Cat Eye Colors Ranked By Rarity

Cats can charm you and make you fall head over heels in love with them just with their eyes. Even if they have done something mischievous, they will convince you of their innocence with their adorable round orbs.

Although cat eye colors have more variation than any other animals, not all of them have the same rarity. And since the eyes can be so hypnotizing, it is quite normal to wonder if your cat has one of the uncommon eye pigmentations.  

We have made a list of all possible feline eye colors and have ranked them according to their rarity. If you are wondering about your pet, you can take a look right now.

How Do Cats Get Their Eye Colors?


Melanin is a natural pigment found in most organisms, including cats. It determines what color their skin and fur might be. So, a cat with higher melanin in the body will have darker fur.

For cats, the melanin passed down from their parent genes also determines what color their eyes will be. While most kittens are born with cloudy blue eyes, it changes to their true color as they grow.

The more active they are, and the more melanocytes produced by their irises, the darker their eyes will be. However, you might see a few exceptions, such as black cats with lighter eyes. There are lot more inconsistencies, proving that fur coat and eye colors are not interlinked.

When Do the Eyes Reach Their True Color? 


Like we said before, the eyes that kittens are born with may change drastically as they change. For the first 10 days, they do not even open their eyes and remain completely dependent on their mother to take care of them. 

Within two weeks, they will open their eyes, and most often, it remains in a clouded shade of blue. This starts to change from the 6-week mark, and you may see some tiny flecks on it or a gradual tint. By ten weeks, they have laser-sharp vision, and the color change will stop by the time they are 3 months old.

What Is the Spectrum of Cat Eye Colors?


Feline eyes have two layers on their iris which contain pigment-promoting cells called melanocytes. One layer is known as the stroma, while the other is known as the epithelium. And the number of cells in both layers varies slightly.

In the former layer, the cells remain scattered while they are firmly packed in the latter. If the number of melanocytes differs in two eyes, then the cat might even have mismatched colors!

Remember, it can be a little hard to discern your cats’ eyes since the color might sit between two shades. That is why they are usually described within a spectrum rather than just individual bands.

Down below, I have listed all the colors, starting from most common to the rarest.

  1. Cats with Blue Eyes
blue eye cat


A cat with blue eyes lies on the lowest end of the spectrum and is the most common. The blue is developed due to the lack of melanin, which is why kittens are born with sapphire eyes. The color that you see is actually the light bouncing off the curved edges of the irises.

It usually symbolizes innocence as well as piercing coldness. Although fur coats and eye colors are not correlated, cats with white or other light-colored furs tend to have such shade.

Unfortunately, if both the irises are of the same color, the possibility of your cat being deaf rises significantly. It is because the gene coding that is responsible for the white coat and blue eyes also produces a weak cochlea within the cat’s inner ear.

This probability decreases for odd-eyed cats. You may get Siamese, Ragdoll, American Shorthair, Balinese, Persian, Maine Coon amongst such cat breeds. Himalayan and Snowshoe are two other breeds that might have blue eyes. Within them, Tonkinese has the most unique and beautiful shade of aqua. 

  1. Cats with Green Eyes


Green eyes have always been synonymous with cats, especially with their mystical powers. There are even songs written about it. I mean, who has not heard of David Bowie’s “Cat People”? In both literature and films, cats are more than often described as having mesmerizing green eyes.

Cats with such shades have minimal melanin. Even the shade differs across different cats, from glassy green to yellow undertones, true greens, or mixed with hues of blue. You may also notice some flecks of gold or yellow within them.

Russian Blue, Sokoke, and Burmilla are some of the breeds which might possess different varieties of green. There is also the Chinchilla Longhair in this category. Besides, the Egyptian Mau and Jaguars are also notorious for their gooseberry green eyes.

  1. Cats with Hazel Eyes


This falls next inline within the spectrum because of the mixture of green and golden yellow. Hazel is an uncommon color for cats and is usually found in wild cats of temperate regions such as the Bengal, Cornish Rex, Singapura, Abyssinian, etc. 

You will also notice this unique and rare color in lynxes and bobcats.

  1. Cats with Yellow and Amber Eyes


Yellow and orange eyes are fairly common amongst cats. You must have seen them often in black cats and in breeds such as Somali, Burmese, or Cornish Rex.

Tigers and lions also have a blend of yellow and orange eyes. They are mostly associated with supernatural and eeriness and might have superstitions surrounding them.

Although yellow might be a common color, it is still quite unique. It is mainly developed due to low melanin. And since no two cats have the same level of pigmentation, the intensity of the yellow color amongst different cats varies widely. It can range from pale lemon to golden and even look rich amber.

Golden eyes in cats are quite remarkable. They have an impressive depth and brilliance that swoops you right in. 

  1. Cats with Orange Eyes


Orange for eyes is relatively rare. There are no specific cat breeds with such color since it was originally developed by British cat breeders. But you might see them in Devon Rex, Japanese Bobtail, American Wirehair, Maine Coon, Turkish Van, etc.

Sometimes, amber and copper eyes are concluded as orange eyes instead of yellow. But orange eyes can be quite vivid and intense. 

If your cat has a different eye color that suddenly turns orange, it can indicate an inflammation known as uveitis which is triggered by diabetes, high blood pressure, eye trauma, tumors, and other causes. You should visit your vet if this happens.

  1. Cats with Copper Eyes


This is the darkest cat eye color there is. The brown may have cool or warm undertones with hues of red and orange mixed in them. There may also be flecks of yellow, green, or orange dispersed within them.

  1. Dichromatic Eyes


Rarely, some cats may have two colors in just one eye. Known as dichromatic eyes, they are formed due to inconsistent melanic distribution within the iris.

There are two types of such eyes. Either the pupil ring has a distinct band that then bleeds out and blends into another color, or the eye is split into sections having different colors.

Both eyes do not have to be dichroic. But if they are, they might be a mirror image of each other. A lot of people, especially professionals in cat shows, may consider this as a flaw, but others find this rare feature to be quite fancy.

Cats with Two Different Eye Colors


Due to a genetic mutation called heterochromia iridium in cats, the distribution and concentration of pigments are hindered within the iris. This condition may be hereditary or congenital. The cats may also develop this after an illness, injury, or as a side effect of a medication.

Cats with two eye colors are known as “odd-eyed” cats and have a blue eye in common. The other colors may be orange, yellow, copper, hazel, or green.

You will mostly see Turkish Vans, Japanese Bobtails, Turkish Angoras, Persians, Sphinxes, and Oriental Shorthairs prone to having unidentical eyes.

Difference Between White Cats with Blue Eyes and Albinos? 

Sphinx Cat


Albino cats do not contain any melanin within their body and basically have the light reflecting the blood flow in their eyes. So, technically, they are not white but colorless. Thus, they also do not possess the dominant white gene, so they may not have any hearing problems.

Albino felines can be very sensitive as well. They do react well to sunlight and can be sensitive to bright lights. On the other hand, white cats with blue eyes have the dominant white gene, which gives them their color while also causing hearing problems.

So, Which Is the Rarest Eye Color in Cats? 


If you have read through the different eye colors, then you probably already know which one is the rarest color. Obviously, it is amber or orange! Since cats have low melanin in their body, these darker shades do not appear as often as others. A lot of people consider hazel to be rare too.

Conclusion


Cats’ eyes can be extremely beautiful and striking. However, at the end of the day, it does not matter what the cat eye colors are because they are going to steal your heart anyways.

And if you have a cat with a rare shade, remember to give them extra hugs and kisses tonight for being the unique furry little creatures they are.

Scroll to Top