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Out of 370 million pet cats in the world, merely 5% are white cats. When we consider only those cats that have blue eyes this percentage further declines to just 1-2%. Irrespective of this tiny population the popularity of such cats is astonishing.
Although cats look gorgeous in every colour and pattern yet cats with blue eyes and white fur are standing at the pinnacle of beauty. This is evident from the fact that every month thousands of people explore the internet for the term ‘white cats with blue eyes.
However, the intention of different groups of users exploring the internet can be pretty different from each other. For example, some may want to know “whether all white cats with blue eyes are deaf or not?”, while the other group may be looking for the list of cat breeds that can have white coats and blue eyes. Similarly, some people may be looking for the names of white cats while others may want to know how can they take care of tier white cats and communicate with them if they are deaf.
Whatever your intention is. I promise, today you’re gonna find answers to all these queries at once right here in this mighty blog post.
So let’s begin with what we are here for.
White Cats with Blue Eyes Meaning
The phrase explains itself clearly. White cats with blue eyes are cats who get their blue eye colour due to the lack of a chemical called melanocytes. Melanocyte is the chemical responsible for giving the colour to eyes and skins of animals by producing pigments. Also, it is essential for the proper functioning of the ears. Unfortunately, when a cat lacks melanocytes the chances of having blue eyes and hearing impairment increase from 40 to 80 per cent.
Are All White Cats With Blue Eyes Deaf?| Genetics
No, all cats that have white fur and blue eyes are not deaf. It’s a misconception rumoured by people who didn’t study the subject much. But unfortunately, these pristine creatures are vulnerable to deafness more than both cats that have white fur but non-blue eyes and cats that have non-white fur.
In fact, deaf cats that have white fur and either one or both blue eyes are just about 1-1.5% of the total cat population.
Then where does this misconception come from?
Actually, it was a theory mistakenly generalised by the naturalists of the nineteenth century like Bree and Darwin.
According to a study(read pdf) conducted by Cvejic Dejan, it was Bree who in the year 1829 proposed that white cats with blue eyes are always deaf. Later, in the year 1859, Darwin in his scientific literature ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life’ gave the theory that cats with blue eyes are deaf. You may read the pdf of this theory here.
However, these theories were proved wrong in the following years. Thankfully, it was Whiting who did systematic breeding experiments and concluded in his article ‘Inheritence of Coat-Color in Cats’ that it is the solid white(W)inherited gene that masks the other colours (w) and gives cats white fur. Moreover, he added that this dominant white(W) gene is not related to albinism.
As said above, it’s an autosomal dominant white(W) gene that is responsible to produce three effects in cats, these are the white masking effect, the blue-eyes and increased possibilities of deafness. This happens because the dominant white(W) gene appears to be pleiotropic. A pleiotropic is a gene that causes more than one effect in an organism.
But here’s a twist. This gene has complete penetrance for white masking. Meaning that if a cat had received this gene from her parents then it will mask the other colour giving the cat white colour. Whereas for blue eyes and deafness, this gene shows incomplete penetrance. So, the cat may or may not be deaf or have blue eyes.
The following infographic shows the percentage of cats that can be deaf.
12 Breeds That Can Have Blue Eyes
#1. Persian Cat
Persian cats need no introduction. We all know how pretty cute, laidback and independent these cats are. It’s still one of the favourite breeds among cat lovers around the globe. Persian cats are medium-sized long-haired cats. Although they are called Persain their exact origin is contradictory but it’s sure that the breed originated in the Middle East or Egypt.
Persian cats come in all the major solid colours white(of course with blue eyes too), black, orange, grey, brown and cream. When it comes to the pattern they can be solid, calico, dilute calico, tabby, smoke, chinchilla, van, tortoiseshell. Their eyes can be blue, green, brown, copper, silver, or golden.
Persians are not very healthy cats and need intensive care. They shed excessively and have to be groomed daily.
Blue eyes are the symbol of a purebred Ragdoll cat. Ragdoll is an amicable and cuddly cat breed. They stick like a shadow to their owner. Ragdolls are lazy and love sleeping in the lap of the owner. Their personality is so sweet that they are known as ‘puppy-like cats’. Also, they mix up pretty well with the other pets in the household.
Ragdoll is the most popular cat breed in the world in 20201 as per Cat Fanciers Association(CFA). This large-sized cat has medium-length fur that comes in six colours: seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream. They can be bicolour, van, mitted or colourpoint.
Birman, ‘The Sacred Cat of Burma’ is among the medium-sized pet cat breed. They have a strong, muscular and rounded body. It is an independent calm personality type cat. So, it’s a good breed to keep in busy families. All Birmans have pointed coats and triangular heads because of their genetic relationship with Siamese cats. Also, they look similar to Himalayan and Balinese therefore it is difficult to differentiate between the three of them. A distinctive feature of Birman is their socks-like white paws also known as ‘gloves’.
Their long coats can have a variety of colours such as red, cream, chocolate, white, Lilac. They may have seal point, chocolate point, blue point, flame point and tabby patterns. All purebred Birmans have blue eyes but that shade may vary.
The Himalayan is technically a Persian with a colourpoint pattern and that’s why many cat registries register it under Persian breed. However, there is another group of formal cat organisations which recognise Himalayan as a separate breed. Actually, it is a crossbreed between a Persian and Siamese cat.
They are pretty much similar in appearance to Persian, Burmese and also Balinese cats. But when it comes to their size they are larger than Persian cats and have long hair too. Like Birmans, all Himalayan cats have blue eyes.
The Siamese cat is known as ‘the meezer’ along with Maine Coon. These cats originated in Siam(now Thailand). It is the first recognised breed from Asia and is widely used to crossbreed other cats. Ragdolls, Birmans, Himalayan, Balinese, Snowshoes all have their genetic relationship with siamese. However, the purebred Siamese cat is still equally popular among cat lovers.
This breed is known for its beautiful colour points pattern and exhibits almost every colourpoint pattern including seal point, chocolate point, flame point, blue point, lilac point, tortie point and lynx point. Another distinctive feature of Siamese cats is their small triangular head with long triangular ears. When it comes to personality, Siamese is an agile, talkative, quirky cat that entertains the owner all the time.
The Balinese is another breed with siamese lineage which reflects from its contrasting colourpoint pattern. The two major differences between Siamese and Balinese cats are, the Balinese have long-haired coats while the Siamese have short hair.
Secondly, the Balinese cat can only have blue eyes while the Siamese may have different colours. Because of their Siamese look and lineage, they are also known as ‘Purebred Long Haired Siamese’.
Recall, that told you that they also look similar in appearance to Himalayan and Birman. But there are some differences Himalayan cats have very long hair while the length of Balinese hair is not as long as Himalayan. On the other hand, Birman have typical white colour paws but Balinese don’t. Balinese are known as the most intelligent long-haired cat breed.
#7. Turkish Angora
Turkish Angora or ‘Ankara’ cat is another semi-longhaired cat breed that originated in Turkey. They look similar in appearance to Persian cats because of their bushy tail and semi-long coat. But the Persian cat has a rounded head, flatter face and longer hair than Turkish Angora. On the other hand, the Turkish Angora has longer and more pointed ears than the Persian cat.
It is one of the most active and energetic long-haired cats bred who loves to perch at heights and explore the house. Don’t be surprised if you see her on the top of the almirah or exploring the storeroom.
This breed is also very friendly, especially because they are famous for making their favourites within the family and used to guard them like their own kittens.
They may have white, albino, black, brown chocolate, smoke, cream or red coats. And their eyes can be blue, green, amber, yellow, brown or odd colours.
#8. Tonkinese Cat
The Tonkinese cat is somewhat an intermediate cat between the Siamese and Burmese from which it was crossbreed for the first time in the United States. They are medium-sized cats with colour point patterns. Their nether body is completely slender like the Siamese nor rounded like Burmese.
They are friendly, quirky, vocal and so playful that they quickly get bored in a short span of time. They are not as talkative as Siamese but have more pleasant voices somewhat like the Burmese.
The Cat Fanciers Association formally accepts natural brown, blue, champagne and platinum as the base colour of Tonkinese cats. While in Europe some other colours such as red(orange), cream, caramel, tortoiseshell, cinnamon, fawn and apricot are also accepted.
Their eyes can have aqua-hued, blue and green colours.
#9. Maine Coon
These gentle giants have a contrasting personality to their looks. Their calm, sweet and loving personality is completely opposite to their majestic look. Being one of the largest and the longest cat breeds, Maine has massive popularity. This is because of the fact that they keep growing till 4-5 years of age. Unlike other cats that grow only upto 2 years.
This breed was the first breed that originated in the USA in the state of Maine. They possess a great variety in their coat colours and patterns which can be solid: white, black, brown, orange, blue, creme, chocolate, lilac and more. Similarly, a large number of patterns are found in Maine Coons such as— tabby, tortie, bicolour, tuxedo, calico, and smoke. As well as several sub-patterns.
Their eyes can be aqua, blue, amber, brown, gold as well as green.
Known as the ‘Canadian Hairless Cat’ Sphynx are known for their unique appearance in the cat world.
As visible in the picture this is a bald cat with the degree of hairlessness varies among cats. Some may have a ‘pinkish’ or ‘peach-coloured’ fuzz on the entire body, while the others might have it on the extremities.
Some other contrasting features of the Sphynx is her long ears, long tail, lean body, visible bones and muscles and wrinkled skin at some parts of the body, especially at the forehead, neck, and upper limbs.
She is very active, inquisitive, chatty and playful. And demands a lot of attention. Her grooming needs are low and she’s quite healthy too.
They can have all the primary cat colours—white, black, blue, red, creme and brown along with various sub-colours of each. Similarly, their pattern can be tabby, tortie, calico, bi-colour, and point. Sphynx eyes can be blue, green, gold and odd-eyed.
#11. Domestic Shorthair
The Domestic Shorthair although have a long history these not formally accepted cat breed. These cats are also known as ‘Moggie’ in the United Kingdom. These cats are identical to the American Shorthair. However, American shorthair is a formally accepted breed and have strict standards.
They resemble each other so much that it’s pretty difficult to identify an American Shorthair Cat without certified breed papers.
As far as her appearance is concerned, she is a small yet strong breed with a large head and normal ears. They come in a variety of colours however the silver tabby is most popular followed by the cream tabby. Their eyes colour can be blue, copper, gold, hazel, green and odd-eyed.
How to Check Whether the White Cat is Deaf or Not?
Now let’s suppose that you have a white cat with blue eyes but you are unsure about whether she’s actually deaf or not?
There are two ways to determine. You may either observe her behaviour for some days at home and reach a conclusion or you may take the help of an expert by visiting a veterinary health centre.
Approach 1. Check Yourself at Home
To determine whether your cat is actually deaf or not you have to observe her closely for some days and find out whether her behaviour is showing deafness or not.
Signs of Deafness in Cats:
- Not paying attention when anyone enters her room if she’s not seeing them.
- Not paying attention to the sounds when something falls on the floor. You can also check it by clapping your hands or rattling keys.
- Excessive vocalisation.
- Difficult to woke up
The problem with this approach is only helpful when your cat is deaf with both ears. But, if she’s deaf with just one ear then this approach won’t work. In that case, you have to try the second approach.
Approach 2- Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response(BAER) Test
The second option is to request your princess to sit in a carrier and visit a special veterinarian centre to have a simple test called Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response(BAER). This test can accurately determine whether your cat is really dead or she just ignores you.LOL.
Brainstem Auditory Centres in the U.S.A.
|Bust Veterinary Neurology Services||Atlanta||https://bvns.net/aboutus/|
|Southeast Veterinary Neurology||Miami||https://sevneurology.com/|
|VCA Animal Hospital||Colorado||https://vcahospitals.com/animal-specialty-group-los-angeles|
|Blue Pearl Pet Hospital||Portland||https://bluepearlvet.com/hospital/northeast-portland-or/|
8 Facts of White Cats With Blue Eyes
#1. Not All Cats with White Coat and Blue Eyes are Deaf
Although about 60-80 percent of white cats with blue eyes are deaf this is just 1-2 percent of the total cat population. So, if your cat has white fur and blue eyes it doesn’t really mean that she is deaf. We can’t presume anything without a proper diagnosis.
#2. White Cats are Prone to Skin Cancer and Sunburn More Than Other Colour Cats
If you have a white cat you have to be extra preventive for her health especially if she goes out in the sun. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals RSPCA, white pets including cats are prone to sunburn as well as skin cancer. Especially around the areas around the eyelids, ears, nose and patches where they have less hair.
#3. If Your Kittens Blue Eyes Might Change Their Colour With Time
If you are too happy that your cat has given birth o a white kitten with blue eyes and you want to spread this news on social media. Then it’s good to know that the actual colour of kitten eyes does not appear until they attain the age of 6-7 weeks.
The blue colour of their eyes may appear because of the refraction of light rather than pigmentation. Kittens’ eyes get their real colour by the time they become at least three months old.
#4. Odd Blue-Eyed Cats Are Possibly Deaf Only From One Ear
Another interesting fact is, cats that have odd eyes(here, one blue and another of a different colour) the possibilities are, she may be deaf from one ear only. And, the ear can be on the side where she has the blue eye.
#5. Cats That Are Deaf Only From Ear Behaves Normally
You may never come to know that your cat is deaf from one ear because the cats with just one deaf ear behave normally. Even the Cats who are completely deaf can take the cues from the actions of normal cats(if you have a multicat household). So, it’s difficult to find out the deafness of cats.
#6. White Cats With Blue Eyes Are Not Prone to Blindness
Another misinformation some people have about white cats is that they are prone to blindness. But it isn’t true. Lack of melanocytes only affect ears and not eyes.
#7. Blue Eyed Cats Are Not Always White
Blue-eyed cats are not necessarily white they can come in any colour and pattern. Even bald cats like Sphynx have blue eyes.
#8. Internal Ear of Deaf Cats is Different from Normal Cats
According to an article published by National Centre for Biotechnology Information(NCBI), the internal structure of deaf cats is different from those that do not have hearing problems.
20 Names for White Cat Cats With Blue Eyes
If you are looking for cute names to name your cat here are 20 cute cat names. 10 out of these 20 names are based on white colour and its beauty while the remaining 10 are based on blue eyes.
10 Names Based on White Coat
- Alba- means white or bright in Latin.
- Afina- female deer and blueberry in Romanian.
- Ayca- moonlight.
- Bishojo- a beautiful girl in Japanese.
- Liuxing- a Chinese name that means shooting star
- Nieve- means snow in Spanish.
- Sparkle- anything that glitter.
- Ordek- means duck in Turkish
- Pato- a Spanish name for a duck.
- Snefnug- means snowflakes in Danish.
10 Cat Names Based on Blue-eyes
- Aquamarine- a gemstone having aqua colour.
- Azura- of sky blue colour.
- Bing- ice in Chinese.
- Erin- peace in Irish(a reference to peaceful looking aqua-blue eyes).
- Iris- a blue flower.
- Lago- A Spanish name lake.
- Neelam- an Indian name meaning sapphire.
- Ocean- reference to the blue colour of the ocean.
- Sapphire- a blue gemstone.
- Magisk- magical in Danish(here reference to magical blue eyes)
Did I Leave Anything?
In this post, I’ve tried my best to justify the title ‘White Cat with Blue Eyes- Everything at One Place’ and tried to cover the topic from different perspectives. My goal here was to fulfil the intent of different searchers who are exploring the internet with different intentions. I hope that by now your understanding of white cats with blue eyes is much better than what was known to you before reading this post.
If you liked the article and want me to notify you whenever I publish a new post then you may subscribe to my email list and you’ll be notified about all the latest content. Meanwhile, you may read other posts on our blog to increase the scope of your knowledge about cats. If you liked the article then kindly do let me know in the comments and share it on your social networks. With that said, I’m going now, to come back.
“ Stay Mesmerised by the Beauty of the Blue-eyed White Fairies”