Whether your cat’s just given birth, or you’re adopting a kitten, you may be asking “when do kitten’s eyes change color? In this post you’ll discover all about newborn kitten’s eyes. Including, when they open, when to expect a change in color, and if it’s possible to determine your cat’s eye color.
The first few weeks of life
A newborn kitten’s eyes are closed tightly shut and unable to open. In fact it can take up to two weeks before they start to open. Up until this point the only senses she’ll have are touch and smell making her very vulnerable.
Just like human babies, every kitten is unique and matures at a different pace. However, if you’re at all concerned about your kitten’s development ask your vet for advice.
It can take up to seven weeks before your newborn kitty can focus properly and able to process what she sees. Up until around six weeks everything would look like a blur, so she’ll be relying on her other senses to survive.
Work in progress
Even at seven weeks your kitten’s vision is still work in progress. In fact, full maturity may take anywhere from three to six months. During this time eye color may go through several changes.
This is why it can be very hard to determine the final color of a kitten’s eyes. Even a breeder can’t guarantee a certain eye color. Whether you’re getting an American Shorthair, or Persian kitty, you won’t know her adult eye color until she’s six months old.
Why all kittens have blue eyes
If you’ve ever wondered why all kittens have blue eyes it’s simply because pigmentation doesn’t develop until around six weeks. This is because vision is the first priority in your kitten’s development, with eye color being second.
Actually, the blue color you can see is an optical illusion. It’s actually lack of pigmentation and the angle of light seen as it passes through that makes them appear blue.
Cells responsible for producing melanin are known as melanocytes. These are found inside your kitten’s iris and only start working once she’s mature enough.
Up until this point her eyes will continue to appear blue. Of course, it can be sad to see them change color as this is part of their appeal! That wide eyed innocent look soon changes into a mature kitty face as your little one grows.
The only breed guaranteed to have blue eyes is the Siamese. Also, pure white cats often have blue eyes as well. Apart from that it’s pretty much pot luck how your cat’s eye color will turn out.
What determines a cat’s final eye color?
So now you know when a kitten’s eyes start to change color you may want to know what determines the result. Of course, genetics is the main factor with each parent playing a part.
The amount of melanin produced determines both fur and eye color. As we’re focused on eye color I’ll only be covering that here, but you can find out more about fur color in other posts.
Once your kitten reaches her sixth or seventh week her eyes become mature enough to start producing melanin. As mentioned before, up until this point her eyes will appear blue. If this continues beyond this stage then chances are your cat will have blue eyes into adulthood.
Just like with skin color, the amount of melanin produced in your kitten’s iris determines eye color. As a result, albino cats will always have pale blue eyes. Black cats however, can have a range of eye colors from gold, green, to yellow.
You’ll rarely see a completely black cat with blue eyes though, but tuxedos, and those with white patches can often have blue eye coloring. Ginger cats usually have green, gold, or bronze color eyes.
Certain breeds of cat have blue eyes including Siamese, Tonkinese, and Javanese. Their eye coloring may deepen into an intense blue though as the kittens mature into early adulthood though.
In fact, Tonkinese often have a distinctive aqua blue eye color rarely seen in other breeds. If you have purebred kittens you’ll probably find their eye coloring is more intense and vivid than moggies.
When you should be concerned about your kitten’s eyes
Most times you’ll find a kitten’s eye development is completely normal. Cats are quite healthy on the whole after all. However, there are some things you should be aware of.
If you notice your kitten blinking excessively or pawing at her eyes, you need to take a look. Sometimes play can result in scratches, especially rough and tumble games with siblings.
Most times your kitten’s eye will heal itself, but stopping her from rubbing or pawing it may be a problem. In some cases your vet may advise an Elizabethan collar for the short term.
Eye injuries in a kitten or cat must always be treated by a vet. Depending on the injury, topical ointments or eye drops may be given.
Closed eyes that fail to open properly is another cause for concern. As mentioned previously, it can take several weeks for a kitten’s eyes to become fully open.
However, once you start noticing this change it should only take a few days. If for any reason her eyes remain shut, try gently wiping them with a warm, damp flannel.
A good idea is to use wipes especially formulated for pets. NEVER use anything containing perfumes or harsh chemicals. Pet eye wipes contains only pure natural ingredients. As it’s made specifically for cats and dogs you should be ok.
However, if you notice your kitten’s eyes getting worse, consult your vet. He or she will be able to treat what may be an infection.
Keeping your cat’s eyes healthy
Just as with humans, cats can also suffer from a range of eye diseases. Most are easily treated with antibiotics and other medications if caught early.
Looking after your kitten and ensuring you give her a healthy diet helps with eye health. In addition, watch for any unusual discharge or dirt around the eye area. Using a small piece of cotton wool soaked in warm water, gently wipe any bits of dirt.
As your kitten matures into an adult you’ll have a wonderful and loving companion for many years to come. Whether moggy or pedigree, cats make great pets.
I hope this article has helped you understand a bit more about kitten eye development and answered your question “when do kittens eyes change color?” If you’ve enjoyed this post please share. Feel free to share this pin on your “pets” board.
Also, if you have any further questions or would like to share experiences, please leave your comment below.
Wishing you a purrfect day:)