Public Health Concerns
There's nothing biologically different about a black cat than any other type of household cat, but black cats are the ones unlucky enough to have become associated with bad omens, especially around Halloween. If you have a black cat for a pet, it's best to keep her locked inside until the holiday has passed, just to ensure her safety.
Black cats are often associated with bad luck, witches, dark omens, and demonic practices. But what does that have to do with your black cat, who wouldn't hurt a fly and spends her days playing with yarn and sleeping? Unfortunately, there are superstitious people in the world who kidnap black cats and use them for pranks, party props, and sometimes even living decorations or sacrificial rituals. And before you dismiss the idea that such a thing could ever happen here, in the Texas Panhandle, you should know that local veterinarians have actually seen the aftereffects of it (in other words, seen black cats that have been tortured and/or killed), right here in Amarillo.
How can I prevent this from happening?
If you own a black cat, simply keep her inside during the weeks leading up to Halloween (and, to be safe, on or around any Friday the 13th). If she's crafty or your outside door will be opening frequently (say, for trick-or-treaters), you might need to lock her into a closed room rather than letting her have the run of the whole house. Even if you have faith that your neighbors would never do anything so cruel as to torture an animal, you never know who might be passing through your neighborhood, and it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Couldn't someone wanting to obtain a black cat just adopt one from the shelter?
The Amarillo Humane Society does its part to ensure that black cats adopted during October are going to loving homes rather than being adopted for evil reasons. Many animal shelters across the country limit their adoptions of black cats entirely during October, but this practice can be harmful for the cats in the long run, because black cats are one of the least likely types of animals to be adopted. The Amarillo shelter takes measures to ensure that people adopting pets of all breeds and colors are actually wanting to give those pets loving homes, but they take extra precautions with animals around Halloween.