Are there more cats, specifically black cats, that disappear during October than other months?
The data is light on animal abuse. Until this fall, the FBI didn’t specifically track animal abuse cases. Even the national Humane Society points to media reports for information on cruelty and neglect. The good news is, since the FBI created a new category for animal abuse, we will have the hard evidence for this question in a year or two.
For now, we can look at news mentions of missing or dead cats. Here’s what I found when reviewing NewsBank (a site with 2,373 sources from 55 states and territories and includes 10 types of sources) for 2013 stories of missing or dead cats.
While the numbers are small, the news shows that cat cruelty happens throughout the year, with no increase in October.
As I was browsing the articles, there were six news reports in October 2013 of animal shelters that refused to adopt out black cats around Halloween for fear of the cats’ safety. Anecdotally, other sources mentioned stories of the mutilation of cats in October, though, the data does not support an increase in this activity.