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What is the color of
your cat’s eye? Brown? Yellow? Blue? Green? What shade of the color is it? Have
you ever noticed how beautiful their eyes are, and how they express their
feelings with them? It is unusual to see a cat with two different eye color,
but these cats are beautiful and unique felines that attract a lot of
attention, just with a blink of an eye.
What is heterochromia
Heterochromia is the
difference in coloration usually of the eye, hair, or skin. It is determined by
the concentration of melanin and usually inherited or caused by genetic
mosaicism, disease, injury, or genetic chimerism. It occurs in humans and some
breeds of cats and dogs. Heterochromia iridis or heterochromia iridum is
Heterochromia of the eye, and it can either be sectorial or complete.
iridis in cats is when one iris is a different color from the other, and
sectorial heterochromia iridis in cats is when part of one iris is a different
color from its remainder.
What causes heterochromia iridis in cats?
Most of the cats with
two different colored eyes or eyes having two different colors, are white or at
least have white areas on their body. Their eye color is controlled by the same
gene responsible for their white fur coloring.
All kittens are born
with blue colored eyes. Blue eyes are a result of no melanin. We cannot
determine their eye color until the kittens are between 7 and 12 weeks old.
That is when the melanin begins to move into their irises. Their eye color is
determined by the amount of melanin that moves into the iris. As the kitten
grows up, her genes may prevent the melanin from reaching one eye, causing
complete heterochromia. When there are varying concentrations of melanin spread
throughout one iris, it causes sectoral heterochromia. It results in a single
eye with different colors.
As awesome as this
sounds, it is important to seek medical attention for the kitten if the eyes begin to become multi-colored
after reaching maturity. A kitten will develop healthy eye color within the
first 12 weeks of its life. Any change in color after that may be caused
by inflammation, blood in the eye, or iron deposit.
Which breeds of cat
have a higher rate of heterochromia iridis?
is caused by the gene that causes all-white or bi-colored cats. Only some
breeds with this gene are more prone to this condition and include the Japanese
Bobtail, Turkish Angora, and the Turkish Van, though other breeds with the
right genetic cocktail can also have heterochromia iridis.
Cats with heterochromia
iridis are sweet and unique. If you are blessed with the company of one of
these beauties, consider yourself lucky.