One of the best features of cats is their eyes. Their eyes are unique because their pupils are vertical in shape, which expands quickly. If you’ve seen many cats already, you will notice there are different kinds of cat eye colors. In this blog, we will discover what are the different cat eye colors, common eye colors in cats, and more.
Explanation Behind A Cat’s Eye Color
When talking about cat eye colors, one might ask how exactly cats get their eye color. The basic answer to this is through genetics, like in other animals. Their eye colors will depend on levels of melanin. Melanin is the amino acid that affects the color of their fur, skin, and eyes. The higher the level of melanin, the darker their eyes will be. While melanin controls the color of a cat’s eye, skin, and fur, it works differently in their fur. This is the reason why we see some black cats with light-colored eyes, like a blue shade.
Are Cat Eye Colors Changing?
Kittens are born fully dependent on their mother cat for their survival because they are born deaf and blind. Their eyes are sealed closed in the first days of their lives. But from day 7 to 10, their eyes will start to open in the shade of blue. During their sixth week, their eye colors may change depending on their melanin. It could be brown, green, yellow, or a different shade of blue.
From weeks three to eight, you may notice a patch of color in their eyes already. During their tenth week, their vision is the same as adult cats. Finally, in their third month, their current eye color is their permanent eye color.
Cats are born with two eyes. But do you know that there are rare cases where cats are born with three eyes? A cat with three eyes is not normal, and its rarity is the reason why their stories went viral online.
Common Cat Eye Colors
The common cat eye colors are yellow, blue, green, and hazel.
Yellow shade, sometimes seen as orange in cats, is a common cat eye color. Cats have yellow or orange eye color due to low levels of melanin. The amount of melanin impacts the intensity or the brightness of yellow/orange in their eyes. That is why no two cats will have the same shade of yellow in their eyes.
Yellow eyes are common in cats with the following breed: Chausie, Cornish Rex, or Burmese. Yellow eyes are also common in black cats.
If your cat has blue eyes, it has very low levels of melanin in its iris. They are sensitive to light. While this color is also seen in kittens, as mentioned, their eye color is likely to change after a few weeks. Blue eyes can range from different shades- sky blue, sapphire, and more.
You can see blue in Himalayan, British Shorthair, Siamese, Balinese, Devon Rex, Snowshoe, Ragdoll, American Shorthair, Persian, and Maine Coon. Blue eyes are also common in white cats and cats with light-colored fur.
Who wouldn’t love the enchanting green eyes in cats? Just like yellow and blue eyes, cats have green eyes because of the lack of melanin in their iris. There are different shades of green in their eye colors. There’s hazel green, emerald green, yellow-green, and more.
The cat breeds that usually have green eyes are Chinchilla Longhair, Russian Blue, Egyptian Mau, and Tonkinese.
Hazel or brown eyes, is the least common among the three mentioned shades. But this shade is common in feral cats. Cats with hazel or brown eyes have a higher level of melanin in their iris.
Typically, lynxes and bobcats have hazel eyes. If you’re into hazel eyes for a cat, you might be interested to adopt a blue Bengal cat. They usually have hazel, green, or gold eyes. Blue Bengal cats have marbled or spotted marks with their fur in a blue, silver, gray, or black shade.
Other Cat Eye Colors
You won’t be able to see red eyes in cats in broad daylight. However, you will see a glimpse of red eyes in a cat with blue eyes when you take a photo of it in the dark. For a cat with non-blue eyes, you will see its eyes become green or yellow when taking a photo in the dark.
There’s a rare condition in cats called heterochromia. It’s a condition when they have two different colors of eyes. This condition also exists in dogs and humans. A cat with heterochromia, also known as an odd-eyed cat, can happen in any cat, but it’s commonly seen in those with white fur.
While a white cat with one or two blue eyes has a higher chance to be deaf, heterochromia does not impact a cat’s vision or hearing.
A cat has dichromatic eyes or mixed colors if it has two different colors in the same iris. For example, if a cat has a mixture of green and blue or yellow and green in its eyes, it has dichromatic eyes. Dichromatic eyes is the result when a cat has different melanin levels in some particular sections of its iris. Those experts about cats consider this condition as a flaw, but many people are amazed when a cat has mixed eye color.
Cats’ eyes are magnificent like jewels. You can just stare into their eyes all day because it is one of the best features of cats. While kittens have blue eyes, it is likely to change into a different color weeks after. There are different cat eye colors, but the most common ones are yellow, blue, green, and hazel. There are also other unique eye colors in cats like heterochromia and dichromatic eyes.