Heterochromia in Kitties

September 03, 2019

Heterochromia in Kitties

Have you ever seen a kitty with different-colored eyes? 


Heterochromia is when one cat has two different-colored eyes and is quite common in certain cat breeds. Cats have light-colored eyes unlike dogs and people (have you ever seen a cat with dark brown eyes?) but, this doesn't mean that heterochromia is only seen in cats---people and dogs have it as well. 


In this blog post, we will go through everything you need to know about Heterochromia in cats.


So, let’s get started.

Cat Breeds and Heterochromia

As I mentioned earlier, Heterochromia is common in certain cat breeds. This includes the following: 

  • Cornish
  • British Shorthairs 
  • Sphynxes
  • Turkish Vans
  • Scottish Folds
  • Turkish Vans
  • Japanese Bobtails
  • Devon Res
  • Munchkins
  • Siamese

Additionally, this condition is also common in white cats of any breed.


Moving on.

How does heterochromia occur in cats?

The colored part of the eye is called the iris. This color is determined by the presence of melanin--that’s also the pigment that gives color to your skin. 

Types of heterochromia in cats

Heterochromia can either be acquired--which means the eyes change color overtime--or hereditary--which means that the kitty was born with different colored eyes. There are three variations that hereditary heterochromia comes in: 

  1. Heterochromia irides or complete heterochromia in which one eye is completely different in color than the other
  2. Sectoral in which a part of the kitty’s  iris is blue and the rest of that eye is a different color)
  3. Central heterochromia in which only a part of the cat’s iris is blue and the rest of that eye is a different color

In most cases, cats have complete heterochromia. However, sectoral and central forms can also be seen commonly. 


However, if a cat has acquired heterochromia, the main factor behind the condition may be a loss of pigmentation in the iris which can be attributed to several factors. These include: 

  • Medications
  • Physical injuries
  • Inflammatory condition 

There are other conditions that may affect eye color in kitties--some of which can even lead to permanent damage and loss of vision in extreme cases. So, it is best to take your kitty to the vet if her eyes change color. 

Um, my cat’s eyes changed color. What Should I do? 

If there’s a change in the color of your cat’s eyes, take her to the vet to have an eye exam conducted. Conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, nuclear sclerosis, uveitis, corneal dystrophy, retinal dysplasia, and underdeveloped optic nerve can be some causes of the symptoms. 


Do you have a cat with heterochromia? Let us know in the comments section! 


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