Cats are among the mammals that are born with their eyes shut. There isn’t an exact time after which they will open their eyes, and this period can oscillate between two and 10 days after being born. It usually shouldn’t take more than two weeks for a kitten to open its eyes completely.
They will only be able to make a visual connection with the surrounding environment, smells, touches, and sounds after they fully open their eyes. Kittens will usually be adopted at around eight to nine weeks and at that age, they will usually have big, beautiful eyes and they’ll explore everything around them. Although very interested in the surrounding environment, the kitten’s vision will still need around two months to properly develop. This is also the period in which it might go through a change of eye color.
You might notice these changes if you keep your cat under close observation. So when exactly will the eyes of a kitten change their color and when should you worry about this? Let’s shed some light on this interesting topic.
Although kittens are born with their eyes closed, as soon as they open them you will notice their beautiful eyes are blue in color. Although there is a decent chance that their eyes will still be blue at around eight weeks when they are ready for adoption, there is also a possibility that they are already shifting towards their adult color. Most experts agree that the eyes of a kitten will begin to change in color somewhere between three and eight weeks after being born. The most common colors to expect in a kitty’s eyes are:
It will take roughly three months for a kitten to get the true color in its eyes, even though slight changes can happen even from birth.
Of course, it will be a lot easier for a vet to figure out the final color of a kitten’s eyes than it would be for you as a pet owner. Even so, just by analyzing them and looking at the periodic, slight changes, you will get an idea of what they will transition towards.
The pigmented cells that give the specific color of a kitten’s eyes are contained within the epithelium and stroma, two layers that are part of the iris. You will usually get something between gold and orange in the final color if the eyes have lots of pigment. If no pigment is found in those two layers, then the kitten will have blue-colored eyes, while eyes with less pigment will get a greener shade.
It’s usually nothing to worry about if it turns out that you have a blue-eyed cat. There are a few breeds that don’t change their eye color from blue, and one of the most common ones is the Siamese.
Usually, there is little to no connection between the genetic inheritance from the parents and the eye color of the kitten, which is why you shouldn’t try to guess the color of your cat’s eyes based on the colors of the eyes of its parents. Although we can say the same thing about a cat’s fur color, there is an exception, and these are the white-coated cats.
There is also a condition that makes cats have eyes of two different colors, and this is known as heterochromia iridis. This is usually something seen in white fur cats. This will usually happen because the pigment will reach one eye, giving it a new color, but won’t reach the other one, which will stay blue. This is also nothing to worry about most of the time, but if you do have some concerns, a talk with your vet will give all the information you need about any possible conditions related to the cat’s eyes and overall vision.
It isn’t unusual for cats to have eyes of all kinds of colors. It is also not unusual for kittens within the same litter to come out with eyes of different colors. Even so, there are some instances in which the abrupt change in the color of the eyes of your cat should be considered a reason of concern.
Pink or red eyes that are also swollen can be symptoms of an uncomfortable condition called conjunctivitis, often brought on by cat flu. This is something that should be looked at as soon as possible and treatment should be started right after diagnosis because the longer you wait, the harder the recovery will be for the pet.
The eyes of a cat should stop changing colors once the animal has reached adulthood. This is why it is important to have your cat’s eyes checked if you notice they change colors again, to remove any possibility of illness.