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Amazing Facts About Your Cat’s Eye Color

cat eye color
  • 22 June 2017
  • Pet Wants

If you ask a group of cat owners to name three things that most draw them to cats, eyes are probably going to be one of the most common answers. When you look at cats, it’s hard not to take notice of their eyes and eye color as they often seem to change color based on the light that’s around them. As a company that’s very proud to provide great cat food to pet owners, we have the opportunity to have lots of interesting conversations about these animals. That’s why we want to take a look at some really cool facts about cats and their eyes:

Understanding Where Color Comes From

No conversation about the eye color of cats would be complete without talking about the iris. That’s because this is the colored area around the pupil. Digging a little deeper, the iris is actually made up of two layers. Known as the stroma and the epithelium, these layers are responsible for producing the cells that create pigment.

Melanin Isn’t Just for Skin Color

Melanin is a dark brown to black pigment. While melanin is most commonly associated with skin color, it’s also responsible for the color of cats’ eyes. Produced by the cells mentioned in the previous section, which are known as melanocytes, an increased amount of melanin means a cat will have darker eyes. Another interesting note about the genetics of cat eye color is they don’t ever get brown or black. Instead, the darkest color you’ll see in a cat’s eyes is a deep, rich copper.

The Intensity of Cats’ Eyes

Intense is a word you’ll commonly hear people use when they’re talking about how cats’ eyes look. Since there’s definitely a spectrum of intensity across cats’ eyes, you may be wondering how it’s determined. The answer ties back to melanocytes. The more active these cells are in a specific cat, the more intense their eye color will be. Related to this is the fact that purebred cats generally have more intense eye colors. But what doesn’t tend to be linked is fur and eye color. That’s due to the fact that different genes are responsible for the color of each.

Blue Eyes

With all this discussion about melanocytes determining the darkness and intensity of cats’ eye color, you may be wondering how cats end up with blue eyes. This actually occurs when a cat doesn’t have any pigment in their irises. As a result of the eyes’ rounded shape, light refracts through the surface and produces the color blue.

For more information about pets or to try one of our nutritious formulas, please contact Pet Wants Scottsdale at: (602) 885-8081.