September 26, 2023


The Pet Expert

Exploring the Superb World of Cat Eyes! Genetics, Shade Adjustments & Extra

6 min read

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 actually have! One of the 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 each one kittens are born with. Nonetheless, it’s the change that happens of their eyes that’s really fascinating to me.

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

Uncommon Eye Colours

Chances are you’ll assume your cat’s eyes are the prettiest you’ve ever seen, and also you may be proper, as some cats boast uncommon eye colours. Most eye colours are handed right down to kittens genetically, with their eye shade 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 resulting from 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 sort of eye shade is extra widespread in Persians, Turkish Angora cats, and different white or principally white cat breeds, but it surely’s nonetheless fairly uncommon. Medically generally known as heterochromia iridium, odd-colored eyes are when your cat’s one eye is a distinct shade from the opposite. It’s a situation that’s usually congenital or hereditary or brought on by an damage, accident, or sure drugs.

Orange and Copper

It’s fairly uncommon for cats to have sufficient melanin of their eyes for them to be darkish in shade, as with orange and copper-colored eyes. These eye colours are hanging and undoubtedly stand out compared to different lighter-colored eyes. Maine Coons and cat breeds with darker coats usually tend to boast these attractive 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 resulting from genetics. Some breeds boast shades of those colours, such because the Siamese cat. Frequent 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 Shade?

For those who’ve rescued a younger kitten or your cat had kittens, you’ll have seen that the litter initially had blue eyes however could not have that shade anymore. Sure, their eyes have modified shade, but it surely’s fully regular.

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

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

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

Why Do Eye Shade Adjustments Happen in Kittens?

When kittens are nonetheless younger, their irises don’t comprise sufficient melanin to show their true shade. It’s solely as they develop that their eyes start to provide the melanin that creates their true shade, which is usually 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 out to be 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 out to be extra unbiased, their want for sight grows, and their eyes develop totally.

Do Eye Shade Adjustments Happen in Grownup Cats?

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

In case your grownup cat has skilled a sudden eye shade change, it may be resulting from uveitis, cataracts, corneal ulcers, corneal sequestrum, and eosinophilic keratitis. These are all eye circumstances that may change your cat’s eye shade to pink, pink, 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 circumstances that will trigger jaundice, it’s a signal that your cat isn’t nicely they usually want pressing vet care.

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

Generally a slight change in shade in your cat’s eye isn’t one thing to be alarmed by because it may have a easy clarification, similar to completely different lighting. When gentle refracts off your cat’s eye, it could generally trigger them to look slightly completely different, particularly in case your lightbulb is altering shade.

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 principally black. That is fully regular, and for those who add a lightweight or two, their pupils will contract and slim to higher show their colourful irises.

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

Do Cats Eyes Glow?

For those who’ve ever been out for a stroll at evening together 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 in the dead of night” look. The layer is named tapetum lucidum, and as an alternative of glowing independently, it could solely replicate gentle again. It doesn’t solely look cool, but it surely helps your cat see a bit higher in low-light environments.


Cats’ eyes have all the time 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 could be congenital, hereditary, or the results of trauma. You’ll usually solely know what shade your cat’s eyes will probably be from round 8 to 12 weeks of age.

Featured Picture Credit score: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

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