There’s something truly awe-inspiring about cats with blue eyes. Deep blue eyes are wonderfully captivating and soulful, and they come in a variety of shades throughout our feline friends. However, not all cat breeds are necessarily capable of having blue eyes.
While all kittens are born with blue eyes, their eye color will typically change as they mature, adjusting to the production of larger amounts of pigment (melatonin). This means adult cats with blue eyes aren’t as common as though with yellow, gold, and similar eye colors.
Usually, when blue eyes occur in a cat, this is a result of something to do with the feline’s genetics. Certain breeds can pass down specific genes from generation to generation.
If you’ve always had an eye for the blue-eyed beauties of the cat world, here’s everything you need to know about cat breeds with blue eyes.
Which Cat Breeds Can Have Blue Eyes?
Just because a cat breed is capable of blue eyes doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to have this color. There are only a handful of cat breeds that always have blue eyes, like the Balinese cat, with its phenomenal, vivid blue irises. Let’s take a look at some cat breeds with blue eyes.
The Balinese is a cat with beautiful dark coloring around its face, ears, paw, and tail, and creamy white coloring elsewhere – similar to a Siamese. The main difference between a Balinese and Siamese is the length of the coat. Balinese are often long-hair cats.
Balinese are known for being playful, loving, and inquisitive, making them an excellent family bet. Balinese cats almost always have a deep blue set of eyes, although in very rare occasions the blue might seem a little paler.
Weight: 6-11 pounds
Defining characteristics: Longtail, slender body, and pointed ears, with the same markings as the Siamese. Eyes are usually a vivid blue.
Birman cats are similar to Siamese and Balinese, as they’re a “pointed” cat breed. Once again, you’ll typically see these cats with a cream/white-colored body, and darker shading around the paws, face, and tail. The breed always has blue eyes, similar to the Balinese.
Birman cats are beautiful, elegant cats, considered to be playful and sweet. Although Birman cats can be quite vocal, they’re not quite as chatty as the Siamese.
Weight: 10-12 pounds
Defining characteristics: Long, silky hair, pointed markings, and pale blue eyes. Color options can include chocolate, blue, seal, red, and cream.
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Probably one of the most incredible cats breeds with blue eyes, the Himalayan has a piercing blue iris color, created by crossing Persian cats with Siamese. In some cases, Himalayan cats aren’t always recognized as being separate from Persian cats by official groups.
Himalayan cats will always have vivid blue eye color, and a long coat, available in a range of colors. This breed of cat is often known for being playful and affectionate. However, many Himalayans need attention and enrichment to ensure they’re not causing trouble.
Weight: 7 to 12 pounds
Defining characteristics: Muscular build with a wide chest and long fur making them look a lot larger than they really are. The coat comes in a range of colors, from gray to blue, chocolate, and cream.
4. Ojos Azules
A unique kind of cat named after its stunning blue eyes; the Ojos Azules (the Spanish translation of "blue eyes") is a relatively new addition to the official cat breed world. Eye color is apparently a dominant gene for this breed, which dates back to the mid-1980s. This is one of the few cat breeds without a pointed or solid white coloring that still manages to maintain piercing blue eyes.
The flexibility of the gene means you can have a dark-colored cat with bright blue eyes when adopting an Ojos Azules, though the combination is quite rare. The origin of the breed is connected to a tortoiseshell cat from a colony in New Mexico, who had a litter in 1984 with intense blue eyes.
Weight: Still to be determined
Defining characteristics: Mostly short coats in a wide range of colors, except for pure white. Bright blue eyes and a standard-sized body.
With silky soft coats, scrunched up faces, and fun personalities, the Persian cat is one of the more popular breeds in the world today. Persians typically have blue eyes, but they can also have copper, green, and golden-colored irises too.
White Persians are most likely to have blue eyes, but you can find this eye color in various cats throughout the breed. Persians are known for being loving, calm, and cuddly. They do require a lot of grooming due to their unique coat, however.
Weight: 7 to 12 pounds
Defining characteristics: Squashed face with a sturdy, broad build. Vivid, round eyes in a range of colors, and a long silk coat in various patterns and color options, including tabby and calico.
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Another extremely well-known cat breed with blue eyes, Ragdoll felines are beautifully cuddly, laidback, and calm. It’s easy to fall in love with this cat’s big blue eyes. The friendly and intelligent nature of this cat is similar to that of a dog, and it’s even possible to get your cat to perform certain basic tricks in exchange for treats.
Ragdoll cats are wonderfully loving, but they also require a lot of social time and companionship. It’s easy for these cats to get lonely when left on their own for too long.
Weight: 8 to 20 pounds
Defining characteristics: Large and loving cats with long-hair coats and blue eyes. Coloring options can vary, but many include strips of color.
All Siamese cats have blue eyes, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to get the perfect eye color if you choose one of these gorgeous cats. Siamese felines are some of the most popular in the world, with their attractive pointed coloring, almond-shaped eyes, and elegant shape.
Siamese cats are affectionate and curious, they also love being the center of attention, and often spend a lot of time chatting with their owners. Expect to hear a lot of loud meowing if you decide to share your home with a Siamese.
Weight: 8 to 10 pounds
Defining characteristics: Almond-shaped eyes, sleek body, large ears, blue eyes, and a wedge-shaped head. The coloring of a Siamese cat is easy to distinguish.
Another cat breed that always has blue eyes, the snowshoe was created by breeding an American shorthair cat with a Siamese. Another pointed breed (meaning you’ll see darker colors at various points throughout the cat’s coat), this cat gets its name from their white paws, which look like they’ve been padding through the snow.
Snowshoe cats share a lot of traits with their Siamese relatives. They’re fun, energetic, and smart, though their curiosity can often get the best of them. Snowshoe cats are also vocal, and more likely to get bored without regular attention.
Weight: 7 to 12 pounds
Defining characteristics: Light body with white feet and darker points throughout the face, legs, tail, and ears. Usually, the Snowshoe cat has a white chest and a short to medium coat.
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9. Turkish Angora
The Turkish Angora cat can have a number of different eye colors, including green and amber, but blue is one of the most common options. These cats are also known for having “odd eyes” which could mean you have a cat with one blue eye and one golden. They can also have green, gold, and amber eyes.
Most Turkish Angora cats have a long silky tail and a medium-length coat (typically in white). Turkish Angoras are friendly and sociable cats who do well in environments where they can expect regular attention and play.
Weight: 5 to 9 pounds
Defining characteristics: Silky smooth coat with a long, plumed tail. White and other color combinations for the coat, as well as options for bi-color eyes.
Tonkinese cats are a cross between the beautiful Burmese cat and the Siamese. These cats can get green eyes from their Burmese side or blue eyes from their Siamese heritage, depending on the cross between the two parents.
Tonkinese cats are popular for their playful nature and extremely affectionate behavior. They’re quite small compared to some other breeds of cats and aren’t quite as chatty as the Siamese, but still like to vocalize from time to time.
Weight: 6 to 12 pounds
Defining characteristics: Platinum, blue, champagne, and natural color coats with solid, milk, and point patterns.
11. Khao Manee
Khao Manee cats are an interesting breed, not as common as many of the other options mentioned here so far. Many of these cats have a pure white coat, often lying quite close to their skin, with minimal need for grooming. They can have either gold or blue eyes, but it’s also quite common for these cats to have one eye of each color.
Khao Manee cats are extremely intelligent and often easy to train. However, it can be difficult to find these beautiful cats outside of Thailand.
Weight: 8 to 10 pounds
Defining characteristics: Pure white coat (Short haired). Common to have more bi-colored eyes. Pointy ears and an elegant frame.
The Javanese is another rare cat breed, created by crossing the Balinese, Siamese, and Colorpoint shorthair. This cat can come in a range of coat colors, often medium-long in length, with patterns like lynx and tortoiseshell. The eyes are always blue, however.
Javanese cats, similar to Siamese, are often quite vocal and talkative. They’re born white and can begin to develop print patterns later in life. These cats are very affectionate and people-oriented, so they don’t do well being left alone for long periods of time.
Weight: 5-9 pounds
Defining characteristics: Long, pointed face and ears, with mid-long fur in various colors and patterns. Can be quite talkative.
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Are Blue-Eyed Cats Rare?
Blue eyes are more common in some breeds than others. Cats’ eyes produce pigments as a result of special cells called melanocytes, distributed through the iris. A cat’s eye color will depend on the abundance of melanocytes in the front layer of the iris, otherwise known as the “stroma”.
When a cat has blue eyes, this typically means there are fewer melanocytes in the eye. This means the tissue in the iris absorbs longer light wavelengths and lets shorter wavelengths like blue reflect more easily. The lack of melanocytes responsible for blue eyes is why all kittens are born with blue eyes. The pigment doesn’t start to accumulate fully in the iris until later in life.
There are cat breeds that only ever have blue eyes, simply because of the way they’re bred and the genetics in place.
There are also cat breeds that might have a number of different eye colors, from gold and green, to blue and yellow.
Are White Fur Blue Eyed Cats Always Deaf?
If you’ve been looking into blue-eyed pets or cats for a while now, you may have heard some of them are more likely to be deaf than others. The risk of being deaf comes from a mutation in a gene called KIT.
In cats with KIT, blue eyes come from a cellular issue. These irises don’t have as many melanocytes, which are the cells mentioned above for making pigment.
These cells also play a role in the inner ear functioning of your cat.
This means white cats with fewer melanocytes are more likely to have blue eyes, but they also may not have enough melanocytes to allow them to hear properly.
Around 40% of cats with blue eyes are deaf.
If you’re choosing your new kitty from a breeder, it’s a good idea to look into the heritage of the cat, and whether there’s any evidence of KIT gene mutations you need to be aware of albinism the parents of your feline friends.
The complexity of feline genetics means a cat with parents who had a KIT gene issue doesn’t necessarily have to have this problem themselves.
Of course, it’s worth remembering a deaf kitty isn’t any less loveable than its counterparts – it might just be a little more work to train.
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