Interesting fact: the genetic makeup of a cat’s eyes is as unique as its nose prints. Like human eyes, cats’ eyes come in various colors, including blue, green, and hazel.

But what is the most common cat eye color, and what determines it?

Let’s find out!

What’s the Most Common Cat Eye Color

Considering that there are more than 400 billion cats around the globe, it’s safe to say that there are different eye colors to be found among them. The color of a cat’s eyes is usually passed down from its parents and is determined by the amount of melanin in its DNA.

Just like a cat’s coat color, eye color is often hereditary. Depending on the parentage, even littermates can have different eye colors. However, purebred cats usually have more striking eye colors than mixed-breed cats. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most common types of cat eyes out there.

1. Yellow/Amber (👁️ 9/10)

Yellow/Amber

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Ambereyed cat breeds are not unusual. However, a few breeds are known specifically for this feature, notably British shorthair, American shorthair, and Bengal.

The British and American shorthair are both relatively common breeds. However, Bengal cats, in particular, are an uncommon sight and often quite expensive.

Regardless of breed, cats with yellow or amber eyes tend to be very striking animals—they typically have very bright eyes that stand out against their fur.

Notable breeds with yellow/amber eyes: British shorthair, American shorthair, Bengal, Sphynx, Manx

2. Hazel/Brown (👁️ 8/10)

cat brown eyes

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A cat with brown or hazel eyes is the second most common. Several different cat breeds tend to have this eye color. You’ll often see a brown tabby cat rocking this eye color.

While each of these breeds has unique physical characteristics, they all share one crucial trait: bright, beautiful eyes that add to their already striking appearance.

Notable breeds with brown/hazel eyes: Bombay, Sphynx, Manx

3. Green (👁️ 6/10)

green cat eyes

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Cats with green eyes are somewhat common. Not many cats have purely green eyes; most of the time, they have golden flakes or mixed with blue.

Green eyes occur when there is a lack of melanin in the iris, which is the colored part of the eye. The amount of melanin present can vary from one cat to another, resulting in various green hues.

Notable breeds with green eyes: Russian blue, Sokoke, Egyptian Mau, Havana, Burmilla

4. Blue (👁️ 5/10)

blue cat eyes

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Just like with the blue-eyed dogs, the striking color results from a lack of iris pigmentation. While the blue eyes of Siamese cats are perhaps the best known, this eye color can also be found in Ragdolls, Persians, British shorthairs, Devon rexes, Birmans, and other breeds. 

The coat color of a blue-eyed cat is often related to the intensity of the blue iris. Did you know that blue cats’ eyes are actually clear? We see them as blue because of the way light reflects off their stroma.

Notable breeds with blue eyes: Siamese, Ragdoll, Persian, British shorthair, Devon Rex, Birman

5. Orange/Copper (👁️ 4/10)

orange cat eyes

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The orange cat eye color is most often seen in breeds developed in Britain. This eye color is typically present in cats with dark fur, and some of the most popular orange-eyed cat breeds include the Maine Coon, Persian, and Cornish Rex.

Interestingly, orange-eyed cats are said to have a sweet temperament and are often very affectionate. So if you’re looking for a cuddly feline friend, an orange-eyed cat may be a perfect choice!

Notable breeds with orange/copper eyes: Maine Coon, Persian, and Cornish Rex. Devon Rex, Japanese Bobtail, American Wirehair

6. Odd-colored (👁️ 2/10)

odd colored cat eyes

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Heterochromia iridum in cats usually leads to their eyes having two different colors, which is quite rare. It can be passed down from parents, or it can happen if the cat is injured or takes medication. Most often, it’s just a cosmetic difference and doesn’t affect the cat’s health. 

However, it can be associated with other health problems in some rare cases. So if your cat has odd-colored eyes, mention it to your vet.

Notable breeds with odd-colored eyes: Turkish Van, Turkish Angora, Sphynx, Persian, Oriental Shorthair, Japanese Bobtail, Khao Manee

7. Dichroic Eyes (👁️ 1/10)

Dichroic Eyes

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Some cats have two colors in their eyes. This is called a dichroic eye color, the rarest cat eye color on the list. It happens when the cat has different melanin levels in different parts of its iris.

Occasionally, you’ll see a cat with an odd-colored oval near its pupil that gradually blends into another color. Other times, the colors are sectioned off.

Although these eyes are quite rare, they’re certainly stunning. In fact, some people believe that dichromatic eyes give cats an elegant and alluring appeal.

What Determines Cat Eye Color

One thing that makes cats unique is their wide range of eye colors. While some cat breeds tend to have specific colors, others can have a variety of hues. So, what determines a cat’s eye color?

There are three main factors:

  • the amount of pigment present,
  • the blue refraction, and
  • breeding.

The darker a cat’s iris, the more melanin it contains. For example, black cats have notably dark eyes because of high levels of melanin. 

Meanwhile, white cats often have blue or green eyes because of the lower pigment-producing melanocytes. The blue reflection is created by light bouncing off the back of the eye. This is why some cats have bright green or blue eyes.

Until about six weeks of age, all kittens have blue eyes—this essentially means they lack any pigment at this point, and the color blue is a result of refraction by the outer layer of the iris called the stroma.

However, this color will (in most cases) change into the kitten’s true eye color over time. The amount of melanocytes and the amount of melanin produced affects how quickly or slowly the final eye color develops. By the time the cat turns 12 weeks old, its eye color should be fully set.

Breeding can also affect a cat’s eye color. For example, Siamese is among the breeds that will pretty much always have blue eyes. So, next time you’re admiring your kitty’s pretty peepers, remember that there’s more to their eye color than meets the eye!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular cat eye color?

Green is one of the most popular eye colors for cats. It’s said to be the color of luck and new beginnings. In addition, green cat eyes are believed to give the wearer an air of mystery and intrigue. Blue, orange, and yellow are also popular colors for cat eyes.

A blue-eyed cat is often seen as calm and serene, while an orange-eyed feline is said to be full of energy and mischief.

Do brown-eyed cats exist?

Yes, brown-eyed cats exist. Brown eyes are caused by genes that code for the pigment melanin. More melanin in the iris means darker eyes.

Can a cat have black eyes?

Only when you get them angry! Cats can’t have black eyes naturally—you can only see this phenomenon when they’re agitated or scared, and their pupils dilate temporarily.

Key Takeaways

Now you know what the most common cat eye color is, will this information change how you view felines? Probably not, but it’s still an interesting bit of trivia to have up your sleeve the next time you find yourself in a conversation about cats.

And if you want to learn even more fun facts about our feline friends, keep reading our blog for posts on everything from housebreaking tips to understanding cat behavior.

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