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Do All Black Cats Have Yellow Eyes? Reasons, Factors, & FAQ

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

black cat lying on the floor

Black cats are beautiful animals, and their eye color is often a subject of curiosity. Some people believe that all black cats have yellow eyes, but this is not always the case. While yellow eyes are indeed common in black cats, but they can also have green, blue, or even copper-colored eyes.

In some cases, a black cat’s eye color may even change over time. For example, a black kitten may be born with blue eyes, which will then turn green or yellow as they get older.

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What Determines Eye Color in Black Cats?

A cat’s black coat has no relation at all to the color of their eyes. Eye color in black cats is determined by the same thing that determines eye color in any other cat: the presence or absence of pigment in the iris¹. The iris is the colored part of the eye, and it gets its color from a pigment called melanin.

Blue eyes in cats are caused by a lack of melanin in the iris. Yellow eyes, on the other hand, are caused by a high concentration of melanin. Somewhere in the middle are eye colors like green, hazel, and copper.

One reason why most black cats seem to have yellow eyes is the contrast effect. Their solid black fur can intensify the golden hue of their eyes, making them appear even brighter than they actually are.

Can Black Cats Have Blue Eyes?

Black kitten with blue eyes
Image By: Valery Nosko, Pxhere

Definitely. While blue eyes are more common in kittens, adult black cats can have them too. In fact, blue eyes are not all that uncommon in black cats.

The reason why blue eyes are more common in kittens is that they are born without any melanin in their irises¹. As they grow older and their bodies start producing melanin, their eye color will gradually change from blue to green, hazel, or yellow.

So, if you come across a black kitten with blue eyes, there’s a good chance that their eye color will change as they get older.

My Cat’s Eye Started Turning Yellow. Should I Worry?

Yellow eyes in cats can be a sign of illness. so if you notice that your black cat’s eyes have suddenly turned yellow, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up.

There are several conditions that can cause a sudden change in feline eye color, including jaundice¹. liver disease, and anemia. While not all of these conditions are serious, they can still be painful or even life-threatening, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution and get your cat checked out by a professional.

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Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while yellow eyes are certainly common in black cats, they are by no means the only eye color that they can have. Blue eyes are also not all that uncommon, and a black cat’s eye color can even change over time. If you notice that your black cat’s eyes have suddenly changed color, though, it’s always best to take them to the vet for a check-up just to be safe.

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Featured Image Credit: AwaylGl, Shutterstock

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