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Heterochromia. Cats with different eyes – a bad sign or a gift of fate?

Discover everything you need to know about the Maine Coon, an affectionate and playful cat breed.

Heterochromia. Cats with different eyes – a bad sign or a gift of fate?

Cats with different eyes - are they a miracle of nature that bears a mystical meaning, or a usual external fault that should be avoided? Many of us saw this anomaly, but hardly anyone was interested in the cause of this mysterious phenomenon.

This deviation from the norm has a scientific basis and it is called "heterochromia" which means the color difference of the shade of the iris, especially for the pigmentation of separate sites of skin and wool. Scientists discovered that the heterochromia is the result of imbalance in the body's melanin (the pigment responsible for the color), it means its lack or excess.

Scientists distinguish complete and partial heterochromia, and its congenital and acquired forms. Complete heterochromia is considered to be in the case, when the color of one eye differs completely from the color of the other one. Sometimes there is such an option, when the colors of both eyes are very light, it usually means that both eyes have disturbed pigmentation. Partial heterochromia, also called as sectored one, appears differently. One part of the iris differs in color from other parts of the same eye.

sGM3JdNnzvc.jpgThe most striking known example of heterochromia among all animals are white cats with different eyes, here this appears much more common than with people. This phenomenon is the most widespread among cats and dogs, as well as horses, cows and Asian buffaloes. To a greater extent they represent complete heterochromia, when one eye is heavily pigmented (usually brown, rarely orange, yellow or green), and the second one has the lack of pigment, so its iris is white, grey or blue color.

But among animals there are those who are more prone to heterochromia, namely the representatives of white, marble and light colors. For example, cats with white or tricolor shade scheme, Husky dog breed or dogs of marble colors, such as marble Dachshund, Australian sheepdog and others, as well as horses of piebald colors.

Thus, different eye color can be found in absolutely different animals, in representatives that belong to completely different species and in those who are no way related. They are outstanding representatives of their breeds and they aren’t worse than the rest of the breed, therefore the heterochromia can be considered as an acceptable deviation from the norm, which is often endowed with mystical value.

But, despite this, cats breed with different eyes which is called a Turkish Van and Turkish Angora, all without any exception have this feature, which is inherited by them from generation to generation and is considered a characteristic breed feature. Many people just call them – cats with different eyes. As a rule, representatives of these breeds have white color of the coat, and the eye color is distributed in such a way that one eye is blue and the other pale copper, yellow, or bright orange.

For dogs complete heterochromia is the most common in the breed of Siberian Huskies, and partial – dogs of such breeds as Australian Sheepdogs and Border Collies. But different eye color can be inherited in the breeds of American Foxhunters, Collies, Dalmatians, German Shorthaired Pointers, Dunkers, Norwegian Hounds, Dachshunds, Scottish Sheepdogs and Whippets.

Returning to the cat breed the Turkish Van, which is often called Van Cats, it should be noted that they are considered to be symbolic animals and enjoy extraordinary honor in their homeland. According to ancient legend, the beloved cat of the world-famous prophet Muhammad was the beauty with different eyes Muezza. However, according to popular belief, these cats don't just protect the house, but also help their owners in achieving their goals. A striking example is the fact that political career of the future US-President, Bill Clinton, went up rapidly after the appearance in his house of Van Cat with different eyes.

If you like cats with different eyes you can buy it not only in Turkey. Just select the breed and ask the kennel whether they have such a baby, and you will definitely find your future pet.
As we pointed out earlier, most people associate this kind of cats with different eyes with mystical phenomena, because even knowing the natural cause of this particular phenomenon and looking at these magic eyes, you get into a trance and begin to think about miracles. In addition, the extraordinary potential of these cats work with the famous Turkish fortune tellers. For example, at the entrance to one of the salons of such a fortune teller there is a sign with a picture of Van Cats, and during a session the seer works in a tandem with her charming pet, which, apparently, helps her.

Heterochromia occurs also in Maine Ñoons, especially the white representatives of this splendid breed. These gentle giant cats have very soft and pleasant to touch coat, you’ll surely have a desire to pet this cat for a long time and the look of those beautiful eyes of different colors is literally mesmerizing. The representatives of the Maine Coon breed with eyes of different colors are valued extremely high!


Thus, photos of cats with different eyes, which are very often found on the Internet, cause rather a genuine interest and delight than disdain. It is quite natural that everybody has his/her own attitude towards this characteristics and it can be different. Some perceive it as a defect, a flaw or a bad sign, and someone on the contrary, believes that a pet with eyes of different color is a gift of fate, which certainly is a matter of pride, a sort of exotic and striking testimony that the owner of such a unique animal can be only the same exceptional people. Therefore, the last to their favorites is treated with special care and trepidation, carefully preserving sweet heart "friend". As they say, it's all a matter of taste and you can't blame any of the parties.

Moreover cats are always a lot of joy and the ocean of happiness in the house, regardless of the color of their eyes. They are happy to help you to forget the setbacks and difficulties you encountered throughout the day, get rid of the pain that periodically disturbs and prevent to enjoy life. Often, these animals also have incredible energy and strong intuition not only for people, but also for upcoming events, protecting its master from harm. So do not let the generally accepted standards confuse you, and when choosing a pet, listen to your heart! 

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