Exploring the Wonderful World of Cat Eyes! Genetics, Colour Modifications & Extra

Final Up to date on: October 31, 2022 by Crystal Uys

White cat with green eyes

Have you ever ever cuddled your cat in your arms and stared into their eyes, and been blown away at how lovely and distinctive they’re? I definitely have! One of the crucial charming options of a cat’s eye is their pupils, that are within the form of vertical slits. One other is the large blue eyes that every one kittens are born with. Nonetheless, it’s the change that happens of their eyes that’s really fascinating to me.

There may be a lot to debate when exploring the eyes of a cat, from uncommon eye colours to paint adjustments – so let’s get into it!

Uncommon Eye Colours

It’s possible you’ll suppose your cat’s eyes are the prettiest you’ve ever seen, and also you is likely to be proper, as some cats boast uncommon eye colours. Most eye colours are handed all the way down to kittens genetically, with their eye coloration being decided by the quantity of melanin of their DNA.

white cat with blue and green eyes
Picture Credit score: vistawei, Pixabay

Dichroic-Coloured Eyes

One of many rarest types of eye colours in cats is dichroic-colored eyes, which is when an eye fixed has two colours as a result of completely different ranges of melanin in several areas of the iris. It may be present in any breed and may happen in only one eye or each.

Odd-Coloured Eyes

This kind of eye coloration is extra widespread in Persians, Turkish Angora cats, and different white or largely white cat breeds, however it’s nonetheless fairly uncommon. Medically referred to as heterochromia iridium, odd-colored eyes are when your cat’s one eye is a distinct coloration from the opposite. It’s a situation that’s usually congenital or hereditary or brought on by an damage, accident, or sure medicines.

Orange and Copper

It’s fairly uncommon for cats to have sufficient melanin of their eyes for them to be darkish in coloration, as with orange and copper-colored eyes. These eye colours are placing and positively stand out compared to different lighter-colored eyes. Maine Coons and cat breeds with darker coats usually tend to boast these beautiful eye colours.

Different Uncommon Eye Colours

Though extra widespread than the attention colours listed above, brown and hazel are eye colours which are pretty uncommon. Wild cats usually tend to have hazel-colored eyes than home cats.

Blue and green-colored eyes have decrease quantities of melanin within the iris as a result of genetics. Some breeds boast shades of those colours, such because the Siamese cat. Widespread inexperienced cat eyes are often combined with undertones, however strong, vivid inexperienced eyes, as with the Egyptian Mau or Russian Blue breeds, are fairly uncommon.

Yellow and amber colours are mostly seen in cat eyes.

Do Cat Eyes Change Colour?

In case you’ve rescued a younger kitten or your cat had kittens, you will have seen that the litter initially had blue eyes however might not have that coloration anymore. Sure, their eyes have modified coloration, however it’s fully regular.

The truth is, all kittens are born with blue eyes, however not all cats have this coloration of eyes as a result of their eyes become their true coloration between 6 and eight weeks till they’re round 12 weeks of age. From 12 weeks, their eye coloration shouldn’t change once more until they’ve sure well being points.

Some cats will at all times stay with blue eyes, which is the results of an absence of pigmentation of their irises. Their eyes seem blue due to refracted mild and never as a result of their eyes are literally blue. If a cat’s eye coloration stays blue as they mature, it’ll possible darken in its shade of blue.

Dilute Tortoiseshell cat with yellow eyes
Picture Credit score: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

Why Do Eye Colour Modifications Happen in Kittens?

When kittens are nonetheless younger, their irises don’t comprise sufficient melanin to show their true coloration. It’s solely as they develop that their eyes start to supply the melanin that creates their true coloration, which is often round 7 weeks.

If a cat has bi-colored or dichroic-colored eyes, they’ll even have begun their life with blue eyes, and as they develop and the melanin is produced of their eyes, their situation will turn into noticeable.

Earlier than 7 weeks of age, kittens are depending on their moms for heat and nourishment and rely extra closely on their scent and contact senses. As they get older and turn into extra unbiased, their want for sight grows, and their eyes develop absolutely.

Do Eye Colour Modifications Happen in Grownup Cats?

Eye adjustments in grownup cats do happen, however not naturally. It’s often an indication of a well being concern or eye situation that requires pressing vet care. Delaying remedy could also be deadly or might consequence within the lack of their imaginative and prescient in a single or each eyes.

In case your grownup cat has skilled a sudden eye coloration change, it is likely to be as a result of uveitis, cataracts, corneal ulcers, corneal sequestrum, and eosinophilic keratitis. These are all eye situations that may change your cat’s eye coloration to pink, crimson, brown, white, grey, or black.

If the whites of your cats’ eyes have turned yellow, they might have jaundice, which is a symptom of an underlying well being situation. Though there are a number of situations that will trigger jaundice, it’s a signal that your cat isn’t properly and so they want pressing vet care.

Do I Want To Be Alarmed If My Cat’s Eyes Change?

Typically a slight change in coloration in your cat’s eye isn’t one thing to be alarmed by because it may have a easy clarification, comparable to completely different lighting. When mild refracts off your cat’s eye, it may possibly generally trigger them to look a bit completely different, particularly in case your lightbulb is altering coloration.

In poorly lit environments or when your cat is scared or excited, their pupils will dilate and develop wider, which may make your cat’s eyes look largely black. That is fully regular, and in case you add a light-weight or two, their pupils will contract and slender to raised show their colourful irises.

balinese kitten with blue eyes
Picture Credit score: 8H, Shutterstock

Do Cats Eyes Glow?

In case you’ve ever been out for a stroll at evening along with your flashlight and noticed two eyes staring again at you, you’ve noticed a nocturnal animal. If it responds with a “meow,” you’ve noticed a cat.

Cats have a reflective layer in the back of their eyes that produces that “glow at the hours of darkness” look. The layer known as tapetum lucidum, and as a substitute of glowing independently, it may possibly solely replicate mild again. It doesn’t solely look cool, however it helps your cat see a bit higher in low-light environments.


Cats’ eyes have at all times been fascinating to me since their colours are so numerous. Cats can have blue, inexperienced, hazel, orange, copper, brown, yellow, or amber eyes, with some colours extra generally seen than others. Though uncommon, many cats have bi-colored or dichroic-colored eyes, which will be congenital, hereditary, or the results of trauma. You’ll usually solely know what coloration your cat’s eyes might be from round 8 to 12 weeks of age.

Featured Picture Credit score: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

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