Black strappy heels on a hexagonal mirror with a mysterious purple reflection

Halloween: DIY Cat Costume

Black cats have been associated with superstition, bad luck, Halloween and witches for centuries, making them a great choice for this week’s DIY costume guide. Transform into a friendly feline, find out how to paint your own claws and discover where their unfair reputation really comes from.

shop adult fancy dressshop kids’ fancy dress

Mannequin head with cat ears alongside white blocks, a moving ball of black string and more

Get the look

George black Halloween cat mask

Black top

Black velvet effect platform heeled sandals

Black ultimate stretch skinny jeans

make up tutorial:
cat face

You will need black and white face paint, a clean makeup sponge, brushes, black and white eyeliner and pink lipstick.

tricks and tips:
talon nails

Bird's-eye view of a hand with a nail being painted with a clear coat

Prep your nails by starting with a clear coat, then leave to dry.

Bird's-eye view of a hand with a tape on the nails

Lay down the tape to meet in a point at the top of the nail.

Bird's-eye view of a hand with a nail being painted with black polish

Paint in between the taped lines with black polish. Let dry.

Bird's-eye view of hands with nails with black painted claws

Finish off with a layer of clear polish and get your claws out!

Why are black cats bad luck?

The many negative associations with black cats can be blamed on – you might have guessed it – witches! Legend told that a witch was able to transform into a black cat, or even reincarnate into one after death. What’s worse, some even believed the devil gave them to witches as gifts!

After the Puritan Pilgrims arrived in the United States, they brought with them strong religious beliefs and an extreme distrust of anything associated with witchcraft and sorcery – that sadly meant black cats.

As a result, they took to persecuting the poor animals and by the time the witch craze had subsided, black cats had been cemented in popular legend as being associated with evil.

Thankfully, today the reaction to a black cat is somewhat less extreme. But, on Halloween, when yellow eyes with vertical snake-like slit pupils are gazing upon you, there’s still lingering fear as to their true motivation.