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Is It True That Most Cats Have Green Eyes? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Blue golden shaded british shorthair cat with green eyes

Is It True That Most Cats Have Green Eyes? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Eyes may be the window to the soul, but in cats, those windows come in many colors. If you’ve ever wondered if it’s true that most cats have green eyes, we are here to answer your question! In fact, green is not the most common eye color in cats, although it is not the rarest either.

In this article, we’ll discuss which cat breeds often have green eyes and how cat eye color develops in the first place. We’ll also reveal the most common eye color among our feline friends and why some purebred cats seem to have the most gorgeous hues to their eyes.

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What Makes Cat Eyes Green (Or Any Other Color?)

cat with green eyes in catnip
Image Credit: Georgia Evans, Shutterstock

The colored portion of the cat’s eye is called the iris, and it surrounds the dark pupil in the center. Within the iris, there are cells called melanocytes that produce pigment or melanin. They are the same cells responsible for the cat’s coat color, and the kitty’s specific genetic makeup controls both.

The more melanin in the iris, the darker their eyes will be. Blue-eyed cats are the exception to this general rule. Their eyes have no melanin, and their eyes have technically no color. However, as a result of how the light scatters off the eye, they appear blue to us.

Kittens generally appear to be born with blue eyes because their melanocytes don’t start producing until they are 4–6 weeks old. You may not be able to tell their true eye color until they are as old as 4 months.

What Is the Most Common Cat Eye Color?

grey nebulung cat laying in window
Image Credit: mama_mia, Shutterstock

Generally, yellow/gold is considered the most common eye color for cats. The cats’ eyes can range from pale yellow to dark amber. Most mixed-breed cats tend to have eyes either this color or the next most common, hazel (green-gold).

Green eyes are found in some mixed-breed cats and are common in purebreds, like the Egyptian Mau, Russian Blue, Sphynx, and Norwegian Forest Cat. The specific tint of the eyes can be anywhere from pale green to emerald to dark, hunter green.

Other possible cat eye colors are blue, orange, and copper. Copper tends to be as dark as cat eyes get since cats don’t display true brown or black hues.

Purebred cats are bred deliberately rather than mating at random, and for this reason, it is often claimed that they have the brightest and most vivid eye colors. Many of these kitties have breed standards calling for a specific color, and cat breeders can purposefully choose the cats with the most highly colored eyes to reproduce.

Is Coat Color Related to Eye Color?

black sam sawet with yellow eyes
Image Credit: KerngKerStock, Shutterstock

As we mentioned, both coat and eye color are controlled by melanocytes and dictated by genetics. However, they are not the result of the same melanocytes, so there typically is not a connection between coat and eye color. For example, you may see a black cat with pale yellow eyes.

Because of their specific dominant color gene, white cats are more likely to have blue eyes than other coat colors. While you may have heard that all white cats with blue eyes are also deaf, that is a myth. However, there is inherited deafness connected with the white color gene.

Rare & Unusual Cat Eye Colors

siamese cat with blue eyes
Image Credit: chromatos, Shutterstock

Rarely, you see a cat with two different colored eyes, which is a condition called heterochromia iridum. This phenomenon is usually inherited from the parents. Some serious medical eye conditions can also result in color change, and they always warrant a vet visit.

A dichromatic eye is the rarest of all cat eye colors and indicates two different shades within the same iris. This intriguing look is caused when the cat has differing pigment levels in sections of the iris.

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Although it’s natural to be drawn to a cat with striking eye color, such as green, selecting a new pet based on looks is unwise. Many cats with green eyes might be purebred and come with unique personalities, health conditions, and care needs. For the cat’s sake, consider whether they are a good match for your household or living situation before committing to adopt or buy.

Featured Image Credit: Anna Azarenko, Shutterstock

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