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If you look into cats’ eyes from day to day, you’ll notice that there are a handful of cat eye colors that you see all the time. Cats can have different shades of eyes, but there are four that you will see most often.
You can expect to see the following eye colors in cats:
- Yellow, or golden yellow
Most cats have blue, green, yellow, or brown eyes. Cat eyes cannot technically be brown, but the color is dark enough that the average person will call it brown. Cats can also have two different colored eyes, though this is often seen in specific kinds of cats.
There is some correlation between the color of a cat’s fur and its eyes, but this is not scientifically proven. For instance, cats with white fur will usually have blue eyes, but that does not mean they will always have blue eyes.
You might also be under the impression that almost all cats have golden yellow eyes, but that is not the case either. Even cats with golden yellow eyes can have more than different shades and hues.
We already listed the most common colors that your cat’s eyes may be, so we’ll dive a little into these as well as other kinds of colors that you can see in cat eyes in this article. Some are, of course, more common than others, so we’ll discuss this in more depth.
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9 Types Of Cat Eye Colors
Below is a list of 9 types of cat eye colors along with pictures of each:
Green cat eyes are stunning, and it’s also one of the most commonly seen in cats. For that reason, we don’t consider this to be a rare cat eye color. Similarly to blue eyes, cats who lack melanin in the iris will be more likely to have green eyes.
Blue eyes are unique in that this color is often seen in kittens. But remember, as kittens develop, so does the color in their eyes. It’s not likely they’ll stay this way, but for some older cats, the blue does remain.
The melanin count in the iris determines the pigmentation. In most cases you’ll find that white or albino cats have blue eyes. Cat’s with blue eyes are also a bit more sensitive to light.
Yellow eyes are unique in that the amount of melanocytes really impacts the intensity. No two cats will have the same brightness of yellow in their eyes. For some cats that yellow may come across as dull.
Yellow eyes are often seen in black cats, and it’s a very common color.
Hazel eyes are not very common in cats. It’s actually one of the rarest eye colors next to orange. Hazel is a wonderful blend of yellows and greens. Most often, you’ll find the Bengal, Cornish Rex, Abyssinian, and Singapura breeds sporting this color.
Much like yellow and orange eyes, amber eyes can come at varying intensities. Most commonly this eye color is found in Bengals, American Shorthairs, and Sphynx cats. Large cats like the Norwegian Forest can have amber eyes too.
Orange cat eyes work the same way as yellow, except there is more intensity in them due to the melanocytes. This is one of the more rare cat eye colors, joining amber.
Copper eyes are mostly seen in black cats, but you’ll see this come up with other fur colors too. So, it’s not really rare, but it’s not the most common either.
Dichroic eyes are quite rare in cats. The term itself isn’t something you hear very often when discussing a cats wonderful eyes anyway.
In a sense, it’s basically a cat that has multiple eye colors present at the same time. So for example, one eye can be blue and the other a golden color When cone pigments are missing, the color of the eyes are reduced to two dimensions.
An cat with odd-colored eyes will display different shades of blue in each eye. What’s more interesting is the color of that eye can change over time as your cat ages. In some cases, the other eyes color can be partially another color.
What Color Eyes Do Most Cats Have
Yellow or golden yellow eyes are the color eyes most cats have.
If you find yourself around many cats, you may not know which color eye is most common in cats.
However, if you start to think about all the cats you have seen, you will realize that almost every cat you come across has golden yellow eyes.
The shade of gold may differ from cat to cat, but many cats that you will come across will have these golden, almost honey, colored eyes.
Since cats have many different shades of their eye color, it could be argued that it is difficult to say precisely which color most cats have. If you’re no stickler for eye color, then you may agree that most cats have golden eyes.
How Many Colors Of Cat Eyes Are There
When it comes down to it, there are four different color eyes your cat can have: blue, green, yellow, and brown.
Cat’s eyes come in many different hues and shades, which means that it may look like there are hundreds or even thousands of colored eyes a cat could have.
For instance, a cat with bright blue eyes can have eyes that almost look purple. Their eyes are blue, but the reflection could make them look brilliant purple.
If you want to list every color and shade of eyes that cats could have, there would be too many to list, so it is easier to think of the four base colors that could look in various ways.
Think of it like this: no matter how dark green or bright green your eyes may be, they are still green.
How Many Eye Colors Do Cats Have
Most cats have one eye color, but some cats can have two different eye colors.
Cats’ eye colors are not as varied as human’s. Even if your cat has two green eyes, you may not notice many variations in your cat’s eyes. There will be no flecks of other colors in your cat’s eyes.
Some cats can have two eye colors, though. This is most common in cats with white fur.
Here are some options that you may see in cats with two different eye colors:
- Blue and yellow
- Blue and green
In cats with two eye colors, usually, one eye will be blue.
Since cats with two different eye colors are often white, there is very little melanin in their eyes, meaning they will have a light eye color. Blue happens to be one of the lightest eye colors and gives a striking contrast to another eye color.
Increase your chances of a cat with two different eye colors but adopting an Angora, a Sphynx, a Persian, or an Oriental Shorthair.
What Determines Cat Eye Color
Some people think that a cat’s fur color dictates what eye color they will have, but your cat’s eye color is determined by melanin.
Melanin is what determines the color of your cat’s eyes. Simply put, melanin is the pigment in our bodies (and in animal bodies) that determines the color of not only your cat’s eyes but also your cat’s skin.
Usually, we talk about melanin when we talk about how people tan; people with more melanin in their skin will tan more. In other words, there is more color in their skin.
If your cat has more melanin in its irises, then its eyes will be dark. On the other hand, if there is less melanin, then your cat will have lighter-colored eyes.
Just like humans, genetics also play a part in determining a cat’s eye color. If a cat’s parents both have green eyes, then the kitten will also have green eyes.
Some people incorrectly assume that the cat’s eye color is linked to its color of fur. In a way, it is, but it is not the fur that dictates the color; it is the melanin in your cat.
Why Are Cat Eyes So Colorful
You can thank melanin and breed for a cat’s colorful eyes.
Melanin will dictate the color of your cat’s eyes, and generally speaking, your cat will probably have a light eye color, like green, blue or yellow.
A cat’s eyes might be an even more dazzling bright color if they are purebred. Purebred cats usually have a brighter eye color than cats that you may find outside or not purebred.
If you are looking to adopt a cat with exceptionally bright eyes, then a purebred cat is the way to go for you. A purebred will have the greenest green or the bluest blue eyes that you will find. Find yourself a breed known for its eye color, and your cat’s eyes will be sure to turn heads!
What Is The Rarest Eye Color For Cats
The rarest eye color for cats is dark brown, which looks almost chocolate brown.
Since melanin determines your cat’s eye color, it goes without saying that a cat with dark brown eyes will have a lot of melanin in them.
It is not impossible for cats to have a lot of melanin in their bodies, but it is not common that cats will have enough to have dark, chocolate brown eyes like humans often have.
This is not to say that cats cannot have brown eyes. A cat could have very light brown eyes, but this could even be argued that your cat has dark yellow eyes.
Just remember this: brown eyes are extremely common in humans, but you’ll rarely see deep brown eyes in cats.
Do Black Cats Have Blue Eyes
A black cat will rarely have blue eyes.
While you may think a cat with black fur would look beautiful with bright blue eyes, that is not the reality of most black cats.
Due to genetics, black cats have a lot of melanin. As we’ve already discussed, more melanin means that the cat’s eye will be darker. Blue eyes are not a dark color.
As a result, you’ll see that most black cats have yellow eyes. Some may also have green eyes, which may pop against their black fur.
If you’re on the hunt for a black cat with blue eyes, you’ll be looking for a long time. Only one cat breed that has black fur also has black eyes: the Ojos Azules. This breed, however, is not one that you’ll be likely to find at your local cat rescue.
If you want a cat with blue eyes, you should not look at black cats; instead, look at breeds like the Ragdoll, the Balinese, or the British Shorthair.
Why Are Green Eyes So Common In Cats
Green eyes are common in cats because the amount of melanin is low like many cats have.
Let’s cover this one last time: more melanin means that the cat will have darker eyes.
Green eyes are not very dark. Cats with green eyes often have bright green eyes that are dazzling.
Most cats do not have enough melanin to have very dark eyes, which is why shades of green and even green-yellow are standard in cats.
Green eyes are common in cats, but there are few cat breeds that you’ll know off the top of your head that are guaranteed to have green eyes.
The only breed that you have probably heard of that has green eyes is the Russian Blue.
Some Sphynx cats also have green eyes, but it is not guaranteed that your Sphynx will have green eyes.
Do Cats With Brown Eyes Exist
Cats do not have brown eyes.
While brown eyes are what a cat’s eyes look to be, cats cannot have brown eyes.
Cats may have a very dark brown color in their eyes, but you may notice that their eyes are dark yellow or copper colors if you look closely. Cats cannot have genuinely brown eyes like humans.
The average person may not feel like arguing that a cat’s eyes are dark, dark yellow. They will instead say their cat’s eyes are brown.
The brown color in the cat’s eyes is a matter of specifics.
No one will be upset if you tell someone that your cat has brown eyes because they look brown; they are dark yellow, but everyone can imagine brown eyes.
Your cat’s eyes may also look more brown as they age because the color of their eyes starts to dull.
Can Red Cats Have Blue Eyes
Red cats can have blue eyes, but the most common color eyes you will see with red cats are yellow eyes.
Melanin will dictate the color of your cat’s eyes more than cat breed when it comes to red cats.
It is not unheard of that a red cat will have blue eyes, but it is not as likely as yellow eyes.
For instance, if you have an orange tabby, your cat will most likely have yellow eyes.
Since the fur on red cats is not as dark as black fur, it is not unheard of that your red cat could have blue eyes.
Although I wouldn’t hold your breath about your red cat has blue eyes, you do not have to hunt down a specific breed like you would need to with black cats.
Do Cats’ Eyes Change Colors
Cats’ eyes do change color as they age.
Many of them have blue eyes when kittens are born, but your cat’s eyes will rarely stay blue as they grow up.
This is similar to how humans have eyes that change colors as they age, so this is not as weird as you might think.
When kittens are first born, their eyes are closed, so you may not know what colors their eyes are until they first open their eyes. As they start to open your eyes, you’ll probably see those blue eyes that will probably turn a different color as they age. ‘
Your kitten will have its true colored eyes by the time they are about three months old; you should not expect to see any further change after that age.
As cats continue to age, you may notice that the color of your cat’s eyes begins to dull as they get older. You might even start to notice darker spots in your cat’s irises if you look close enough.
Eye colors change over time throughout your cat’s life. It may change what your cat looks like, but it is not rare.
Why Is My Cat’s Eye Changing Color
If your cat is already full-grown, and there is a sudden change in your cat’s eye color, then it could be due to illness.
We’ll talk further about your cat’s eye illness in a moment, but it is essential to know that cat eye health is essential to keep on top of.
Your cat’s eyes will change while they are still a kitten, but their eye color will not change after about three months old. It may darken over time as they age, but there should be no sudden changes in eye color.
If you notice a sudden change in your cat’s eye color, you should go to your vet as soon as possible to find out the cause before it becomes a more significant issue.
Things To Consider
We’ve spent this article talking about your cat’s eyes, so it only seems natural that we should also talk about your cat’s eye health.
Young or old, there are a few common eye concerns that your cat may deal with throughout its life:
- Conjunctivitis, or pink eye
- Eye inflammation
- Feline herpes
- Allergies that lead to watery eyes and a mucus-like discharge
- Various eye injuries from scratches or getting poked in the eye
Even the healthiest cats could deal with eye trouble at some point in their life.
Of course, some eye troubles are more concerning than others, even if they are common.
If you notice that your cat has experienced some eye injury or is sick based on how his eyes look, then the best place to start is with your vet.
A plethora of eye concerns in cats is often treated with special drops.
Although medicine is usually easily prescribed, it is not always easy to administer. Eye drops may sound like an easy solution, but if you have not given eye drops to a squirmy cat, then you don’t know how difficult it could be.
If you’re faced with giving eye drops to a cat, here are a few methods to try:
- Employ a second person to hold your cat.
- If needed, a third person could hold your cat’s eye open, though this may make your cat even more upset.
- Hold your cat in a towel if you are worried that you will be scratched.
- Try to give your cat eye drops when you wake them up from a nap. They may still be tired and disoriented for long enough to administer eye drops.
- Give your cat drops at slightly different times, so they do not anticipate it.
- Prepare first and work quickly.
Unfortunately, I haven’t come across a cat that has been exempt from any eye issues. In the same regard, I have also never met a cat that enjoys eye drops.
The best advice I can offer is this: Work quickly for the good of your cat, even if they hate it.