All cats have beautiful eyes, and most have the same-colored eyes – but not all of them. Cats that have two different eye colors give them a unique look that usually catches people’s attention at first glance. So, why do most cats have one eye color while some have two different colored eyes? Is the condition something to marvel or worry about? Do two different colored eyes affect cat a cat’s vision?
Cats with two different eye colors are not unhealthy and can see normally. Find out more about cats with two different eye colors in this article.
What Causes the Two Different Eye Colors?
Complete heterochromia is the condition that causes a cat to have two different colored eyes. It is a mutation not limited to cats and can affect many animals, including humans. A white gene responsible for a cat’s white coat or patches causes the condition in felines. The white gene overpowers pigments that normally develop in the iris as a kitten grows, and one eye ends up being a light blue color while the other is the color of whatever pigment develops, usually green, blue, or brown.
A cat with heterochromia may acquire the mutation through genetics, but injuries, medications, and health problems can also cause the condition to develop. Almost all cats with two different eye colors are white or have white markings or patches on their bodies. However, this is not always the case. Even a black cat can end up with two different colored eyes by the time it is an adult.
What About Cats with Two Different Colors in the Same Eye?
Although rare, some cats have an eye that displays two different colors, referred to as sectoral heterochromia. This mutation happens when some of the pigment in an iris does not develop while the rest does. The condition is no different from complete heterochromia, but the difference is how the mutation displays itself.
Is Heterochromia Dangerous?
Luckily, heterochromia is not a danger to cats affected by it. Some people think that because white cats with two blue eyes have a higher risk of becoming deaf than other cats, cats with two different colored eyes have a higher risk, too. However, there is no evidence that cats with heterochromia have a higher chance of becoming deaf than the average cat. No health problems have been attributed to the heterochromia mutation.
Can Cats with Two Eye Colors See Okay?
When it comes to eyesight, cats with heterochromia have no disadvantage. They can see just as well as any other cat. They do not experience any difference in color variations, depth perception, or clarity than a healthy cat with two of the same-colored eyes might. This is not to say that good health is guaranteed. Poor nutrition, little exercise, and exposure to toxins all play a role in a cat’s health, no matter their eye color.
Some Final Thoughts
Cats with heterochromia are cool-looking, but they are not different from any other cat regarding their biology and health. There is no need to treat them differently, feed them differently, or take them to the vet more often. Affected cats can live just as long and happy lives as their same eye-colored counterparts. Do you have a cat with two different eye colors? If so, what colors are they, and has their condition proven to affect their life at all? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in our comments section below.
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