10 Interesting Things to Know About Your Cat's Eye Color
Whether they are blue, yellow or even green, cats' eyes always have a little mysterious side that intrigues and makes more than one crack.
In fact, this mystery behind the color of cats' eyes is sometimes the result of many factors like the level of melanin in the eyes, the activity of retinal cells, the breed of the cat, and many more.
Discover 10 things you absolutely need to know about your little cat's eye color !
All kittens are born with blue eyes and change as they grow
It is an observation that is made in all cats from birth, kittens have blue eyes, because at this stage, the melanocyte cells contained in the iris of the eye, do not yet secrete the coloring pigment in the eyes, called melanin.
Melanin is a dark pigment, which is secreted after at least 4 weeks of life, and whose concentration determines the ability of the eye to absorb light, and therefore also the color of the eye.
In kittens, it is then the structural color of the iris (blue) which gives the color tone of the eyes. So if you are a fan of blue-eyed cats, wait until this time before commenting on the subject, unless they belong to a breed specifically known to have blue eyes.
Cats See Colors But Not Like Humans
Studies have shown that cats have the ability to distinguish colors, thereby believing thoughts to the contrary - that cats only see things in black and white.
However, the spectrum of colors that cats' eyes can see is limited compared to that of humans : cats see some colors, but not all.
Cats only see colors whose wavelength varies between those of blue and green, but they cannot differentiate them, a bit like in a color blind man.
The color of the cat's eyes depends on the melanin level.As
we mentioned above, for the coloring of the cat's eyes, everything is played out at the level of the iris whose melanocyte cells secrete melanin, which is responsible for the eye colour.
As you probably know, dark colors capture more light than light colors. This is why melanin, which is responsible for capturing light in the eyes, is dark in color.
Thus, the more melanocytes secrete melanin, the more the eye will have a dark shade which, mixed with the blue color of the iris, will determine the final color of the cat's eyes. This varies mainly between blue, green and yellow.
A cat with blue eyes is a cat with a melanin-free eye.
It is therefore obvious! Because, in order for the eyes of your little hairball to retain their blue color from birth, the melanocyte cells in the iris of their eyes should not secrete melanin, even after 4 weeks of life.
Thus, his eyes remain devoid of melanin pigment, and their blue color is only the result of the light which refracts on the blue membrane of the iris.
The more active the cells, the more intense
the eye color. If the color of cats' eyes varies between blue, green and yellow, this is not to say that they are the only colors, we will say that this are the main colors.
Indeed, there are also different shades, or rather degrees of intensity, which increase the variety of colors of the eyes of felines. And precisely these nuances are due to the activity of the melanocyte cells of the iris.
So the more active these cells are at producing melanin, the more intense the coloring will be on your cat's eyes. You can then distinguish eyes that are light or dark blue, or a light or very dark yellow that resembles orange.
Purebred cats have the most intense eye colors.
This is a remark made on many specimens, and in fact, it is no accident. For many breeds of cats, their appearance is not natural, but rather the result of multiple crosses made by breeders.
Thus, to obtain characteristic traits in a cat (such as eye color), they selected felines with specific colored eyes to serve as guinea pigs. This explains why in general, compared to alley cats, purebred cats have the most intense eye colors.
The color of the eyes does not depend on the color of the fur
At this level, it should be noted that, just as melanin participates in the coloring of the cat's eyes, it also determines the color of the coat. But the melanocyte cells in the iris, which are responsible for the color of the eyes, are different from those in the bulb and the epithelial sheath, which are responsible for the color of the coat.
In general, the activity of these cells, whether more or less intense, occurs independently in all felines.
However, there is one (only) peculiarity reserved for cats with white fur, because the gene responsible for this white coat has a dominant character which very often conditions the eyes to be either all 2 blue, or one blue and one. 'other green (in this case we speak of wall eyes).
Cats with yellow eyes are the most common
Yellow is the main color that we meet most often, when it comes to the eyes of cats. The green color which requires a melanin not too dark to couple with the blue of the iris is rarerare, while the blue color which supposes an absence of melanin is even more.
The shades of yellow are therefore the most numerous and vary from fairly bright pale yellow to rather dark and intense golden yellow, which resembles the color orange.
Dark eyes are a rare color
Yes, remember that the intensity or dark appearance of eye color increases with the activity of melanocyte cells to produce melanin. So for the color to be darker, melanocyte cells need to produce abundant melanin, which is not at all ordinary.
This is the reason why cats with eyes of dark colors such as copper and orange are hardly encountered.
If the eye color of an adult cat changes, it is a sign of a health problem
After the kitten has passed its childish period, on becoming an adult, the color of its eyes changes from blue to their final color, that it normally keeps until the end of its life. If it changes again when he is an adult, it is a sign that he is suffering from a disease which must be diagnosed immediately by your veterinarian.
When it comes to the eyes, sometimes the problem is serious so don't waste time. With any luck, it could be mild feline leukemia.