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Heterochromia Iridis in Cats

Heterochromia Iridis in Cats

Affectionately known as odd-eyed cats, felines with a set of eyes that don’t match have a condition known as heterochromia iridis. It’s a naturally occurring uneven distribution of melanin. That’s all. No need to worry about how to treat or prevent it—because you couldn’t if you wanted to.

It may rattle your sense of symmetry, but having one blue eye and one brown eye won’t impede your kitty’s leaping, lunging, lurking, lazing, or looking. Although at times dizzying to look at, a cat with two distinctly colored eyes sees the world as clearly as you do—and maybe more.

Connect the Dots…Or Lack Thereof

The highest instance of heterochromia in purebred cats occurs in those that are all white. Because, like with dogs, heterochromia is caused by a variant distribution of melanin, the unusual eye coloring is more tied to coat color than anything else. In white cats, one eye can be blue, and the other copper, orange, yellow or green.

Prized Peeepers

While in the case of some dogs, Malamutes for example, heterochromia can be considered a flaw in the professional show world, in some breeds of cat this feature is highly prized. The Turkish Van, Turkish Angora, Japanese Bobtail and Sphynx are all purebreds that are celebrated for this rare trait.

Although not specifically mentioned in the Koran, legend has it that the prophet Muhmammad’s beloved pet Angora, Muezza, was an odd-eyed cat.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled For Changes

The born-that-way beauties with the one-two punch of eye color are just fine, but pay attention if your cat’s eyes begin to change color as they age. A gradual change from bashful brown to a cloudy grey or blue in an older cat could be the signs of a trouble on the horizon.

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