In my eyes every fuzzy feline is precious and adorable, but cats with blue eyes are something special!
I mean what’s not to love when you come face to face with a fluffy, blue-eyed ball of whiskered delight?
And for many a cat lover, moggies with blue eyes are simply the ultimate in kitty cat cuteness.
There is just something about blue eyes on cats and kittens that put the candles on the cake.
If you’ve ever gazed upon a white cat with blue eyes, a mostly black cat with blue eyes, or a grey cat with blue eyes, you know what I’m talking about!
Choosing a cat with blue eyes
Are you looking for a new kitty companion?
Or perhaps thinking about adding to your feline family?
If so we’ve compiled some compelling information about cats and kittens with blue eyes that you’ll want to check out.
Whether you’re in the market for an orange cat with blue eyes, a brown cat with blue eyes, a white Persian cat with blue eyes, or a white kitten with blue eyes, you’ve come to the right place.
Are all cats born with blue eyes?
Feline eye color varies from shades of yellow such as golden or amber, to green or hazel, and on to gorgeous shades of blue.
In general a moggie’s eye color depends on their fur color and patterning, not their breed breed.
But, blue eyes are more common in some breeds, because the requisite coloring is also more common in those breeds.
Blue eyes are most common in white cats and those with point markings.
Blue eyes occur in Siamese, Persian, Javanese, Ragdoll, Turkish Van, Himalayan, Birman, and Tonkinese cats, as well as several other breeds.
But blue eyes are not the exclusive domain of these moggies: black and white (tuxedo), tortie, and tabby cats can also be blessed with azure eyes.
Are male or female cats more likely to have blue eyes?
Do you know in which gender blue eyes most commonly occur?
The fact is that blue eyes occur with nearly equal frequency in both female and male kitties!
Why do cats have blue eyes?
Eye color is determined by melanin, a pigment responsible for coloring eyes, hair and skin.
Cats with blue eyes are the result of low levels of melanin in their irises.
Green colored eyes have medium amounts of melanin, while brown eyes have the highest levels.
The amount of melanin your cat has is decided by the genes – more on that in a minute!
Are all cats born with blue eyes?
Kittens are born with very underdeveloped eyes, which is why they stay closed for at least the first week after being born.
Producing melanin is one of the last things to start happening in a kitten’s eyes, and before it accumulates, all kittens’ eyes appear blue.
How long do kittens eyes stay blue?
Most cat eyes start to take on their permanent color between six to eight weeks after being born.
The exception to this occurrence is the white kitten; white baby cats will likely keep their baby blues.
Interestingly enough, many breeds can be born with one blue and one yellowish eye, or one blue and one green eye.
If a white cat has bi-colored eyes and is deaf, deafness is more likely to occur in the ear on the same side as the blue-colored eye.
Are white cats with blue eyes deaf?
Speaking of deafness in cats, would you be surprised to learn that some feline hearing loss is correlated with fur color?
It’s true: congenital deafness is rare in a cat who has coloration in its fur, but the same cannot be said for a pure white cat.
Roughly 5% of cats worldwide are all-white and these moggies have about a 20% chance of having some degree of deafness.
When a fully white cat has two blue eyes the chance of it having some degree of deafness skyrockets up to 85%.
What if a completely white cat has one blue eye?
In this case the odds are almost 50/50 that the moggie will have some degree of deafness, either in both ears or (less commonly) in one ear.
You can find out more about white cats here.
Why do white cats with blue eyes experience deafness?
Will a white fluffy cat with blue eyes automatically experience deafness?
As we’ve learned above, having white fur does not automatically mean that a kitty will experience deafness in her lifetime.
But the odds are high that such moggies will be affected in some way.
For example, cats with blue eyes and a colored coat have a lower risk of hearing loss than cats with blue eyes and a white coat.
Why is this the case?
The simple answer is: genetics.
In brief, the same gene which tells our cat’s eyes and skin to produce melanin is also one of the genes responsible for telling their ears to produce tiny, sound-detecting hair cells in the ear canal.
White cats and blue eyes carry a mutated version of that gene, so they don’t produce pigment in their eyes or coat, and are more likely to lack hair cells in their ears.
Because development of the ear and hearing is controlled by many other genes as well, this one mutation does not automatically make them deaf though – it just puts them at much higher risk.
Can black cats have blue eyes?
Due to genetics, it is rare to see a completely black cat with blue eyes; it is more common to see a black and white cat with blue eyes.
If you have a black cat, you know that these midnight moggies often have green or yellow eyes.
Are all blue eyed cats deaf?
If you have your heart set on cats with blue eyes, but you don’t want a white cat, we have good news for you!
Siamese, Persian, Ragdoll and Birman breeds are just some of the breeds which have blue eyes too, but don’t experience the rate of congenital deafness as white cats.
Siamese cat blue eyes
The slender, long Siamese is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world, but its exact origins are unclear.
Did it descend from wild cats? Is the Siamese really a transplanted Egyptian cat?
What we do know for certain is that the very vocal Siamese made its first appearance in both Britain and the U.S. in the 19th century.
In 1884 a British diplomat brought a pair of Siamese cats back home after working in Siam, and in 1878 the wife of American president Rutherford B. Hayes was gifted with a Siamese from Bangkok.
Today breeders and owners alike are drawn to the Siamese, in no small part because of the cat’s uniquely tinted eyes that range from a deep sapphire to a light azure.
Blue-eyed color point cat hearing
Despite their lovely blue eyes and pale coat, Siamese do not suffer from the same rate of deafness as do white cats with blue eyes.
Can you guess why?
The answer lies in their fur!
Siamese cats are pointed cats, meaning they have a light colored body, and darker points on the tail, face and paws.
Color point coats are governed by a different set of genes to white coats, so color point cats neatly side-step the link with deafness
And color point cats are not only stunning to look at; they may come with a positive health benefit as well.
A study of nearly 5,000 color point breeds found a decreased risk of hyperthyroidism among the subjects, which included Siamese and Persian breeds.
Persian cat blue eyes
The longhair Persian is the most popular pedigreed cat in the U.S.
It is believed that the breed’s ancestors originated in Turkey before being mixed with felines from other countries including Persia and Burma.
Do you want a Persian cat with blue eyes?
A Persian cat’s eye color is correlated to the color of its fur!
Himalayan color point Persian kitties have blue or copper-colored eyes, while Golden Persians have blue or blue-green eyes.
Bear in mind that a pure white Persian cat will have the mutated gene which also increases the risk of deafness.
Ragdoll cat blue eyes
One of the most unique felines in the domestic kitty kingdom also has blue eyes: the inimitable Ragdoll!
The color point Ragdoll breed was developed in the U.S. in the 1960’s by Ann Baker.
Ragdolls enjoy being with their human and they will happily follow you around the house.
The name Ragdoll refers to the way they easily plop over in total comfort whether they are held, draped on a couch, or lolling about in the sun.
They are a super friendly cat with a gentle nature, and their habit of going limp and relaxed at the drop of a hat is a sight to see!
Ragdolls come in shades of seal, chocolate, red, lilac, blue, and cream.
Birman cat blue eyes
Like the Siamese, Persian, and Ragdoll breeds, the Birman breed is a color point cat with mesmerizing blue peepers.
There are various theories as to the Birman’s origins: did they originate in Burma?
No one knows for sure, but what is certain is that this strikingly beautiful cat has found a permanent place in the hearts of cat fanciers.
Birman cats sport a medium length coat that feels silky to the touch.
Birman colors include blue, chocolate, cream, and red, all shades that contrast to striking effect with the breed’s icy blue eyes.
Can cats have blue eyes?
It’s been said that eyes are the window to the soul, but in the case of blue eyed cats, they also provide a clue to their health.
White cats with blue eyes are at a greater risk than other cats to have congenital deafness.
However, if you’ve ever wondered, “are blue eyed cats blind?” we can assure you that that belief is a myth!
Although there are some breeds, like the Abyssinian, who are prone to inheriting progressive retinal atrophy, a disease which can lead to blindness, blue feline eyes are not correlated with blindness.
Although blue eyed cats might one day lose their sight through illness or old age, they’re not at any greater risk than the rest of the cat population.
Cats with blue eyes
We hope you enjoyed our look (pun intended!) at cats with blue eyes.
Do you have a cat with blue eyes or maybe a special moggie with just one blue eye?
Have you ever owned a white cat with blue eyes?
If so we would love to hear about your experiences with these magnificent creatures in the comment section below!
Bergsma, D.R., White Fur, Blue Eyes, and Deafness in the Domestic Cat, Journal of Heredity, 1971
Crossley, V.J., et al, Breed, Coat Color, and Hair Length as Risk Factors for Hyperthyroidism in Cats, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 2017
Geigy, C.A., et al, Does a pleiotropic gene explain deafness and blue irises in white cats?, The Veterinary Journal, 2007
Kral, A., Deaf White cats, Current Biology, 2015
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