Cats’ eye color – Why cats’ eyes are so cool

Cats’ eye color is an endless source of fascination for me. We all know that some cats have eye colors like ours–such as blue–but many have eyes that are far greener than any human’s green eyes, and, of course, there are cats with stunning gold eyes. On the homepage here, I have close-ups of both Kali’s and Chase’s green eyes. All our cats have green eyes, which seems to be the most common color. But there’s actually much more to cats’ eye color than just whether they’re blue, green or gold. Much more.

Cats’ eye color may be linked to their coat color

Kali cats' eye color

Cats with “pointed” coloring (meaning dark coloring on the muzzle, tail and feet), tend to have blue eyes. Burmese cats tend to have gold eyes. Egyptian Maus have a unique shade of green for their eyes, while Russian Blues may have vivid green eyes. Tonkinese have aqua eyes. White cats often have blue eyes as well, but can also have green or gold eyes.

We had a Persian with emerald green eyes when I was a kid, named Aurielle. She was a shaded-silver chinchilla Persian – white with silver peppering along her back and tail, on her paws, and around her eyes. She looked a little like she was wearing eyeliner. Her brilliant green eyes are part of what helped make her “the queen” of the house because they made her gaze so intense.

Cats’ eye color tends to be more intense when they’re purebreds

On that note, purebreds are specifically bred to meet certain standards, and that includes eye color. According to Catster, breeders specifically breed to make their cats’ eye color especially vivid. Like Aurielle’s up there. She was a purebred, which could explain her unusually vivid eye color compared to most mixed-breeds I’ve seen.

Blue-eyed cats don’t have any melanin in their eyes

Kittens are born with blue eyes because the melanin in their irises hasn’t been switched on yet. As they grow, their eyes may stay blue if they don’t have any melanin. As light hits the structures of their eyes, it refracts and makes them look blue, and without melanin, that will always be the case. Generally though, they’ll start changing around four to six weeks. We thought Kali was going to have blue eyes when she was young, but her eyes just took a little longer than Chase’s to change to green.

White cats with blue eyes are often deaf compared to cats of other colors and other eye colors, however, this isn’t always true. Furthermore, white cats with odd eyes might only be deaf on the side with the blue eye, or not at all. And odd-eyed cats are just plain cool no matter what they look like. We had an odd-eyed cat. Kitty had one blue eye and one green eye. The edge of the pupil in her blue eye was far less defined than that of her green eye, which we always found interesting. Odd-eyed cats are generally white, or have what’s known as the white-spotting gene. That gene produces tuxedo cats and cats with big white patches. Kitty was blue-gray and white.

Kitty_Cats_Eyes_Glow

 

Cats’ eye color is just plain cool.

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