Beautiful Blue-eyed Cats

Cats are incredibly elegant creatures and there's no denying they all have beautiful expressive eyes. However, there's something very special about a blue-eyed cat and their stare can often be quite mesmerising. It's easy to understand why in ancient times, cats were thought of as mystical and magical creatures especially when you meet a blue-eyed feline for the first time.

The actual blue in cat’s eyes is made up of pigment cells found in the iris which are known as melanocytes. The iris is made up of two layers, both of which contain this substance namely the outer layer which is known as the stroma and the inner layer closer to the back of the eye, being called the epithelium. In the stroma the amount of melanocytes is loosely packed whereas in the epithelium it is densely packed.

Why Cats Have Blue Eyes

It's the amount of melanocytes found in the stroma that dictates the colour of a cat's eyes with the least amount producing the colour blue and the highest amount producing brown and copper coloured eyes, medium amounts produce green coloured eyes etc. If there is no melanocytes found in the stroma at all, the result is that cats and other animals end up with red eyes.

With a blue-eyed cat, the colour can be very pale to a very deep and rich royal blue. However, when first born, all kittens have gorgeous blue eyes but as they get older, their eyes change colour and then at eight weeks old the colour of their eyes is set for the rest of their lives.

Three Common Reasons for a Cat to Have Blue Eyes

1.  A Dominant White – Epistasic White Cats

In blue-eyed white cats, the gene responsible is traditionally symbolised with a letter “W”. This is a dominant gene which suppresses any further colour from forming in a cat's coat hence they remain white. Many blue-eyed white cats are often found to be deaf because this dominant “W” gene affects the cells in their ears from developing properly – although not all white cats are affected by this defect.

2.  Albinism

There are 5 known alleles for albinism in cats which are as follows:

  • Full colour (C)
  • Burmese (cb)
  • Siamese (cs)
  • Blue eyed albino (ca)
  • Pink eyed albino (c)

From the albino group only the blue-eyed Albino and the Siamese are found to have blue eyes and the gene responsible for other colourpoint cat breeds is known to be a recessive one. In short, this means their offspring will inherit it from both parents if both of them have the gene in question.

3.  White Spotting Gene – Piebald

Among the most common felines, white spotted cats can boast being completely white or just having a few white hairs which are known as “lockets”. It's when the white spotting is found around their eyes that they will be blue in colour.


PetForums.co.uk
Looking for free pet advice for your Cat?. Click here to join the UKs favourite pet community - PetForums.co.uk

The Extremely Rare Breed Called the Ojos Azules

The Ojos Azules is one of the rarest breeds of cat on the planet that boasts a coloured coat together with blue eyes. Whereas a blue eyed Siamese can be predisposed to a condition called strabismus, commonly known as being cross eyed, and epistasis cats tend to be deaf, the gene responsible for both these conditions does not affect either the ears or the eyes of a Ojos Azules – hence they are neither deaf nor cross eyed

With this said, the breed does tend to suffer from other congenital health problems which includes cranial defects as well as stillbirth. The only way to avoid any congenital problems occurring in a Ojos Azules, is to make sure they are mated with a cat that does not boast blue eyes.

Breeds of Cats with Blue Eyes

The following breeds all have gorgeous blue eyes:

There are other breeds of cat that boast having blue eyes but this does depend on the colour of their coats:

  • Snow Bengals
  • American Bobtail
  • British Shorthair
  • American Curl
  • Devon Rex
  • Cornish Rex
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • LaPerm
  • Exotic
  • Munchkin
  • Manx
  • Persian
  • Neva Masquerade Siberians
  • Scottish Fold

Conclusion

There are some amazing breeds of cats that boast having blue eyes, some of which are more commonly found than others. The rarer breeds like the Ojos Azules are absolutely stunning looking felines but then so are so many of the other breeds around too. In times long past, the cat was thought of as possessing magical powers and if you ever meet a white cat with blue eyes, it's easy to understand why. Cats are lovely, elegant creatures they are loyal, loving and great fun to have around which is why they are one of the most popular pets on the planet!


Join the Conversation

Do you like this article? Have something to say? Then leave your comments.






© Copyright - Pets4Homes.co.uk (2005 - 2019) - Pet Media Ltd
Pets4Homes.co.uk use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. Use of this website and other services constitutes acceptance of the Pets4Homes Terms of Use and Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can manage your cookies at any time.