Simon Whistler, host of the wonderfully informative video series “Today I Found Out” explained why black cats are erroneously considered to be omens of bad luck in some parts of the world.
It wasn’t until the middle-ages in Europe that the black cat’s rock star status started to go downhill as they began to be associated with so-called witches. The hysteria of witches practicing black magic had just hit Europe and alley cats were often cared for and fed by the poor lonely old ladies (funny how some things never change) later accused of witchery. Their cat companions, some of which were black ones, were deemed guilty of witchery by association. …The belief of witches transforming themselves into black cats in order to prowl streets unobserved became a central belief in America during the Salem witch hunts. Even today the association of black cats and witches holds strong during Halloween celebrations, despite the holiday’s religious beginnings. Thus, an animal once looked on with approbation became a symbol of evil omens in some parts of the World.