Black cats have always been associated with witches. In folklore, witches have been able to turn into black cats, or keep them as their familiars. Around Halloween, warnings are passed around to keep black cats inside due to dangers of ritual abuse or fear killings based on their associations with witches. Ritual abuse is actually not spreading in the area like wildfire. That was a bit myth in the 1980's. Statistically, hate crimes against black cats aren't a real problem here either.
The real problem is that black cats truly are less likely to get adopted from animal shelters, and are more likely to be euthanized as a result. The problem is that facial features just don't "pop" on black animals, and prettier cats like calicos are often given preference. Though it is a good idea to keep your cat indoors every night, consider helping black cats and black dogs by adopting one of them the next time you are searching for a pet. King County also has a barn cat program, for those of you willing to take a feral cat on your property.
- Learn more about black cats in the new book out this month: Animal Familiars for Beginners