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.

My sister had a white cat with one blue and one green eye...I don't remember whether it was deaf or not, I was very small, we're talking back in 1982-83.
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i've had a cat now for about 15 years who's completely white and has one blue eye and one green eye. he's not deaf at all but maybe that green eye helped out with that! i also have a ragdoll breed cat with bright blue eyes. they're the best cats ever! go odd-eyed cats!
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We had a white cat like that. He was deaf.

We named him Seymour, after Jane Seymour, the actress who has two eyes of different colors (I think she has one blue and one brown).
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I had two odd-eyed white cats when I was younger. Both were deaf. Our vet at the time told us that it is a sex linked trait, and that male white cats with odd-eyed cats are more likely to be deaf than female white odd-eyed cats.
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@Streetattack: Buy colored contacts and only wear one. :)

If a cat was deaf in one ear, you probably wouldn't know he was deaf at all. Cats are experts at acting like nothing is wrong.
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The Cat in the Natorama pic looks like my Uncle John in Dublin.

he was hit in the eye as a tween and one eye changed colour in that quite remarkable way.

I love Siamese cats as they are, if thourough bred, Cross eyed.

It's a a very sweet attribute.
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aww ive got a big ol husky outside with those beautiful blue eyes:]
can't go on a walk without at least one person commenting on them, theyre like ice, and almost white.
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I had a cat when I was a kid just like this. blue and green eyes, white fur.It was frightening and absolutely deadly, all the local dogs were mortally afraid of it.

It's fur was like a yard brush, not that anyone would stroke it because it would keep their hand to chew on later.

That cat lived for about 25 years
a great cat that was.
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All I can say is wow. That is one of the best images I have seen in quite some time. It is like you can see the cat's spritir/soul through those eyes. So expressive and so clear. Very cool.
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Oh also, fiance's aunt had a mutt dog. Looked like he had some kind of herding dog in him.
Anywho.... we were going somewhere with the dog in the car, the aunt accidently slammed the puppy's head in the door, and for some reason, it caused him to lose color in one of his eyes. So from then til he died (he was hit by a car they think).... he had 1 ice blue eye and 1 brown eye.
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I had one just like the one in the picture. He was a tom and was stone deaf. He had been dropped off at a farm where we found him. We thought then that he was about half grown then but were amazed when he grew to a muscular 22lbs!
He was a beautiful animal with a long fluffy tail. Because of it, we named him "Rocky", as in the flying squirrel cartoon. He was gentle with little kids but fierce towards other animals, especially dogs, and was afraid of nothing. He was also by far the most intelligent cat that we have ever had and he had a lot of personality. He compensated well for his deafness. I am sure that he could feel vibrations in the floor etc. and would always respond normally. If you jingled the car keys behind his head, you could see that he was deaf then. I checked a neigbor's white cat this way and proved that he was deaf as well.
Sadly, he was struck by a car when he was 15.
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I had a cat that looked just like this. We didn't find out he was deaf until he was about 8 months old and he was clipped by a car he didn't hear coming. After that, we kept him in the house.

He loved TV football! The cat would sit in front of the TV and watch the action, occasionally reaching up and batting at a runner. Once, when a long ball was thrown and it went off screen, he actually went around to the side of the TV to look for it!

Sadly, he died of FLV when he was about 4...this was before the vaccine. He sure was a sweet, funny cat though.
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Common in Australian Shepherds. Our dog has 'em...
and her dad has the top half brown, bottom blue...
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I have a white odd eyed cat, she is such a sweet kitty. Also she is definately not deaf.

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My family once had a Basenji/Australian cattle dog mix named T.J. He had the coloring of a red Basenji, but his fur was slightly fuzzy rather than smooth, and he had one blue eye, one brown. It's such an unexpected effect, whether human or animal, and quite striking.

I had to restrain myself from staring at the man I saw in a car rental office at Washington Dulles airport several years ago. One eye was icy pale blue, the other the same shade blue, but with the lower half of it filled in with a deep, chocolate brown. Arresting. (It didn't hurt that he was cute, too...)
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There were some absolutely gorgeous photos in that article. I was glad to see some husky love there. Huskies do have the most amazing eyes. Our Husky/Akita mix is blonde/cream-colored with blue eyes, and as someone said before, it's an ice blue, almost white. She gets comments everywhere she goes.
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Our cat, nicknamed "The Pants", is 20 years old and has only two teeth, but still has the energy of a kitten and the disposition of a puppy.

We think he was a yogi in his past like as he sleeps in the most uncomfortable-looking positions.

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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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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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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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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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