Eye colors in cats

Cat eye colors are incredibly pretty , with more variety than most other species in the animal kingdom. One of the most magical things about our feline friends is their piercing gaze.


The cat’s eye is famous for its vertical pupil , unique to almost every other creature on this earth. The eye color of cats falls within a wide range of colors ranging from blue, copper, green, red, yellow, and orange.

And perhaps most spectacular of all, some cats even have two different colored eyes, which we know as heterochromia in cats .

Why do cats’ eyes have so many colors?

But what makes a cat’s eyes the color they are? Does it have to do with race ? What about the color of the cat’s fur? And why do kittens’ eyes change color as they age?

Most importantly, are there any health problems related to certain eye colors in our cats?

These are just some of the questions that we are going to answer today at ParaGatitos . Read on to learn more about the wonderful world of cat eye colors, and why we should take note.

Melanocytes in cat eyes

The amount of melanocytes in your cat’s eyes is what determines his eye color . Melanocytes produce melanin, which also affects the color of your cat’s coat.

So the more melanin, the darker your cat’s eyes and skin will be. However, melanin affects the eyes and skin differently.

There is no correlation between a cat’s fur color and the color of their eyes, which means that just because you have a darker-furred cat doesn’t mean that their eyes will also be darker.

The eyes of cats, what colors can they be?

The different colors of cat eyes can be as follows:

  • blue
  • Copper
  • Yellow
  • Gold
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Red
  • Gray
  • Strange colors

Cats with blue eyes

As mentioned above, the amount of melanin in your cat’s eyes is what is going to lead to her eye color. But did you know that it is possible not to have melanin in the iris? That’s right, a cat with blue eyes is simply a cat without melanin in its irises.

Actually, a blue-eyed cat’s eyes are clear , but the light that reflects around the rounded edges of its pigment-free irises is what causes the blue color we see.

This means that a white cat with blue eyes does not have melanin in its hair or in its iris. However, a gray cat with blue eyes has some melanin in his coat, but he does not have melanin in his eyes yet.


Did you know that all Balinese have blue eyes?



The color of the fur generally has nothing to do with the color of the eyes , but the only exception to the rule is with white cats. It has been concluded that white cats are more likely to have blue eyes.

And although you will not find a cat with red eyes, you have to know that a feline with blue eyes will glow red when there is light in them. On the other hand, cats with orange, gold, or yellow eyes are more likely to glow green in light.


Cats with copper-colored eyes

It may surprise you to learn that although cat eye colors vary incredibly , you will not find a cat with brown or black eyes.

While you may think you’ve seen a cat with brown eyes, what you’re probably looking at is a cat with dark copper eyes or even deep orange eyes .

This means that despite the amount of melanin in your cat’s iris, your cat’s darkest eye color will be copper.

Cats with green eyes

Most cat lovers can agree that a cat with green eyes is impressive. Green eyes are similar to blue in the way that they contain very little melanin.

Since different genes control the amount of melanin in the fur of a cat compared to the eyes of a feline. You can find a white cat with green eyes, a gray cat with green eyes, or a brown or black cat with green eyes .

Cat eye colors vary, and green eyes are just one of the beautiful eye color combinations on our feline friends.


Cats with yellow or orange eyes

As mentioned above, cat eye colors depend on the amount of melanin in their irises . However, the level of activity in the melanocytes will determine the intensity of the color.

This means that a cat with yellow eyes may have a brighter gaze than another cat with yellow eyes, and a feline with orange eyes may be a cat with stronger melanocytic activity.

And as we have already mentioned that there is no correlation between skin color and eye color in cats, a black cat with yellow eyes is entirely possible.

In fact, yellow cat eyes and amber cat eyes are incredibly common, and famous black cats have been depicted throughout history with this stunning, radiant gaze.


There is a correlation in the amount of melanocyte activity and the intensity of eye color in purebred cats. These cats have been specifically bred for certain physical characteristics.

Often times these physical characteristics include eye color, and for this reason, you may find a purebred cat with a more intense eye color than you would find in a mongrel cat.

Cats with two colored eyes – Feline heterochromia

Strange-eyed cats, as they are often mentioned, are cats that have two different levels of melanin activity in their irises.

A cat with heterochromia will generally have a blue eye, that is, one eye without melanin and another eye that is green, yellow, orange, or copper.

Known as complete heterochromia, this condition is most often found in white cats, however it can affect all types of cats, regardless of skin color or breed, as long as they carry a gene known as the spotting gene. White.

The white spot gene is a gene that affects the amount of melanin in cats. This gene can also affect the color of the cat’s coat and even cause albinism, which is when there is absolutely no pigment in the coat or in the eyes.

How to differentiate an Albino cat from a white cat with blue eyes?

If eye and coat color are controlled by melanin, and the complete absence of melanin correlates with albinism, you may be wondering if a white cat with blue eyes is an albino cat.

It is not always easy to tell the difference between an albino cat and a white cat with blue eyes.

However, a true albino cat’s eyes are going to be a very pale blue and can even have a pinkish tinge at times. Due to the lack of melanin and therefore pigmentation in the iris of an albino cat, they are very sensitive to light.

While they have no other known health problems, if you own an albino cat, be aware that sunlight could damage their very sensitive eyes.

What color can black cats have eyes?

While we know that different genes control skin color versus eye color in cats, black felines tend to have darker eyes.

A black cat with orange eyes is very common . While a primarily black cat can also have yellow or copper eyes.

The cat eye color in most black cats will be yellow or orange, although it is not impossible to find a black cat with blue eyes.


What color do white cats have eyes?

As mentioned above, white cats mainly have lighter colored eyes as a result of the amount of melanin, or the lack of it, in their genes.

However, as with black cats, it is not uncommon to find a white cat with darker colored eyes. Many white cats can have yellow, copper, green, or blue eyes. It all depends on the amount of melanin in your irises.

Because many white cats will have blue eyes, which means less melanin, they are more sensitive to sunlight.

As with albino cats, owners of blue-eyed cats should be aware that direct sunlight or bright lights can damage their cat’s eyes.

Do kittens’ eyes change color when they grow up?

The kittens are always born with blue eyes .  This is because your melanocytic cells cannot function until they begin to develop.

As the kittens begin to grow, their melanocytic cells go to work and the natural colors of their eyes begin to glow.

No matter what breed or color of cat you have, you won’t see the color of its eyes start to change until it is four to six weeks old. And you may not see their true adult color until they are almost four months old!


What colors of cat eyes have the most health problems?

Unfortunately, science has found that cat eye colors have a correlation with certain health problems .

However, we must be aware of many misconceptions about health problems related to eye color in cats.

Studies claim that white cats with blue eyes, or white cats with heterochromia, have a higher percentage of genetic deafness at birth.

However, if a white kitten has even a small amount of color variation in its coat, be it a spot or a patch, the chances of deafness are significantly reduced.

Abnormal change in the color of the eyes of an adult cat

While it is very common for kittens’ eyes to change color as they mature, it is not normal for an adult cat to change eye color.

If this happens, it could be a sign of a health problem called uveitis. Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea, which is the part of the cat’s eye that has color .

Inflammation of the uvea can cause cats’ eyes to change color quickly and should not be ignored.

While uveitis itself is not necessarily dangerous on its own, it could be a symptom of something much more serious, such as eye trauma, glaucoma, infection, systemic problems, cancer, or autoimmune problems.

If you notice a change in your adult cat’s eyes, you should take him to a vet as soon as possible.

Curiosities about cat eyes

There is a lot of conflicting information about how cats view the world around them. Because we cannot see through the eyes of our cats, the only way we can truly find the truth is through scientific research. What follows is the most agreed understanding of cat eyes.

First, let’s start with a basic eye anatomy refresher course. Each eye has a lens that allows light to enter the eye through a gateway called the pupil (the black part in the center of the eye). At the back of the eye is an area called the retina, where images and light are transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve. Our brain makes sense of all that light and movement and translates it into what we perceive as vision. The retina has two types of receptors: rods, which detect light, and cones, which detect color.

1. Cats cannot see in total darkness, but they see well in very low light

Our feline friends can see well in just one sixth of the light we need due to two important factors. First, cats have many more bars than we do, which means that they can detect much more light than we can. Second, cats have a layer of tissue at the back of their eyes called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light into the eye and gives the cat another chance to “see” it. The tapetum lucidum is also what makes cats’ eyes glow in the dark.

2. Cats are not completely color blind, but their color vision is limited

Cats have far fewer cones than humans, and the ones they do have are not concentrated like they are in human eyes. Scientists believe that cats perceive blues and yellows quite well, but cannot distinguish between reds and greens. Cats generally see color in much less intense tones than we do.

3. Cat eyes see less detail than we do

It is not that cats are myopic: myopia is a vision problem that has to do with defects in the shape of the lens of the eye, but the balance of the rods and cones does not allow a good vision of the details. Because cats have more bars and fewer cones than we do, they don’t perceive things like leaves on trees or writing in books in the same way we do. However, many researchers believe that cats are farsighted because the cat’s lens does not change shape to compensate for close focus, and that they see best at a distance of two to three feet.

4. Those vertical pupils aren’t just for decoration

Cats and other animals that are active during the day and night have pupils that are shaped like vertical slits because this shape allows the pupil to change in size much faster than the round pupils that humans have. The smaller the pupil, the less light enters, so our cats are much less likely to be blinded by sudden changes in light levels than we are.


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