Media Photo by John Falcon
Townsquare Media Photo by John Falcon

Science, of course, has come a long way since those days. We now conduct peer-reviewed studies, keep much more accurate records, and we are now able to easily debunk old wives' tales (like the "black cats are bad luck" silliness).

Sometimes people relate good or bad situations with other, totally non-related conditions: "our team didn't win because I wasn't wearing my favorite jersey" or "I have to shuffle my poker hand twice before I look at it or I won't have a good hand". Just because it happened a few times that your team DID win and you were wearing your jersey does NOT mean that your team won BECAUSE you were wearing your jersey. Does that make sense?

I have a black cat (his name is Fahrvergnugen Stroopwaffel), and he and I cross paths several times daily. My family had a black cat when we were growing up (his name was Boxer), and we crossed paths daily. The only "bad luck" I had was brought about by bad decisions, not through association with a black cat.

Education is the best defense against many things, including racism, homophobia, poverty, fake news, and superstition. Pick up a book and put down the fear.

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