Blue eyed cats are exceptionally beautiful. In cats, blue eyes are associated with white coats or the pointed color pattern that’s seen in the Siamese and related breeds (a lighter body with darker points of color on the head, feet and tail). Because these colors are less common in cats, blue eyes are more rare than other feline eye colors, including yellow, gold, copper, green, and hazel.
Most kittens are born with blue eyes. The eyes gradually change color as the kitten grows until they are their adult color. Sometimes, a kitten’s eyes remain blue, though they might be darker or lighter than they were when the kitten first opened its eyes.
Solid white cats with blue eyes are often deaf in one or both ears. This is because the gene that is responsible for white coat color and blue eye pigmentation is also associated with deafness, which occurs in an estimated 65% to 80% of all-white cats with two blue eyes.
About 40% of all-white cats with one blue eye are deaf. Blue eyes in white cats are only associated with deafness, not blindness. Blue eyed pointed breeds like Siamese do not have a genetic tendency toward deafness.
Some cat breeds always have blue eyes, whether pale blue, brilliant blue or dark blue. Let’s get to know 9 blue eyed cat breeds.
The Balinese is in essence a longhaired Siamese cat. No one knows for sure, but the breed probably began as a spontaneous genetic mutation resulting in a Siamese with long hair. Except for coat length, the Balinese is like the Siamese in almost every way, although the breed less extreme in body type and not as loud vocally as the Siamese.
The single coat has no undercoat, so it’s silky and lies close to the body. The Balinese comes in the classic Siamese pointed colors of seal, chocolate, blue and lilac, all with deep, vivid blue eyes.
Though the history of the Birman breed’s development is mostly unknown, this plush pointed breed with four white paws has captured many hearts. The Birman always has deep, vivid blue eyes, and comes in many different pointed colors, including solid seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, cream, and red, as well as tabby and tortie points.
The silky coat is medium long to long, with a heavy rough around the neck and full tail. Despite the luxurious appearance of the fur, the Birman is not difficult to groom as the coat doesn’t mat as much as some other longhaired breeds.
#3 Colorpoint Shorthair
The Colorpoint Shorthair is essentially a Siamese with more allowable pointed colors and patterns than found in the Siamese, including blue, blue-cream, chocolate, chocolate tortie, cream, lilac, lilac-cream, red, seal and seal-tortie. The eyes are always blue. The Colorpoint Shorthair was created when some U.S. breeders began experimenting with color in the Siamese breed in the 1940s and 1950s.
A breeding between a red tabby American Shorthair and a seal point Siamese was the beginning of a breed that looked like a Siamese but with more pointed colors and patterns.
The Cat Fanciers Association consider the Colorpoint Shorthair as its own breed, but The International Cat Association includes the non-traditional Siamese colors and patterns within the Siamese Group breed standard.
The Himalayan is a Persian cat with the pointed coat of a Siamese. The breed was created in the 1950s when breeders desired a cat with the fluffy coat of the Persian but with the markings of a Siamese. Pointed colors and patterns found in the Himalayan include red, cream, seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, tortoiseshell, blue-cream, tortoiseshell, bicolor point, tricolor point, tabby or lynx point, smoke and shaded point.
Himalayan cats’ eyes are always blue, with deeper blue preferred. TICA recognizes the Himalayan as a separated breed, but the CFA includes the Himalayan pattern as a division of the Persian breed standard.
The Javanese is a color division within the Balinese breed standard. Like the Balinese, the Javanese is basically a longhaired Siamese cat, but where the Balinese only comes in the standard Siamese point colors of seal, chocolate, blue and lilac, the Javanese comes in many different colors, including red point, cream point, cinnamon point, lynx, tortie, cream, smoke and parti-color, all with deep, vivid blue eyes.
Like the Balinese and Siamese, the Javanese is long, lithe, strong and muscular, with an affectionate and energetic personality.
The Ragdoll breed was created in the 1960s by breeding a female white longhaired cat with blue eyes and two males (a seal mitted cat and a solid black cat). The result was a semi-longhaired, pointed cat with blue eyes and an affectionate temperament. The large, oval-shaped eyes are always blue, with deeper shades of blue preferred.
This breed loves to be held and is known for going limp in your arms like a ragdoll (hence the breed name). The Ragdoll comes in solid, tortie and tabby pointed patterns, with or without white markings.
The Siamese is the original blue eyed cat breed, and the reason many other cat breeds have the pointed color pattern and associated blue eyes. The Siamese likely originated in Siam (present-day Thailand), and is one of the oldest cat breeds. An ancient manuscript called the Cat Book of Poems that dates to 1350 contains illustrations of a cat that closely resembles the Siamese.
The talkative Siamese is long and tubular, with a short, sleek coat. In CFA, only the traditional Siamese colors are included in the breed standard (seal, chocolate, blue and lilac), but TICA breed standard also includes cinnamon, fawn, red and cream points, with or without white, silver/smoke, lynx point (tabby points) and tortie points.
The Snowshoe breed was developed in the 1960s by a Siamese cat breeder who discovered Siamese kittens with white feet and wanted to develop a new breed of pointed cats with white paws. The Snowshoe was created by breeding Siamese with a tuxedo American Shorthair. After its creation, the breed dwindled to near extinction, it bounced back in the late 1980s.
The Snowshoe’s eyes may be any shade of blue. This shorthaired breed is pointed (most commonly seal point or blue point), with white paws and varying white patterning on the body and head.
The Thai cat looks a lot like a Siamese, though its body type is less extreme. Also known as the “old-style Siamese” or “applehead Siamese,” the Thai is closely resembles the Siamese cats that existed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before breeding trends changed the look, and is similar in appearance to the natural pointed cat found in Thailand today (where it is called the Wichienmaat).
Like the Siamese, the Thai has a short, pointed coat and blue eyes. The Thai cat is recognized by TICA, but not the CFA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it rare for a cat to have blue eyes?
In cats, blue eyes are rare compared to more common colors like yellow, gold, copper, green, and hazel.
What breed is a cat with blue eyes?
Most cat breeds with blue eyes are related to the Siamese cat. At least 10 cat breeds have eyes that are always blue, including the Balinese, Birman, Colorpoint Shorthair, Himalayan cat, Javanese, Ojos Azules, Ragdoll, Siamese, Snowshoe, and the Thai.
Other breeds sometimes have blue eyes in addition to other colors, incluidng the Japanese Bobtail, Khao Manee, Norwegian Forest Cat, Persian, Siberian, Tonkinese cats, Turkish Angora, and Turkish Van.
Are blue-eyed cats blind or deaf?
A lot of blue-eyed solid white cats are deaf (an estimated 65% to 80%). However, blue eyes seen in pointed breeds like the Siamese are not genetically associated with deafness.
Do domestic cats have blue eyes?
All white domestic cats or pointed domestic cats may have blue eyes. Solid white cats with blue eyes are often deaf in one or both ears.