Like human babies, kitten’s eyes change color as they age. If you have recently adopted or bought a kitten and it has cute little blue eyes, then the chances are that their eyes will change color completely.
In this article, we will look at kitten’s eyes in more detail. We’ll look at when they first open their eyes to when their eyes change color. If you were wondering if you could predict the color of your cat’s eyes, read on for clues. We will also look at how to keep your cat’s eyes healthy.
When Do Newborn Kittens Open Their Eyes?
The first thing we need to acknowledge before answering this question is that kittens are born blind with both eyes sealed closed, with the only functional senses being smell and touch. Between 8-12 days, the kitten’s eyes will open slowly. A newborn kitten will have blue eyes, likely changing color as they mature. After two weeks, a kitten’s eyes will be open fully, and they will have baby blue eyes. At this stage, a kitten’s eyes are still very much developing.
It is worth mentioning that these developmental milestones are for reference only, and all kittens develop at their own pace. Usually, at around four to five weeks of age, a kitten will have blurred vision, which means that they may stumble and have issues with coordination. A kitten’s eyes are usually fully developed around five to seven weeks, but their color is not yet fully matured – this can occur from around three to six months.
When Do Kittens’ Eyes Change Color?
As we have established, most kittens are born with blue eyes. After a few months, the kitten’s eyes will slowly change color to the color they will remain in adult life.
Common eye colors include green, yellow, orange, brown eyes, and copper colored eyes but some cat breeds typically have blue eyes in adult life, such as Siamese, Ragdoll, Himalayan, and Tonkinese. When a cat’s eye color matures, it is common to see flecks of different colors. These derive from the pigment cells called melanocytes, which dictate the final color.
The Science Bit…
There are two layers in the iris: the stroma and epithelium, and these pigmented cells determine eye color. These cells work together to contribute to the overall pigment. If the eye has a lot of pigment, the cat’s eye color will be golden or orange, whereas less pigment creates green. If a cat does not have pigment in their eyes, they will be blue-eyed.
It can take a year for a cat’s eye color to develop fully.
Can You Predict a Cat’s Final Color?
It can be difficult to predict what color your cat’s eyes will be as the color has nothing to do with gender or coat color/pattern. A kitten’s eyes will commonly change from green to yellow to orange and then copper, but as we’ve discussed, certain breeds, such as Siamese and Ragdoll, are predisposed to have blue eyes.
Sadly, there is no way of knowing what color eyes your adult cat will have. But we also think that this creates a beautiful surprise as they mature. Will they have a majestic amber eye color? Unusual yellow eyes or beautiful blue eyes?
Are Your Cat’s Eyes Healthy?
It can be normal for a cat’s eyes to change color slightly as they age, but a sudden color change over a short period could indicate serious health issues. Eye color change can be a symptom of an eye infection, but it can also be a symptom of a serious condition called uveitis which can cause permanent damage if left untreated. If your cat’s eyes change color and look abnormally red, orange, or yellow, please consult your vet for advice as soon as possible. If your cat’s eyes return to their original blue color, it can also signify vision loss or eye damage.
Eye color changes later in life can be a sign of a serious eye condition, so if you notice any changes, seek veterinary advice immediately.
Getting a kitten is an amazing experience; seeing them open their eyes for the first time is a special milestone. One of the most wonderful things about owning a cat is not knowing their adult eye color – there’s no way of knowing. Watching as your cat’s eye color changes over the weeks and months is a beautiful experience – and we believe that cats’ eyes are stunning no matter their color.