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Can Cats Have Purple Eyes – Fact Or Myth?

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One of the most lovely and expressive elements of a cat’s face is its large eyes. The color of your cat’s eyes is often one of their most unique and magical features, as they can often look like they are changing color based on your cat’s mood! Cats can have a range of eye colors from blue to green to brown, but can cats have purple eyes?

Cats cannot have purple eyes. While your cat’s eye color might appear purple in certain lights, no mammals have purple eyes. Depending on how dilated your cat’s pupils are at a particular time of day, their eyes might appear purple. 

If you think your cat’s eyes are starting to look purple, but they appear to be a more bruised-looking shade of purple, that is a reason to take your cat in to see their vet. Keep an eye out for brown or black spots on their eyes, which indicate your cat has a health problem.

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What Determines Cat Eye Color

One of the most significant variables that determine a cat’s eye color is its breed. The genetics of each cat breed are typically predisposed to include a specific range of colors.

Cat eye color is determined by two factors: the layer of pigment cells, called melanocytes, in the back of the iris and whether those cells produce two types of pigment – brown (eumelanin) or yellow (phaeomelanin).

The color of your cat’s fur also plays a significant role in their color. While there are an infinite amount of shades of each color out there, there is a lot of science that goes into what your cat’s eyes turn out looking like.

A cat’s coloring and breed both affect the amount of melanin or pigmentation production that takes place. While there is some variability to this, and it is not an exact science, certain breeds such as Siamese cats always have bright blue eyes.

It is not normal for a cat’s eye color to change once it is fully grown. If you begin to notice your cat’s eyes changing color, they may have an infection. Sometimes their eyes will turn orange, which can signal a problem with inflammation.

Additionally, your cat’s eyes might get darker in color if there is a problem with their red blood cells.

What Color Eyes Can Cats Have

Cats most often have golden, brown, green, or blue eyes. The most common eye color you will find in cats is a shade of golden yellow/orange. The actual color of yellow of your cat’s eyes can vary significantly from a pale yellow to a more vivid color. This is the color of the eye that reflects the highest degree of melanocyte activity.

The second most common color for cats is green or a mixture of green and hazel. This reflects a slightly lower level of melanocyte and is the most common color for cats that live in more tropical and temperate climates.

Blue eyes are less common in cats and contain the lowest number of melanocytes. Typically cats that have blue eyes will have lighter colored fur. Another fun fact about cat’s genetics- white cats with blue eyes is more likely to be deaf than any other type of cat. 

What Is The Rarest Eye Color For Cats

The rarest eye color to see is hazel or orange eyes for cats. Most cats have a low level of melanin in their eyes, allowing them to have very light-colored eyes. 

Another condition that is quite rare in cats is cats that have two different colored eyes. Cats that have two different colored eyes have the condition heterochromia. This name is descended from Greek origin and means “different” and “chromia,” which perfectly explains the condition of having two different eyes. 

Heterochromia is a condition that occurs in many species and is not isolated to the cat family. The condition takes place when a white spotting gene blocks the pigment in the iris during an eye’s development. 

This condition most often occurs in white-colored cats such as the Turkish van. Cats can also have one eye with two different colors, such as half gold and half brown. 

These are more of an anomaly, as the dominant white gene masks pigment distribution in part of the eye. If your cat has any of these rare conditions, you should admire them, as they are quite beautiful!  

How Do I Know What Color My Cat’s Eyes Are

You can tell the color of your cat’s eyes based heavily on their genetics and from looking at your cat’s parents. Something to note is that you will not be able to tell what the color of your cat’s eyes is right away when they are born.

Cats are born with their eyes sealed closed, and it takes them seven to ten days before their eyes begin to open.

Most cats are born with eyes that are a cloudy shade of blue, but this does not mean they will always have blue eyes.

Usually, when a cat is around six weeks old, its eye color will begin to change, and by the time they are a few months old, you can say with more certainty what their adult eye color is going to be.

Unless you have a cat with white or very light-colored fur, you should anticipate that their eyes will start changing color around the three or four-month mark.

There is a link between the eye color of cats and the pedigree of the cats. Typically more pedigreed cats will have a more distinct eye color than a tabby cat. A Russian blue cat will have vivid green eyes, whereas Burmese cats have very bright golden eyes. 

Other Considerations

The mystery of whether some rare cats have purple eyes is an urban myth most cat owners have often heard. While it is sadly impossible to see a cat with purple eyes in real life, that is just one of many rumors surrounding cats. There are many myths surrounding cats that are entirely false.

For example, you have heard the myth that all cats hate water. This is false! Certain breeds of cats like Bengals love the water and will jump into your bathtub on their own.

To take it even further, some cats are great swimmers too. Big cats you find in the wild like leopards and jaguars also are excellent swimmers and utilize the water as a significant avenue to find food.

Another myth that is not entirely true is that cats always land on their feet. While cats are quite nimble and have a built-in righting reflex that helps your cat orient itself if they are falling, this is not accurate one hundred percent of the time.

It is fair to say cats are excellent at regaining their balance, but they can still injure themselves if they land incorrectly or fall from a very tall height.