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When Do Kittens Eyes Change Color?

when do kittens eyes change color

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

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:)

Kathy

8 thoughts on “When Do Kittens Eyes Change Color?

  1. WOW, makes so much sense to me now. I was wondering why my cat’s eyes were blue when he was a baby. I have an orange tabby. He is 11 years old now. This question only took that long to get answered lol. Great article, what’s your favorite type of cat? Mine is for sure Orange Tabby’s. I will always have one of those no matter what!

    1. Hi Alex, thanks for your comment:) I love orange tabbies, but as yet have never owned one. My favourite has to be the Tuxedo as they’re so intelligent. I’m probably biased as I have a very handsome black and white Tuxedo! Thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed this post:)

  2. I never knew this about cats/kittens.
    When you mentioned that a kitten has blue eyes, I just thought that particular cat is blue-eyed. And didn’t know that it changes as the kitten grows.
    This is totally new me.

    Have you known these things even before you had a cat?

    1. Hi Mina, thank you for your comment:) All kittens have blue eyes but if you look carefully you’d notice a gradual change as they develop and grow. Some breeds such as Siamese keep their blue eye colour, but many have either green or amber eyes as adults. Thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed this post:)

  3. I had no idea that kittens normally have blue eyes. I have never had a cat younger than 6 weeks. I am kind of addicted to Bombays. It turns out, the breed started out in my hometown of Louisville, KY. They are a mixture of Burmese and American short hairs.

    They are quite vocal, athletic, smart, and playful. I highly recommend Bombays if you are looking for a new cat.

    I have to say, when I was younger, I didn’t like cats… at all. Men just didn’t own cats, and back in the day litter boxes stunk (or maybe everyone bought cheap litter. I am 58 years young so I have been around the block a few times.

    Nowadays, I would rather own cats (or they own me). They make really good companions, and they are way easier to manage than their canine friends.

    Thanks for the post, Brian

    1. Hi Brian, thank you for your comment:) Yes, Bombay cats are beautiful and can well understand your addiction to them! When I first met my ex, one of the things that attracted me to him was the fact he had two cats! This was back in the mid-late eighties and it wasn’t so common for men to own cats even here in the UK. Yes, cats make great companions and much easier to look after than dogs:)

  4. I have always been enamored with beautiful eyes of cats however was completely unaware that it is the amount of melanin that determines the eye color. Is there a possibility a cat has odd-colored eyes i.e. one eye is blue & other one is green ? If yes what could be the reason ?

    1. Hi Satz, thank you for your comment:) Odd colour eyes in cats is known as heterochromia. It’s often genetic and a result of different levels of melanin in each iris. It can occur in humans as well with David Bowie being a famous example. Thanks for stopping by:)

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