Most Common Cat Eye Color and Their Meaning
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Cats have beautiful eyes. This is not just because of the shape of their eyes, but also due to the colors their eyes can be. The most common colors are: blue, green, yellow, hazel/brown or mixed. However, each cat will have their own shade of these colors. And then, there are other, rare colors that we will also mention.
In this AnimalWised article we're going to talk about the most common cat eyes and their meaning. We'll also take a look at mixed eye colored cats, albino cats and other rare eye colors for cats.
When do kittens change the color of their eyes?
How a cat's eye color is determined
A cat's eye color will be determined by their genetics. It'll depend on the level of melanin, the amino acid that controls the color of their eye and the color of their skin and fur. The most important fact or melanin, the high level of melanin, the darker their eye color will be. Melanin will also affect their fur, however, it will do so differently. This is how black cats can have light eyes.
When do kittens change the eye color?
When kittens are born, they are completely dependant on their mother as their eyes are completely shut. They are both blind and deaf until they are 7-10 days old. This is when their eyes will begin to open and their eye color will be a cloudy shade of blue.
Once they are around 6 weeks old, their eye color may begin to change. Their eye color can change to a different shade of blue, green, yellow/orange or brown. In some cases, they may have different colored eyes.
The most common cat eye colors
The color in your cat's eyes is in the iris of their eye. The spectrum of the color they can have ranges from green, hazel, golden yellow, lemon yellow, amber, orange, copper and even mixed colors. Check out our image below to see this spectrum, as well as to see what odd colors your cat's eyes could be.
With that being said, the most common eye colors in cats are:
- Yellow/ Orange
- Hazel/ Brown
- Mixed colored
Cats with blue eyes
If your cat doesn't have much melanin in their iris, they will have blue eyes. Although a correlation between a cat's fur and eye color has yet to be scientifically proven, cats with blue eyes commonly have white fur or another light fur color. For example, the Himalayan cat and the Snowshoe cat breed have blue eyes. They shouldn't, however, be confused with albino cats that have no melanin levels.
Cats with green eyes
Green eyes are also due to a lack of melanin in the cat's iris. Some cat breeds that have green eyes are Russian blue, Sokoke and the Burmilla cat. As you may have noticed, these cats can have light or dark fur and still have light green eyes. Each cat will have a different shade of green depending on their genetics. Some may have a dark emerald green, while another could have a more hazel green or light yellow-green color.
Cats with yellow/orange eyes
Yellow or orange cat eyes are also another type of common eye color for cats. This is also due to low amounts of melanin in their iris. Some cat breeds that have yellow or orange eyes are Somali, Chausie, Burmese or Cornish Rex cat breeds.
Cats with hazel/brown eyes
There are also cats with hazel or even brown eyes. These cats have a higher amount of melanin in their iris. There aren't many cat breeds with hazel or brown eyes. In fact, this is one of the rarest cat eye color. Feral cats are usually those to have hazel eyes. Wild cats, such as lynxes and bobcats typically have hazel colored eyes too.
Cats with two different colored eyes
A cat can also have two different colored eyes. This condition is called heterochromia, and can be seen in different species, even humans. This happens when a white or white spotting gene blocks the distribution and concentration of pigment in the iris during development. That's why each eye will have its own different color. In some cases, this might happen to one single eye.
Learn more in our article about odd-eyed cats.
Albino cats and white cats
Another common question when it comes to a cat's eye color is, what's the difference between an albino cat and a blue-eyed white cat?
Albino animals usually have pink eyes due to the fact that they have no melanin. However, this isn't common in cats. In fact, albino cats usually have light blue eyes and extremely white fur as they have no melanin and therefore no color. Albino cats are prone to eyesight issues, but aren't prone to deafness. Whereas white cats are prone to deafness. Learn more in our article about why your white cat is deaf.
The main difference between an albino cat and a white cat is the fact that the albino has no melanin, whereas a white cat will have low levels of melanin. They are also prone to different health issues.
What's the rarest cat eye color?
The rarest cat eye color is hazel or orange. Cats tend to have low melanin in their eyes which allow them to have light colored eyes. 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. Sometimes the hue of our cat's eyes, plus the lighting, will make us believe their eyes are purple. Unfortunately, this isn't possible.
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.