Types of cat eye colors and eye colors to watch out for

Cat eyes come in a variety of colors, including blue and brown.

What color is this eye color, and how is it determined?

We also tell you about the eye color that you should be careful about, so please take a good look at the eye color of your cat.

Cat eye color types

In general, Western cats tend to have blue or green eyes, while Japanese cats tend to have brown or yellow eyes.

Among kittens, they are called "kitten blue" and many of them have blue eyes.

This is because there is no melanin pigment deposited in the iris, so it gradually changes as it grows and settles to its original color around 6 to 8 months of age.

The cat's eye color is in descending order of melanin pigment.

  • Sapphire blue: dark blue, represented by ragdolls and Siamese cats
  • Blue: Lighter blue than sapphire blue
  • Aqua: lighter than blue
  • Green: Represented by Russian Blue
  • Hazel: green to brown gradation
  • Yellow: The color of many Japanese cats, yellow
  • Gold: Single yellow color, typified by burmese
  • Orange: intermediate color between copper and gold
  • Amber: Amber
  • Copper: The color with the most melanin pigment, a copper color that is common in Japanese cats

and 10 types.

There are also “odd-eyed” puppies with different eye colors on the left and right, and their beauty makes them popular as cats that bring good luck.

One has blue eyes and the other has gold to copper eyes.

This is a congenital pigmentation disorder that is especially common in white cats, but it can also occur secondary to accidents or diseases such as glaucoma, so caution is required if the cat develops odd eyes after becoming an adult.

There are also red-eyed cats, which are found in mutants without melanin pigment called 'albinos'.

Because there is no black pigment, the blood vessels at the back of the eye can be seen through, giving it a red appearance. The color of the eyes (the amount of melanin pigment) is determined by genetics.

Cats native to areas with little sunlight may have light eye color with little pigment, and cats from areas with strong sunlight and warm weather may have dark eye color. It is said that.

How good is a cat's eyesight? Can you see things in the dark?

A cat's visual acuity is only 0.04 to 0.3 compared to humans.

Still objects cannot be seen very well, and humans are highly myopic.

However, the ability to recognize moving objects is very high, and it is said that dynamic visual acuity is about 10 times that of humans.

It developed because it can respond to the movements of agile mice and insects.

It also has a field of view of about 280 degrees, and it is also possible to find prey behind it.

Cats can also make their eyes sparkle in the dark and behave just like they do in bright light.

This is because the rod cells in the retina that recognize the brightness of light are well developed, and the ability to see objects in dim light is excellent.

Furthermore, as you all know, a cat's pupil is long and narrow in bright light, and black and round in dark.

This allows more light to come in in the dark, allowing cats to behave normally in the dark.

Cat eye colors to watch out for

As you can see, there are various colors in the cat's eyes, but if your cat's eye color is different than usual, you need to be careful.

If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

The following are typical abnormal eye colors, but if you think that your cat's eye color is strange, don't hesitate to visit a veterinarian.

it's red

The reason why the eyes are red is because the color of the blood vessels in the eyes is visible.

The cause is often redness or bleeding due to inflammation.

Possible diseases include

  • Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the conjunctiva
  • Keratitis: Inflammation of the cornea
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS): dry eye, a condition in which the surface of the eye becomes dry due to reduced tear production
  • Pannus: a condition in which numerous conjunctival vessels invade the corneal epithelium of the eye
  • Corneal hematoma: a condition in which neovascularization has occurred in the cornea
  • Episcleritis: Inflammation of the sclera
  • Anterior uveitis: inflammation of the ciliary body, choroid, and iris
  • Anterior chamber hemorrhage: Bleeding between the cornea and iris
There are many diseases such as

turning white

The eyes are white because the cornea, anterior chamber, lens, and vitreous body, which are originally transparent, are opaque white.

Typical diseases include

  • Cataract: The center of the pupil appears white because the lens becomes cloudy.
  • Corneal dystrophy: A disorder that causes clouding of the cornea
  • Corneal ulcers: scars on the cornea
  • Corneal edema: swelling of the cornea
  • Nuclear sclerosis: physiological changes associated with aging
  • Opacity of the cornea: The entire cornea becomes inflamed and appears white.

And so on.

Injuries from fights and viral infections can also cause pale skin.

Also, some people misunderstand that their eyes have become white because the nictitating membrane is protruding.

A cat's nictitating membrane is common during sleep or when waking up in a drowsy state.

The nictitating membrane acts like a wiper that covers the surface of the eye and is a normal structure unless it is constantly exposed.

it's green

The green color of the eye is due to the dilation of the pupil and the reflection from the fundus.

Depending on the color of the tapetum, it may not look green.

  • Glaucoma: A disease that raises intraocular pressure, and as it progresses, the eyeball enlarges
  • Retinal detachment: a disease in which the retina detaches and vision is impaired
  • Hereditary retinal degeneration (progressive retinal atrophy): visual impairment due to retinal abnormalities

It is common in diseases such as

* Tapetum: Reflector (choroidal plate), a tissue behind the retina.

The cat's eyes glow intensely in the dark because of this tapetum.

yellowing

If your eyes look yellow, you may have jaundice.

Jaundice occurs when the liver is not functioning properly or when the blood is excessively destroyed.

Since there are many cases of emergency, please consult a veterinary hospital as soon as possible.

blackened

Corneal acanthosis is a disease that causes the eyes to appear black.

A disease in which the cornea turns black and dies.

In addition, if brown or black spots like moles are seen, there is a suspicion of malignant melanoma.

[Summary] What are the types of cat eye colors and eye colors to be careful of?

Cats have different eye colors depending on their genetics.

Each color is unique and very attractive.

However, eye color changes due to various factors such as infection, inflammation, and aging.

What color are your cat's eyes?

Check it regularly.

Reference material

  • Takuya Yodo, Color Atlas Common Eye Diseases, intrezoo, 2014
  • Tadaaki Imaizumi understands the cat brain! , Bunshun Shinsho 2019, p48-p57