What’s the rarest eye color in cats?

As cat aficionados, we can attest to the captivating power of our feline friends’ eyes. Their piercing, inquisitive stare has been captured in countless photos and videos, and it’s easy to see why. The colors, shapes, and patterns of their eyes are as varied as their personalities, rendering each cat one-of-a-kind and cherished in its own right. But have you ever wondered what the rarest eye color in cats is?

While some may assume that blue or green eyes represent the most unusual feline eye hues, the truth is that the rarest shade is actually quite unexpected. This color is so infrequent that only a small percentage of cats are born with it, and it’s often linked to a specific breed.

In this blog post, we’ll delve deep into the world of feline eye colors and explore the science behind this exotic and coveted trait. We’ll examine closely the breed of cats that most frequently flaunt this peculiar coloration, as well as why it’s so elusive in the realm of cats. So grab your favorite cat-themed mug, settle in comfortably, and let’s embark on this fascinating journey into discovering the rarest eye color in cats.

Cat Eye Colors

Cats are known for their captivating eyes that come in a variety of colors, each one as unique as the cat itself. The color of a cat’s eyes is determined by the amount and distribution of pigment in the iris, resulting in stunning shades from blue to green to gold and everything in between. In this article, we will delve into the different eye colors that can be seen in cats, their characteristics, and the breeds associated with them.

Blue Eyes:

Blue-eyed cats are a rare sight and are usually seen in breeds such as Siamese, Himalayan, and Persian. These cats have a genetic mutation that causes their eyes to lack pigment, resulting in a striking blue hue that can mesmerize anyone who gazes into them.

Green Eyes:

Green eyes are one of the most common eye colors in cats, ranging from light lime green to deep emerald green. However, bright green or emerald green eyes are considered to be rare and are more commonly seen in breeds such as the Russian Blue, adding an extra dimension to their already captivating appearance.

Yellow/Gold Eyes:

Yellow or gold eyes are the most common eye color in cats, varying from pale yellow to deep gold. This eye color can be seen in many different breeds, including domestic shorthairs and longhairs. Gold eyes add an element of warmth and depth to a cat’s overall appearance.

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Brown Eyes:

Brown eyes are also common in cats and can range from light amber to dark brown. This eye color is seen in many different breeds and is often paired with coat colors such as black, brown, and gray. Brown eyes add an air of mystery and intensity to a cat’s gaze.

Violet/Lavender Eyes:

The rarest eye color in cats is considered to be violet or lavender. This color is a result of a genetic mutation that dilutes the blue iris color, resulting in an otherworldly hue that is seldom seen in domestic cats. However, these eye colors are more commonly seen in certain breeds such as the Russian White and Russian Black, making them even more unique and fascinating.


Heterochromia is a condition where a cat’s eyes are different colors, adding an extra element of intrigue to their already captivating gaze. This condition can occur naturally or can be caused by injury or disease. Heterochromia is more common in certain breeds such as the Turkish Van, giving them a striking appearance that sets them apart from other cats.

The Rarest Eye Color in Cats: Violet or Lavender

These rare eye colors are among the most captivating and sought-after in the feline world. As an expert, I can tell you that these colors are fascinating for several reasons.

Firstly, a genetic mutation affects the pigmentation in the iris, resulting in a unique and striking shade of purple. The dilution of melanin in the iris causes this mutation, which is incredibly rare. However, it is more likely to occur in specific breeds such as Siamese, Tonkinese, and Balinese cats.

Secondly, while both violet and lavender eyes are exceptionally rare in cats, violet is considered to be the rarest of the two. It is estimated that only around 1% of all cats have violet eyes. Lavender eyes are slightly more common than violet, yet they are still incredibly uncommon.

Thirdly, it’s not just their rarity that makes cats with violet or lavender eyes so special. Many cat owners report unique personality traits in their pets with these rare eye colors. Some say that their cats with violet or lavender eyes are more playful and affectionate than other cats.

Moreover, these rare eye colors are coveted among cat fanciers and enthusiasts due to their unique beauty. Apart from Siamese, Tonkinese and Balinese cats, other breeds have also been known to have violet or lavender eyes such as Burmese and Russian White cats.

Genetics Behind the Rare Eye Color

From piercing blue to striking green, each color is unique and adds to the cat’s overall charm. But have you ever wondered about the genetics behind these rare eye colors? Well, wonder no more. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of feline genetics.

The color of a cat’s eyes is determined by the amount and distribution of pigments in the iris. The two primary pigments that determine eye color are melanin and lipochrome. Melanin produces brown and black colors, while lipochrome produces yellow and green colors. The rarest eye color in cats is blue, which is caused by a lack of melanin in the iris. This lack of melanin is due to a genetic mutation that affects pigment production.

Interestingly, not all cats with blue eyes have the same genetic mutation. Some cats have a mutation in the OCA2 gene, which also causes albinism in humans. This mutation affects the production of melanin, resulting in blue eyes and a white or cream-colored coat. Other cats with blue eyes have a different genetic mutation that affects the distribution of pigment in the iris.

In addition to blue eyes, there are other rare eye colors in cats that are also caused by genetic mutations. Odd-eyed cats have one eye that is blue and one eye that is either green, yellow or brown. This condition is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the distribution of pigment in one iris but not the other.

Understanding the genetics behind rare eye colors in cats can provide valuable information for breeders and veterinarians. It can help them make informed decisions about breeding practices and health care. For instance, breeding two cats with the same genetic mutation can result in offspring with higher chances of inheriting certain traits or diseases.

Furthermore, it sheds light on the complex world of feline genetics and highlights just how unique each cat truly is. Different combinations of genes can result in various eye colors and patterns, making each feline friend one-of-a-kind.

Breeds with Common Violet or Lavender Eyes

One of the most striking and uncommon traits is the violet or lavender eyes found in certain cat breeds. These rare and entrancing hues are a result of a genetic mutation that affects the distribution of pigments in the iris.

While most cats have yellow or green eyes from high concentrations of melanin, some breeds carry a gene that causes a lack of pigment. This mutation can produce blue eyes, but also violet or lavender tones that are even rarer. Siamese cats are well-known for their piercing blue eyes, but some also display the captivating violet or lavender hues. Similarly, Balinese cats, with their long hair and blue eyes, can occasionally exhibit this unusual coloration. Tonkinese and Javanese cats are other breeds known to have these mesmerizing eyes.

However, it’s important to note that even in these breeds, it’s still rare to find a cat with violet or lavender eyes. It’s a highly desirable trait among breeders and cat lovers alike because of its uniqueness and rarity.

If you’re searching for a cat with these alluring eye colors, keep in mind that while these breeds are more likely to have them, it doesn’t guarantee that they will. Nevertheless, when you do find a cat with violet or lavender eyes, it’s sure to capture your heart with its enchanting beauty.

Health and Temperament of Cats with Rare Eye Colors

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Firstly, it’s important to note that rare eye colors in cats don’t necessarily indicate any health problems. While certain rare eye colors may be associated with certain health concerns, like heterochromia, it’s entirely possible for a cat to have a unique eye color and be perfectly healthy. So, if your feline friend has striking violet or enchanting lavender eyes, there’s no need to worry about their health.

However, it’s worth mentioning that some rare eye colors may be linked to underlying health issues. For instance, cats with heterochromia may experience hearing loss or deafness on the side of the ear that corresponds to the blue-eyed side. This is because of a genetic link between the gene responsible for blue eyes and the gene responsible for hearing. Therefore, if you notice any hearing issues in your cat with heterochromia, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

When it comes to temperament, there is no evidence to suggest that cats with rare eye colors have any specific personality traits. A cat’s personality is primarily determined by genetics and early socialization experiences rather than their eye color. Whether your cat has captivating green or striking blue eyes, their personality will be unique and based on their individual experiences.

It’s also worth mentioning that certain cat breeds are more likely to have particular rare eye colors. For example, white cats are more likely to have blue eyes due to a lack of pigmentation in their iris. Siamese cats often have blue eyes as well, while some Persian cats may have green or gold eyes.

How to Identify a Cat with Rare Eye Color

It can be challenging to identify, especially if you’re not familiar with cat breeds or genetics. However, by following these five sub-sections, you can easily determine if your cat has a unique and rare eye color.

Understand what colors are rare in cats

Knowing what colors are considered rare in cats is the first step. Green eyes are the most common, followed by blue and yellow. Cats can also have more unique eye colors such as gold, copper, or even mismatched eyes. Violet or lavender-colored eyes are the rarest in cats.

Examine the iris color

To determine if your cat has rare eye color, examine the color of their iris. Look closely at the shade of color and any patterns or markings within the iris. If there’s a hint of purple in the iris, your cat may have rare violet or lavender eyes.

Consider the breed

Certain breeds are more likely to have rare eye colors than others. Siamese cats are known for their bright blue eyes, while Burmese cats often have golden eyes. Russian White and Russian Black breeds are known for having violet eyes.

Observe behavior

Cats with unusual eye colors often have strong personalities and are energetic. They may also be more vocal and demanding of attention than other cats.

Consider lighting conditions

Different lighting conditions can affect a cat’s eye color, so observe them in natural light. The lighting can make their eyes appear different colors, making it difficult to determine their actual eye color.

Common Misconceptions about Rare Eye Colors in Cats

As an expert on the topic, let me debunk some common misconceptions about rare eye colors in cats.

First off, it’s a common misconception that all white cats have blue eyes. While it’s true that many white cats do have blue eyes, some can have green or gold eyes, which are considered rare and exquisite. So don’t assume that just because your white cat has a different eye color that something is wrong with them.

Another common myth is that odd-eyed cats always have one blue eye and one green or gold eye. Although this is a popular combination, some odd-eyed cats can have one blue eye and one brown eye, or even two different shades of blue. These unique combinations make each cat even more special and remarkable.

Now, let’s address a big misunderstanding: rare eye colors have nothing to do with a cat’s health or vision. It’s a fallacy to believe that cats with unusual eye colors are more prone to health problems or have poor vision. A cat’s eye color is determined by genetics and doesn’t affect their overall health.

It’s essential for cat owners to understand these common misconceptions about rare eye colors in cats. By having accurate information, they can appreciate the uniqueness and beauty of their cat’s eyes without any unnecessary concern or confusion. So next time someone comments on your cat’s stunning green or gold eyes, you can confidently share your knowledge and appreciation for their rare qualities.

Tips for Caring for Cats with Rare Eye Colors

Cats with rare eye colors are fascinating creatures that require extra care and attention to ensure they stay healthy and happy. These cats may be prone to certain health issues that need special consideration. Here are five tips for caring for cats with rare eye colors:

Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

Regular vet check-ups are crucial for cats with rare eye colors. A veterinarian can catch any potential health issues early on before they become more serious. Additionally, the vet can provide recommendations for eye drops or other treatments if necessary.

Eye Drops

Cats with rare eye colors may require eye drops to maintain healthy and moist eyes. Consult with your vet to determine the best-suited eye drops for your cat’s needs.

Sun Protection

Cats with lighter-colored eyes may be more sensitive to sunlight and can develop issues like cataracts or blindness if exposed for too long. It is essential to use a cat-safe sunscreen or provide shade for your cat when they’re outside.


Keeping your cat’s eyes clean is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Use a damp cloth or cotton ball to gently wipe away any discharge or debris from their eyes. Regular grooming is also essential in preventing any irritation or infection around their eyes.

Balanced Diet and Safe Environment

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is vital for keeping your cat healthy and happy. Provide them with high-quality food that contains all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive, and ensure they are not overeating or under-eating. Additionally, providing a safe and stimulating environment can promote their overall health and happiness.

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As we wrap up our exploration of feline eye colors, it’s clear that cats are truly remarkable creatures. Their eyes are not only a window into their souls, but also a testament to the incredible diversity of the feline world.

While blue and green eyes may be considered rare in cats, the rarest eye color is undoubtedly violet or lavender. This elusive hue is so uncommon that only a small percentage of felines are born with it, and it’s often associated with specific breeds like Siamese, Tonkinese, Balinese, Burmese, Russian White and Russian Black.

Understanding the genetics behind rare eye colors in cats can provide valuable insights for breeders and veterinarians alike. By staying informed about these unique traits, they can make informed decisions about breeding practices and health care.

But caring for cats with rare eye colors also requires extra attention from their owners. Regular vet check-ups, proper sun protection, gentle cleaning around their eyes, a balanced diet and a safe environment are all essential components of keeping these special creatures healthy and happy.

At the end of the day though, it’s important to remember that each cat is an individual with their own unique personality. Whether your furry friend has piercing green eyes or captivating violet ones, they deserve our love and appreciation just the same.