What Causes Purple Eyes?

Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by someone’s captivating and unique purple eyes? It’s not every day that we come across this rare eye color, so it’s natural to be curious about what causes it. While blue and green eyes have fairly straightforward explanations, purple eyes require a bit more investigation.

As it turns out, purple eyes are the result of a genetic mutation that impacts the production of melanin in the eyes. Melanin is responsible for determining the color of our hair, skin, and yes – even our eyes. Typically, our genes dictate how much melanin is produced. However, when certain genes combine in a particular way, they can cause a mutation that reduces melanin production significantly – leading to those striking purple peepers.

Now, before we dive into the science behind all of this, let’s take a moment to appreciate just how cool purple eyes really are. Not only are they incredibly rare (only about 0.004% of the population has them), but they also have an otherworldly quality to them that makes them truly mesmerizing.

But enough gushing – let’s get back to the science. In this article, we’ll explore everything from how eye colors are formed to the specific genetic mutations that lead to purple eyes. So whether you’re rocking this unique eye color yourself or simply intrigued by its rarity, grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we uncover all there is to know about what causes purple eyes.

What Causes Purple Eyes in Humans?

It’s not a common eye color among humans, and in fact, purple eyes do not exist naturally in humans at all. However, there are rare conditions that can cause the appearance of purple eyes. Let’s delve into this fascinating topic and explore what causes purple eyes in humans.

The most well-known condition that is said to cause purple eyes is Alexandria’s Genesis, also known as the Purple Eye Syndrome. This genetic mutation causes the iris to remain clear and not develop any pigment.

As a result, those with this condition have a pale blue or gray eye color at birth, which gradually changes to a deep purple hue over time. In addition to this unique eye color, individuals with Alexandria’s Genesis may also have other distinctive features such as the ability to tan without burning, no body hair except for on their scalp, and delayed onset of menstruation in females.

However, it is important to note that Alexandria’s Genesis has not been scientifically proven to exist. Many experts in the medical field believe that it is nothing more than an urban legend or myth. Therefore, if someone claims to have purple eyes due to this condition or any other medical condition, seeking professional medical advice and diagnosis is crucial.

Aside from Alexandria’s Genesis, there are no other known conditions or factors that can cause purple eyes in humans. However, cats with purple eyes are usually caused by a lack of pigment in the iris due to albinism or heterochromia. It is worth noting that cats with purple eyes may also have underlying health issues such as uveitis, which requires prompt medical attention.

What Causes Purple Eyes in Cats?

Purple eyes in cats are a fascinating and rare occurrence that can be caused by several factors. As a responsible cat owner, it’s essential to understand what causes this unique eye color and when it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

One of the primary causes of purple eyes in cats is iris atrophy. This medical condition affects the iris, the colored part of the eye, causing it to become thin and translucent. As a result, the iris can appear purple and can lead to vision problems, especially in older cats.

Another cause of purple eyes in cats is heterochromia, a condition where one eye appears a different color than the other. In some cases, one eye may even appear purple due to the presence of a specific pigment called melanin. This condition occurs more commonly in breeds such as Turkish Angora or Turkish Van.

In addition, some cats may have purple eyes due to a genetic mutation that causes them to have a unique eye color. This mutation is rare and often occurs in breeds such as Siamese or Burmese cats. The color of their eyes can range from blue to purple, making them stand out from other felines.

However, it’s vital to note that sudden changes in your cat’s eye color could also be a sign of an underlying health issue. Conditions like glaucoma or uveitis can cause changes in eye color and damage to the eye if left untreated. Therefore, it’s crucial to monitor your cat’s eye health regularly and seek veterinary attention if any changes occur in their eye color or behavior.

Albinism and Heterochromia as the Main Causes of Purple Eyes in Cats

This phenomenon is not the result of your furry friend indulging in too much red wine, but rather it’s likely due to albinism or heterochromia.

Albinism, a genetic condition, is characterized by a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes. In cats with albinism, their iris appears pink or purple due to the reflection of light off the retina. These cats often have white fur, pink noses, and pale blue or purple eyes.

In contrast, heterochromia is a condition where a cat’s two eyes are different colors, which can be caused by genetics, injury, or disease. Sometimes one eye may appear purple in color due to a lack of pigmentation or an overabundance of blood vessels in the iris.

It’s worth noting that not all cats with purple eyes have these conditions. Certain lighting or reflection changes can sometimes make a cat’s eyes appear purple. Nonetheless, if you notice any unusual changes in your cat’s eye color, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.

To keep your feline companion healthy and happy, it’s important to understand what causes their purple eyes. If your cat does suffer from albinism or heterochromia, regular vet check-ups will allow you to monitor their health and wellbeing. Additionally, providing ample care and attention can help prevent any potential health issues from arising.

The Role of Melanin in Eye Color

The eyes are the windows to the soul, and the colors we see in them are due to melanin, a fascinating pigment responsible for giving color to our hair, skin, and eyes. As an expert on the topic, let me take you on a journey to understand the intriguing role melanin plays in determining eye color.

At its core, melanin is the key player in iris pigmentation that determines our eye color. The amount and distribution of melanin in the iris determine whether we have blue, green, brown, or any other shade of eyes. The more melanin present in the iris, the darker the eye color.

There are two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin produces brown and black hues, while pheomelanin creates yellow and red colors. The combination and amount of these two pigments determine different shades of eye color.

For instance, blue eyes have low levels of melanin in both the front and back layers of the iris. On the other hand, brown eyes have high levels of melanin in both layers. Green eyes have varying amounts of melanin with more present in the front layer than in the back. This unique combination of melanin creates a spectrum of colors that make each individual’s eyes distinct.

It’s worth noting that while most people have common eye colors such as blue, brown or green, there are rare cases where individuals may have purple eyes due to a lack of melanin altogether or a structural abnormality in the iris. However, these cases are mostly seen in animals like cats.

Uveitis: A Condition that Can Cause Purple Eyes in Cats

Sometimes, our pets can develop health issues that require immediate attention, such as uveitis – a condition that can cause purple eyes in cats.

Uveitis is a medical term that refers to inflammation of the uvea, which is the middle layer of the eye. This condition can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, redness, and in severe cases, blindness. One of the most noticeable signs of uveitis in cats is the development of purple eyes.

There are numerous potential causes of uveitis in cats, including infections, trauma to the eye, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. Infections such as FeLV, FIV, and Toxoplasma gondii can all cause uveitis. Trauma to the eye can be caused by scratches or punctures, while autoimmune disorders occur when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Cancer can also cause uveitis; in particular, lymphoma is known to cause this condition.

If your furry friend has developed purple eyes or any other unusual changes in their eyes, it is crucial to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will perform an extensive examination of your cat’s eyes and may conduct additional tests to determine the underlying cause of the uveitis.

Treatment options for uveitis will vary depending on the underlying cause. In some instances, medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation or fight infection. Surgery may be necessary to remove tumors or other growths that could be causing pressure on the eye.

In other cases where there is no cure available for the underlying condition, supportive care such as pain management may be recommended.

It is important to remember that uveitis is a serious condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated. As pet owners, it’s important to keep an eye out for unusual changes in our furry friends, especially when it comes to their eyes. If you do notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to take your cat to the vet for a thorough examination. With prompt treatment and care, cats with uveitis can recover and continue to live healthy and happy lives.

Diagnosing and Treating Uveitis

Uveitis is a condition that can affect cats and cause inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, which can lead to blindness if left untreated. If you notice your cat has purple or red eyes, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.

Diagnosing uveitis in cats can pose a challenge since they are known to hide their symptoms. However, some signs that your cat may have uveitis include squinting, pawing at the eyes, sensitivity to light, and a cloudy or hazy appearance in the eye. A veterinarian will perform a comprehensive eye exam and may also conduct blood tests and other diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the uveitis.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment will focus on managing the underlying condition. If an infection is causing uveitis, antibiotics or antiviral medications may be prescribed. Immunosuppressive drugs may be used if uveitis is caused by an autoimmune disorder. In certain cases, surgery may be necessary to remove cancerous tumors.

It is essential to follow your vet’s treatment plan meticulously and monitor your cat’s progress closely. Untreated uveitis can lead to complications such as glaucoma, cataracts, and even blindness. Therefore, regular follow-up appointments with your vet are crucial.

Other Conditions That May Affect Eye Color in Cats

In this article, we will explore the fascinating conditions that can alter a cat’s eye color, as well as the importance of seeking veterinary care to maintain your cat’s eye health.

One condition that can cause a striking appearance in cats is heterochromia. This condition occurs when a cat has two different colored eyes or different shades of the same color. Heterochromia can be genetic or acquired due to an injury or illness. While this condition is generally harmless to your cat’s health, it is essential to monitor any changes in your cat’s eye color and consult with your veterinarian if you notice any unusual symptoms.

Another condition that affects cat eye color is albinism. Albinism is a genetic disorder that causes a complete lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin, and eyes. Albino cats typically have pink or blue eyes due to the absence of pigments in their irises. Additionally, some albino cats may have purple eyes because of light reflecting off the back of their eyes. While albino cats are rare and stunning, they require special care due to their susceptibility to sunburn and other health issues.

In addition to these genetic conditions, certain health issues can also affect a cat’s eye color. For instance, cats with glaucoma may have cloudy and discolored eyes due to increased pressure in the eye. Similarly, cats with uveitis may experience inflammation of the uvea that can cause changes in iris color and make their eyes appear red or purple. These conditions can cause discomfort and vision problems for your cat and require prompt medical attention.

It is essential to note that changes in eye color in cats must always be evaluated by a veterinarian as they may signify an underlying health issue. Regular check-ups and prompt medical attention can help maintain your cat’s eye health and prevent any potential complications. Remember, your cat’s eyes are a window to their overall health, so it’s crucial to stay vigilant and seek professional help if you notice any changes in their appearance or behavior.


In conclusion, the enigmatic allure of purple eyes has captured the fascination of people for centuries. While blue and green eyes have straightforward explanations, purple eyes require a deeper dive into genetics to understand their origin. The striking hue is a result of a genetic mutation that affects melanin production in the iris, resulting in a reduction that creates the captivating color.

Though purple eyes are not naturally occurring in humans, rare conditions such as Alexandria’s Genesis have been associated with them. However, this condition has not been scientifically proven to exist. Conversely, cats with purple eyes may have albinism or heterochromia, both of which impact iris pigmentation.

Understanding what causes purple eyes is crucial for maintaining eye health in pets. Changes in eye color can indicate underlying health issues like uveitis that require immediate medical attention. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help maintain your pet’s eye health and prevent potential complications.

Melanin plays an intriguing role in determining eye color, with eumelanin and pheomelanin producing various shades of brown, blue, green or other colors. It’s worth noting that while most individuals possess common eye colors like blue or brown, some may have purple eyes due to a lack of melanin or structural abnormalities in the iris.