Anyone who’s been around cats knows that their eyes can look absolutely stunning. Green eyed cats in particular can have beautiful shades of the color in their irises that reflect really nicely in sunlight.
All cats start with the same color
The area around the pupil that contains color is called the iris. This part of the eye has two layers, both of which contain pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. When a kitten is born, those cells are not active yet, This is why all kittens are born with blue eyes; it is the default color that you see when there is no melanin present.
When does the green color show up?
As kittens grow into adults, the tissues in their eyes start producing of melanin. The default blue color is then slowly replaced as the true color of the iris starts to emerge. The type and the amount of pigment these cells eventually produce, is what determines the final color of the eye. In the case of cats with green eyes, they don’t have that much pigment. Green is a light color.
Note that some specimens may have a naturally low production of melanin, and it is entirely possible that the eyes retain the same blue color throughout their whole life.
When will I see the real eye color of my kitten?
You should be able to notice the first changes about four to six weeks after birth. The entire transformation is usually completed by the fifth month.
Recommended: Greg’s tips for taking care newborn of kittens
All cat breeds with green eyes
Many people find green eyes look gorgeous, so naturally there are those who want to get their hands on a cat that has the genetics for green eyes,
So, which breeds of cats have green eyes? Whether you’re looking for a brown cat, a black one or a white; we’ve got you covered on this page.
Here’s an overview of the various breeds, sorted by color of their fur:
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- Havana Brown
- Turkish Angora
Gray or black fur
- Russian Blue
- Bombay cats
- Oriental Shorthair
- Egyptian Mau
White cats with green eyes
If you’re looking for a white breed, your options are pretty limited; the Turkish Angora is the only pure breed to choose from:
The Turkish Angora is a stunning natural white breed that originated in Ankara, Turkey. A common problem with these cats is that they are deaf at birth, because the gene that is responsible for their white fur is also associated with developmental problem of the ear.
Spotted cats with green eyes
Originally from Egypt as the name implies, the Egyptian Mau is now kept alive by small groups of enthousiastic breeders around the world. An adult Mau always has piercing green eyes.
This breed was created in the 1950’s when breeders tried to crossbreed Siamese with skinny domestic cats. An adult Oriental Shorthair always has a single bright shade of green in the iris, with one noteable exception; the sub-species “Foreign White” comes with deep blue eyes,
Gray and black cats with green eyes
This special breed is born almost completely naked. Taking care of a Sphynx is a bit more complicated than any other types of cats. Since their hairless bodies easily lose heat, they need to produce a lot of it on order to stay warm enough. This means that the owner has to provide a carefuly considered diet all the time.
These sweet-tempered black cats have certain genetics that ensure they always have green eyes as adults. And if you’re lookin to get one, they are really cute and easy-going. Highly recommended!
This breed looks fantastic as it resembles a small black panther with beautiful copper or green eyes. Unfortunately it is also the rarest breed in this entire list, so finding a specimen with green eyes will not be easy.
Why do some cats have different colors in their left and right eye?
Not all cats have the same color in both eyes. This is what scientist refer to as heterochromia, a term which describes oddly colored irises. The phenomenon is most often observed in white and tuxedo cats. While this condition is usually a result of genetics, it may also result from damage to the melanin-producing cells during development.
Cats may also be dichromatic, which is another scientific term that’s used to describe an eye that has two colors instead of a single one. (Source) Some people find this look very aesthetically pleasing.
Famous cats with green eyes
Lil Bub was a famous green-eyed cat that had a huge following on social media. In fact, Bob was so popular on the web that according to her owner, she helped raise over half a million dollars for animal shelters and charities!
Lil Bub was not a typical cat; she was born with dwarfism, polydactyl and several other disorders. She had no teeth, her tongue was always sticking out, and she remained the size of a kitten her whole life. But her strange appearance never stopped the world from loving her! 🙂
Bub died at the age of 8 after suffering from a bone infection. She will be missed!
Frequently asked questions
Ginger cats (officially known as Orange Tabby Cats) can have green eyes. In fact, this is very common! Their eyes are usually gold or green.
As we explained in the beginning of this article, the eyes of a kitten do not produce melanin yet. For this reason, their eyes are always blue. The true color of the eyes will emerge a few months after birth.
Contrary to popular belief, the color of the fur has no relationship to the amount of melanin produced in the eye. What the real eye will look like after a kitten becomes a cat is highly dependant on the individual specimen.
But cats with green eyes do have something in common: they all have a low level of melanocytes. Green is considered a light eye color.
Congenital sensorineural deafness is a degeneration of the inner ear that causes deafness. A 1997 study examined many white cats and found that 72% of the animals were completely deaf. The scientists found that most of these animals where deaf at birth; their ears never had the ability to process any auditory signals.
While this syndrome CAN occur in white cats with green eyes, it is was actually determined that the ear is more likely to be non-functional whenever it is next to a blue iris.
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