Odd-Eyed Cat

Photo: Jorge Barrios [wikipedia]

Neatorama reader Jon Jason sent in this post from Scienceray titled Top 5 Animals with the Most Stunning Eyes - I was most fascinated with the cat with two different eye colors. It turns out, heterochromia (difference in coloration) of the eye is caused by the difference in concentration and distribution of the pigment melanin.

In cats, a form of heterochromia results in odd-eyed cats [wiki] - they are most commonly found in white cats and is due to the white spotting gene. In these cats, melanin granules are prevented from reaching one eye during development, resulting in a cat with one blue eye and one green, yellow, or brown eye.

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interested in the different frequency of deafness between yellow eyed whites and green eyed whites as it seems to be a contradiction.

If I understand it correctly, yellow eyes have more pigment in the eye than green eyes do hence; they are more similar (on a continuum) to blue. Shouldn't green eyes be more like blue eyes in this case?

I always thought that the following represented the "scale" of pigment in a cat's eye:

Copper - Orange- Yellow - Hazel (yellow/green) - Green - Blue Green - Blue. With copper having the most pigment and blue the least (if any).

Would love to hear more from you.

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I love your photo! I have 2 female white odd-eyed cats -- not related.
They are not deaf. Spirit was my first. She's 4 years old now. Serenity is almost 3. Her fur is downy soft and she looks a little like a snow cat.

I believe I have created the 1st Odd-Eyed Calendar. Has anyone seen one? Mine is located at:
Please add asterisk at the end of the link. I make more money with it. Thanks!

The front and back covers of the calendar are on Flickr.
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In people, it's called Waardenburg's syndrome. And that person's Vet was WRONG, it is NOT sex-linked nor are more male odd eyes deaf. About 60% of blue eyed whites are deaf, 50% of odd-eyed whites are, but can be unilateral
(one side) or bilateral (both sides), 10% of yellow eyed whites are deaf, and less than 1% of green eyed whites.
I did my senior Vet thesis on this phenomenon, so I know.
I also have had 13 odd eyes, and only 4 were totally deaf.
They also learned (simple) ASL to correct bad behaviors or to call them for dinner etc...but ALL are beautiful, mystic and ethereal looking, especially the longhairs!
It is common in Persians, Turkish Angoras and Japanese Bobtails, but cannot be bred for, as it is a mutation.
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David Bowie was born with 2 blue eyes, but, as the story goes, he had a girlfriend (in his teens), who wacked him in the face (obviously, disgruntled), and ever since then, his left eye remained permanently dilated. His pupil has stretched beyond its perimeter, bleeding into the iris (the colored part of the eye), which also, makes him (or the dilated eye), light sensitive.
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