The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 08 December, 2021

Why Are Cats Eyes Different Colors

David Lawrence
• Monday, 16 November, 2020
• 18 min read

Once in a while, you'll see a cat with a striking condition called heterochromia irides, which means irises that are different colors. Kittens are born with two blue eyes and over the following weeks, melanin moves into the iris and causes a color change to green, yellow, or brown.

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Sometimes a bit of melanin moves into one iris but doesn't completely change the eye's color. If one of both of your cat's eyes begin to change color when she is older rather than in the first few weeks after birth, there may be a problem.

So if you are blessed to have a cat with two different eye colors in your life, consider it just another way in which your sweet kitty is unique and special. Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian.

If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.

The most common colors are: blue, green, yellow, hazel/brown or mixed. In this Animalized article we're going to talk about the most common cat eyes and their meaning.

Their eye color can change to a different shade of blue, green, yellow/orange or brown. The spectrum of the color they can have ranges from green, hazel, golden yellow, lemon yellow, amber, orange, copper and even mixed colors.

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If your cat doesn't have much melanin in their iris, they will have blue eyes. They shouldn't, however, be confused with albino cats that have no melanin levels.

Green eyes are also due to a lack of melanin in the cat's iris. Each cat will have a different shade of green depending on their genetics.

Some cat breeds that have yellow or orange eyes are Somali, Cause, Burmese or Cornish Rex cat breeds. There aren't many cat breeds with hazel or brown eyes.

Wild cats, such as lynxes and bobcats typically have hazel colored eyes too. This condition is called heterochromia, and can be seen in different species, even humans.

Albino animals usually have pink eyes due to the fact that they have no melanin. In fact, albino cats usually have light blue eyes and extremely white fur as they have no melanin and therefore no color.

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The rarest cat eye color is hazel or orange. Feral cats and cats such as the Scottish Fold tend to have these colored eyes thanks to the high levels of melanin in their eyes.

Some people wonder if cats can have purple eyes and the answer is no. If you want to read similar articles to Most Common Cat Eye Color and Their Meaning, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

Cats with heterochromia experience no adverse effects with vision, but their colorful eyes do leave people wondering why it is so. In case you are one of these, join us in an incisive piece on why cats with different colored eyes exist.

Sectoral heterochromia : This occurs when a single eye's iris is split between two colors like green and blue. The true shade of a cat's eyes are only visible within 7 to 12 weeks– this is when the pigment begins to shift to the irises.

Eye color is the result of the movement of melanin, a special type of pigment into the iris. The color of the odd eye undergoes a change from blue to green to even yellow till it's reached its adult shade, whilst the other eye usually remains blue throughout the cat's life.

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As the kitten matures, genetic differences cause the melanin to reach only one eye. When varying concentrations of melanin spread through a single iris, sectoral heterochromia is the consequence.

A kitten's true eye color is visible at the age of 4 months. However, at Animalized we are not in favor of breeding or the sale of pets, as there are already many cats and kittens around the world that need a loving home.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Do Some Cats Have Different Colored Eyes ? If you notice your cat is slowly changing the color of its eye when fully grown, it's highly important you take it to a vet.

Changes in a cat’s eye color can be an indicator of a potentially serious health problem. Normal cat eyes cover a range of different colors.

Between the age of three to eight weeks, kittens’ eyes begin to change to colors ranging from green, yellow and orange to amber, copper and brown. Uveitis is the inflammation of the veal tract of the eye, which consists of the iris, biliary body and choroid.

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Not all cats with liver shunts have copper colored eyes. If your cat’s eye color changes suddenly or over a period of time, consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

It’s a unique physical appearance for cats to have two different colored eyes. While in the past, any physical abnormalities can be a cause for concern, it’s different these days.

It’s not suspicious or appalling for cats to have two eye colors, instead they’re curious and even beautiful. Supposedly, the same gene responsible for making cats have white coat also causes this eye-color abnormality.

It often looks like iris has a haloed or spiked appearance due to the different colors. Other breeds like Persian, Scottish Fold, British Short hair, Cornish Rex, Munchkin, and Siamese also have higher probability of having heterochromia.

If cats have two different colored eyes, you need to note two medical conditions. Up to 70% of cats with different colored eyes can hear just fine.

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Additionally, if a mature cat develops heterochromia, you have to take your kitty for a checkup. Overall, it’s safe and normal if some cats have two different colored eyes.

Heterochromia doesn’t directly affect their vision nor causes hearing impairment. Venus the Two Face Cat showcases an extreme example of heterochromiaHeterochromia can be genetic or acquired through disease or injury.

Those with complete heterochromia, as mentioned earlier, typically have one blue and one “normal” eye, such as green, yellow, copper, or orange. Finally, central heterochromia indicates that the area around the pupil is a different color than the rest of the iris.

It’s said that Turkish sultans sent these cats as gifts to the nobles of France and England during the sixteenth century. He is a large, agile cat usually sporting a combination of white and color-patched fur.

Siberian Husky © Przykuta / CC-BY-SA-3.0Siberian Huskies often have complete heterochromia, while breeds such as the Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Welsh Corgi, Great Dane, Dachshund, and Chihuahua more commonly sport partial. Other famous faces with different -colored eyes include Christopher Walker, Kate Bosworth, Mila Tunis, and Simon Egg.

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“Every stare is like a hook” to quote the Ray Stevens' song “Cat's Eye”. Stephen King wrote a spooky anthology story called Cat's Eye about a heroic cat who saves his young mistress from an evil troll.

The final scene in the epic music video “Thriller” is a close up of Michael Jackson's face with feline eyes as Vincent Price laughs evilly. Melanin comes from melanocytes, the number of which determines the cat's eye color.

Wild cats in temperate regions such as lynxes and bobcats typically have hazel eyes. However, the eye color of domestic cats can vary from blue to green to yellow, orange and a copper tone often mistaken for brown.

This means a dark furred cat can have light eyes and vice versa. Seven to ten days later, the eyes will start to open and will be a cloudy shade of blue.

At the age of ten weeks, the kitten's eyes will have vision as good as an adult cat. It has two layers that carry the color promoting cells that are known as melanocytes.

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The colors can be blue, yellow, green, gold, copper, red or amber. Up to 70% of cats with odd colored eyes can hear perfectly normally.

David Bowie's “Cat People” mentions “eye so green I can stare for a thousand yards.” Green eyes are often associated with mystical powers and are the color most associated with cats. The Russian Blue is known for emerald green eyes contrasting with slate gray fur.

This condition can be inherited genetically or congenital due to development defect. Like with the previously mentioned David Bowie, heterochromia may be acquired through illness, injury or medication.

The condition is most commonly found in ecstatic white cats that have one eye in blue and the other being orange, yellow, copper, hazel or green. Persians, sphinxes and Oriental short hairs are also prone to mismatched eyes.

The black tipped chinchilla cat will have eyes in a deep turquoise color. An albino cat will rarely have the pink eyes associated with most animals with albinism.

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As an albino has no melanin, this is not so much an eye color as light reflecting the blood flow in the back of the retina. A white cat with sapphire or cornflower blue eyes may not be an albino.

Albino cats are technically not white, they simply have no melanin meaning they have no color at all. A cat with orange eyes that were previously another color can mean an inflammation known as uveitis.

The cause for this may be diabetes, high blood pressure, eye trauma, metastatic tumors, a fungal or bacterial infection or a viral disease such as feline herpes, Fell, FIV, or FIP. If they look darker than usual it may be due to red blood cell build up.

Glaucoma is an ocular condition accompanied by increased pressure in the eye. The usual symptoms to look for are a cloudy, milky white eye color.

A reddish-brown copper color like a new penny can be beautiful, if it is a natural trait of the cat. Do keep in mind that not all cats that have liver shunts will have copper colored eyes.

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In any case, if your cat is well past the age of three months and her eye color suddenly changes there may be a health problem and you should take her to a vet. If one pupil seems more dilated than the other, this is also caused for concern as it may be a sign of a concussion, brain hemorrhage, aneurysm or optic neuritis.

While they can’t see in total darkness, they can adjust better to low light conditions than humans can. However, along with better night vision and the ability to see ultraviolet light, the cat can also see quick moving objects better than a human.

This could explain why your cat is more likely to eat a treat if you fling it across the room than if you just lay it at her feet. Cat eye color is due to the presence of melanin, which itself is the result of genetics.

The eye is blueish as it first starts to develop, gradually becoming the final adult color at three months. If your adult cat’s eyes suddenly change color or appearance medical intervention will be necessary.

Pay close attention to them and take note if they suddenly look different one day. With care and attention, your cat could have ideal vision for the rest of her life.

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An unusual and attractive look is the chromatic, or dichroic, eye, usually seen in white cats. In fact, the major contributors to the ultimate color of a cat's eyes are blue refraction, iris pigmentation and breeding.

Similar to infant children, newborn kittens start out with blue eyes. Dogs see the world in fewer hues than humans do and cannot distinguish between red, yellow, green and orange objects.

As for blue eyes in adulthood, that's either part of the pointed gene (like Siamese have), or it's a trait of a breed called Dojos Azures, which all have blue eyes in adulthood. It’s hard to ignore the stunning, unusual beauty of a cat who has eyes that are each a different color.

Cats with heterochromia experience no adverse effects, even with their vision. Some heterochromia-havin’ humans you may be familiar with are Dan Abroad and Kate Bosworth.

In fact, one of his eyes simply appeared darker due to an injury that caused one of his pupils to stay dilated. The genes that cause all-white or bi-colored cats (think tuxedos) are responsible for most cases of heterochromia.

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Sectoral heterochromia happens when there’s varying concentrations of melanin spread throughout one iris. Healthy eye color development will be complete within the first 12 weeks of a kitten’s life.

For example, we would call fictional cat Garfield a red tabby Exotic Short hair. Note the color, pattern, breed and coat length in the name.

This may seem hard to believe, but cat colors basically include black, red, white or some combination, dilution or mixture of these. It almost doesn’t seem fair when birds get 15 vivid colors like pink, green, blue, yellow and purple.

Cats basically come in black, red, white or some combination, dilution or mixture of these. “The hundreds of colors and patterns displayed in domestic cat coats come about because of modifying factors that include both genes and poly genes, which change these basic two colors,” she says, giving an example of the dilute gene, which changes cat colors from black to blue (commonly called gray) and red to cream.

Poly genes, genes that require multiple others of their kind for their effects to be observable, then determine whether the coat color tone will be a dark steel gray-blue or a pale powder blue, she explains. Because males are By with only one X chromosome, they can only be black or red (or the variations of each due to modifying factors).

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Ticked tabbies have banding on each hair shaft with a lighter color at the base, which creates an iridescent speckled appearance but without stripes on the body. Mackerel tabbies have vertical continuous stripes on both sides of their bodies and a dark spine line extending from shoulders to tail.

“It is part of the albino series and modifies the color tone so that black appears dark seal brown on a light fawn-colored body. The genetic mutation, chocolate color, and its dilute version, lilac, also were seen in the early Siamese cats.” Confines cats, which are a mix of Siamese and Burmese, have a more subtle point contrast called mink coloring.

Siamese cats were named after the ancient kingdom of Siam, where they originated. “When the Siamese first came to America in the early 1900s, they quickly became popular as pets, leading to the spread of the recessive point-restricted pattern throughout the country.

It is still hidden in the genotype of many random-bred cats and surfaces in litters when both the sire and dam are carriers of the gene.” Shading, which is characterized by color at the tips of the hair with a pure white undercoat.

In chinchillas, only the very tip of the guard hair, or outer coat, is colored. With the shaded pattern, a quarter of the guard hair farthest from the cat’s body exhibits the color.

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In the smoke pattern, half of the guard hair farthest from the cat’s body displays the color. The colored area in bi colored cats can also feature any of the tabby patterns.

“The bi color and tricolor patterns are created by the incomplete dominant piebald white-spotting gene,” Miller says. Calico are white females with large solid areas of black and red patches as well as other colors like blues and creams thrown in.

Like calicoes, these cats are female, except their black with random patches of red. Calico and tortoiseshell cats are female, because the orange gene is carried on the sex-linked “X” chromosome.

Keep in mind that these were surveys of human perceptions, not scientific studies that controlled for other possible personality influencers, such as gender and coat length. Calico and sorties are female, which might play a greater role in personality than coat color.

More studies are needed before we can conclude that cat colors influence personality. At about 6 to 8 weeks of age, “their potential final eye color begins to become apparent,” Miller says.

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“However, eye color of domestic cats is striking and greatly varied. For example, white cats can have blue, yellow, gold or odd eyes.

Cats with the point-restricted color pattern, like the Siamese, have blue eyes because of a gene that is linked to albinism. They allow a cat to see in near-darkness and provide her with a great ability to detect motion in order to hunt prey.

Even the smell of catnip itself can cause arousal in a cat that likes the stuff. You may also see the pupils contract suddenly if she’s about to “kill” her favorite toy (or your toes moving around under the blankets).

Yes, it’s true: wide cat eyes can mean both excitement and fear, so you’ll have to suss out the meaning of your cat’s wide eyes by looking at what’s going on around her and her other body language cues. When you pull out your cat’s favorite treats, her pupils may get wide in anticipation.

If your cat is sitting there, looking tense (with a hunched back and her tail close to her side), and her pupils are also wide, you can assume that she’s anxious about something. Cats may also develop anisocoria due to spastic pupil syndrome, which is associated with the feline leukemia virus.

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