Bombay are a type of short-haired cats developed by breeding sable Burmese and black American Shorthair cats to produce a cat of mostly Burmese type, but with a sleek, tight black coat.
The breed was developed by Nikki Horner, a breeder from Louisville, Kentucky, who, starting in 1958, attempted to create a breed of cat that resembled a miniature black panther. The first attempt was a failure, but the second in 1965, was successful. The breed was officially recognized and registered by the Cat Fanciers' Association in 1970 and The International Cat Association in 1979.
Nikki had the idea of crossing a Burmese with a Black American Shorthair:
"The Shawnee Cattery was established in 1945 and I have worked with a number of breeds including both Burmese and black American Shorthairs. As I looked at these two breeds, I had a vision of what the combination could look like: a black Burmese with copper eyes. I envisioned a cat with the Burmese musculature and the black coat and gold to copper eyes of the American."