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To begin with, you should know that kittens are born with blue eyes . If you've ever had it, you may have noticed it. They may stay that way, but more often than not, their eye color begins to change as they grow and production of the pigment melanin occurs.
Adult cats with blue eyes are not very common. When this happens, it is a result of their genetics. Pigment production in their irises does not take place, and when light reflects off the rounded surface of their eyes, they appear blue. Blue-eyed cats are very diverse in personality and activity level. Some breeds are closely related, while others are more distinct.
Genes that limit coloring in cats result in blue eyes. Breeds of so-called “pointed” cats (i.e. those with specific colored spots called “points” in cats), which have a lighter body and darker extremities (like the Siamese ), always have blue eyes.
Additionally, cats that have the dominant white gene can sometimes, but not always, have blue eyes. White cats with blue eyes are also genetically predisposed to deafness.
If you want a purebred cat with blue eyes, look for breeds with seal-point coats, which are genetically linked to blue eyes. Blue-eyed cat breeds include Siamese, Balinese, Himalayan, Persian, Burmese, and Javanese.
Ragdolls are known for their sparkling blue eyes, but not all Ragdolls have this color. There is also the very rare Ojos Azules breed, which can produce cats with dark coats and blue eyes. According to experts, the blue eyes of these breeds are not linked to deafness.
It's a different story when it comes to blue-eyed white cats - about 60 percent of predominantly white kittens - who get their color from mutations in a gene called KIT. In these cats, blue eyes result from a cellular problem: their irises have fewer melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin pigments).
These same cells create skin pigment and play a role in the functioning of the inner ear. Therefore, cats with fewer melanocytes – white cats with blue eyes – may not have enough of these cells for their hearing to work properly.
White cats have a genetic makeup similar to that of albino humans, who lack pigment; this gives them certain vulnerabilities, such as sensitivity to UV rays.
It is estimated that 40% of white cats with blue eyes are deaf , which is high. But look at it this way: if 40% of these cats are deaf, that means the majority (60%) can hear.
Some cats have mixed eye colors, such as one blue eye and one green eye. In this case, hearing loss may occur in only one ear, especially on the side of the face where the blue eye is located.
Like some human babies, all kittens are born with blue eyes which may change color later. The shade begins to change to the kitten's true eye color around 6 or 7 weeks of age. Iris melanocytes – the pigment that gives the cat's eye its adult color – develop once the eye is sufficiently mature.
If you want to know if a blue-eyed cat is deaf , stand a few feet behind it and clap your hands or make another loud noise. If your cat reacts and looks towards you, he is probably not deaf , at least in both ears. Cats sense non-auditory vibrations very well, however, so position yourself on the opposite side of the room to allow enough space.
If you're still unsure if a white cat with blue eyes is deaf (or curious about a cat's hearing problems), take him to your veterinarian for more specific testing.
Here are 10 breeds of cats that always or sometimes have blue eyes as adults:
Weight: 3 to 5 kg
Size: about 45cm
Physical Characteristics: Slender body with a long tail and pointed ears; the coat is long and silky, creamy white with pointed colors (the name given to color spots in cats) around the face, ears, tail and legs.
The Balinese is a breed of cat that will always have deep blue eyes and this is perhaps one of the characteristics that makes them particularly bewitching. The long coat of these strikingly beautiful felines is the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation in purebred Siamese cats. These medium-sized cats don't just have a pretty face. They are also known for being intelligent, curious, playful and affectionate. Balinese cats can make excellent pets.
Weight: 4 to 6 kg
Size: 38 to 45 cm
Physical Characteristics: Long, silky hair and pointed markings (the name given to color spots in cats); the coat comes in seal, blue, chocolate, red, cream and tortoiseshell colors with pointed or lynx patterns.
Among blue-eyed cats, the Burmese is another particularly attractive cat breed. This long-haired cat comes in six different colors, but he always has white mittens on his paws. The exact history of the breed is not clearly known, but it may have emerged after cats imported from Burma were crossed with Siamese cats in France in the 1920s. Burmese are gentle, playful and affectionate. Although still a particularly “vocal” breed, their meows are not as loud as those of their close Balinese and Siamese relatives.
Weight: 3 to 6 kg
Physical characteristics: Broad chest, round abdomen and musculature; it can often appear larger than it actually is; its coat is cream, gray, blue, and chocolate colored with pointed markings.
The Himalayan Spotted was created by crossing Siamese and Persian cats. Not all organizations recognize the breed as distinct from Persian. The Himalayan's eyes are always a bright blue, and its coat, which comes in a variety of shades, is long and dense. Himalayans are generally incredibly affectionate and playful. However, they can get into mischief if they don't get enough love and attention. Due to its thick coat, this breed also requires extensive grooming.
Size: 35 to 45 cm
Physical Characteristics: Robust construction; “crushed” face; round, lively eyes; long, silky coat in solid, bi-color, tabby, calico and other color and pattern variations.
With their soft, silky coats, distinctive squashed faces, and gentle personalities, Persians are one of the most popular and recognizable cat breeds. White Persians often have blue eyes. Persians are known for being undemanding, calm and affectionate. They love nothing better than to curl up on their owner's lap to receive affection. However, you will need to prepare for a very demanding grooming regime due to its lush coat.
Weight: 4 to 5 kg
Size: 20 to 25 cm
Physical Characteristics: Smooth body, almond-shaped blue eyes, large ears, wedge-shaped head.
The popular Siamese has charmed cat lovers around the world for decades. With her almond-shaped blue eyes, sharp color, elegant physique and sociable nature, isn't that a surprise? Meezers, as they are affectionately called, are very intelligent and curious. They also like to be the center of attention and won't hesitate to tell you when they need more cuddles. With a wide range of vocalizations and a loud meow, they don't like to be ignored.
Weight: 3 to 7 kg
Size: About 30 cm
Physical Characteristics: Generally short-haired; wide variety of colors except white, although white spots are accepted.
The Ojos Azules (the Spanish translation for "blue eyes") is a rare cat breed , and its breed standard is still being developed. However, its eyes are still an unusually deep shade of blue, although it is not a sharp or solid white color. The breed's origins date back to 1984, when a tortoiseshell cat from a feral colony in New Mexico produced a litter with intense blue eyes like hers. These cats went on to produce litters with a variety of markings and perhaps the deepest blue eyes ever seen in a cat breed.
Weight: 4 to 9 kg
Size: 23 to 28 cm
Physical Characteristics: Large semi-long coat, blue eyes, variable coloring.
It's hard to find a more laid-back cat than the ragdoll. And it's easy to be seduced by these charming cats and their big blue eyes. Their friendly and intelligent nature is often compared to that of dogs. It's not uncommon for ragdolls to do tricks to get treats. To prevent these energetic and social cats from becoming bored, it is important that they have plenty of company during the day and enrichment in the home.
Physical characteristics: Light body with darker spots on the ears, face, legs and tail; breast generally white; short to medium long hair.
The Snowshoe cat was created by crossing Siamese cats with the American shorthair. Another pointed breed, these cats always have blue eyes. They get their name from their white muffled legs that appear to have been soaked in snow. Not surprisingly, snowshoes share many traits with their Siamese relatives. They want to participate in everything. They are intelligent, loud and easily bored.
Physical characteristics: Basic colors are platinum, champagne, blue and natural; the patterns are solid, mink and dot.
The Tonkinese is a cross between the Siamese and the Burmese. It has a lovely soft, pointed color, and its eyes can be blue, aqua, or yellow-green. These cats tend to be very affectionate and very playful. They are not as talkative as the Siamese, but they express their feelings.
Weight: 2 to 4 kg
Physical Characteristics: Long, silky hair, white with various color combinations.
Blue is the most common eye color of the exquisite Turkish Angora , but its eyes can also be green, golden, amber, and even bi-colored. This cat often has a shimmering white coat and a long body. He is quite affectionate and friendly and is best suited to a home where he will have company for much of the day.
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