Cats With Blue Eyes – Why & How – Myths Uncovered

Cats With Blue Eyes

Have you ever wondered why some cats have blue eyes? Have you heard that all white cats with blue eyes are deaf? Read on to find out those all-important blue eyed cat facts!

Kittens

All kittens are born with blue (or blue-ish) eyes, but it doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way.

The kitten’s eyes will take around nine months to properly develop, but their eye colour will change (unless they are actually meant to have blue eyes) around a month after their eyes first open.

How Do Cats Get Blue Eyes?

Blue colouration is a result of a pigment calls in the iris called melanocytes. The number of melanocytes in the eye determines the eye colour.

If the cat has no melanocytes in their eyes at all, their eyes will be red. If a cat has a low number of melanocytes, their eyes will be blue. If they have slightly more melanocytes, their eyes will be green, and if they have lots of melanocytes their eyes will be a darker colour like brown or black.

But why do some cats have blue eyes while others don’t and is it true that blue eyed cats are deaf?

White Cats With Blue Eyes

Some cats have a gene (symbolised by the letter W) which suppressed their genetic coat colour.  The gene is dominant, so even if your cat is genetically black the W gene will mask their natural colour.

Around 40% of white cats with blue eyes are deaf.  This is because the same cells which determine pigmentation (melanocytes) also has an effect on inner ear functioning, so cats with less melanocytes do not always have enough cells in their ears to help them hear properly,

While 40% of white cats with blue eyes are deaf it still means 60% are not, so you should not assume a cat is deaf just because their eyes are blue and their coat is white.

To see if a cat is deaf, try standing a few metres away from them and clapping your hands loudly. If they notice the sound it means they probably are not deaf, and if they don’t take them to a vet for advice.

Other Reasons For Blue Eyes

Blue-eyed albino cats have blue eyes because of a recessive gene that reduces the colour pigmentation in the cat’s eyes.

Not all cats with blue eyes are white. There are some breeds which predominantly have blue eyes and others which could be born with any eye colour.

Some Blue Eyed Cat Breeds

  • Peterbald cats, originally from Russia, can also have blue eyes. While the Peterbald conjures up an image of a completely bald cat that looks a bit like a chicken, they can come with hair too.
  • These cats are notoriously beautiful with pale coats and stunningly blue eyes, they are sweet by nature and like to bond with one special person, and they don’t like being left alone for long periods
  • Siamese cat. This ancient breed has a form of albinism which gives them their blue eyes and light body. They are talkative, loving, clever and are similar to dogs in that they love to play fetch!
  • These American cats are very similar to the Siamese breed in both looks and temperament. They are clever, loving and often have almond shaped blue eyes.
  • Javanese cat. This blue-eyed breed is loud, friendly and highly intelligent. They love hanging out with people and have fine, silky hair.
  • These easy-going cats are the result of a crossing between Siamese and Persian cats.  They are sweet, chilled out and have pale blue eyes.

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