Yes, they do! It’s easy to identify a Siamese cat because of its many identifiable traits. Aside from the color-pointed coat, they are also known to have striking ocean-like blue eyes which are mainly caused by recessive genes. All Siamese cats are born with such a magnificent eye color. With breeders wanting these cats to keep on carrying such incredible and eye-catching features, it is less likely that Siamese cats will let go of their blue eyes in the future.
The above picture shows an adult Siamese with a set of splendidly blue eyes which are darker in the core near the iris and paler in the surrounding areas.
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Are Siamese Cats the Only Breed With Blue Eyes?
No, not at all. There are other cat breeds with blue eyes although the mechanism behind their color might be different from that of the Thai native cat. Even though having blue eyes result from the lack of pigment, some other cats might have their melanin kick in, later on, which is not the case for the Siamese. You will notice kittens bearing the blue shade, but as they mature, their true eye color shows.
Nevertheless, here are some breeds with natural blue eyes:
- Balinese cats
- Javanese cats
- Himalayan cats
- Tonkinese cats
- Birman cats
- Ragdoll cat
- Snowshoe cat
Why Do Siamese Cats Have Blue Eyes?
The moment a Siamese cat is born, he is predisposed to partial albinism. The Himalayan gene, which is recessive by nature, is responsible for why kittens are born with all white fur and are set to have blue eyes their whole lives. It is worth noting though that Siamese cats don’t look like your typical albino animal. The Himalayan gene causes a temperature-sensitive system in the body hence why Siamese cats are dark in the extremities except mainly for their torsos.
Let’s dissect further how this specific ribonucleic acid (RNA) works on the Siamese breed’s eye color.
Due to the temperature-sensitive albinism system, the pigment in a Siamese cat’s eyes is canceled. What that suggests is that there is no pigment present in them at all. This can spark curiosity as to why we, humans, see blue in their eyes. Well, it’s the same thing with the skies.
With colors and wavelengths in mind, we get to understand that the blue light travels with shorter and smaller waves, and therefore, it gets dispersed more compared to other colors. The sufficiency of the blue light gets reflected in the entire layer of the stroma of the Siamese cat’s eyes and that creates a color that becomes visible to us.
Although violet is claimed to be shorter and smaller in wavelength, which is true, there is a reason why we don’t see a Siamese cat’s eyes to be in the same shade. In a sense, they should have violet eyes, but we, being humans, our sensitivity to light and colors is different. Our naked eyes are more color-sensitive to blue than violet.
The Siamese cats and their partial albinism have a significant effect on how their eyes are structured. There are two layers that carry the pigment dictating a cat’s eye color: epithelium and stroma. Some blue-eyed cats have at least one layer in the eye that has the pigment. However, the Siamese cat has no pigment, whatsoever, in both eye layers. This, in turn, makes their eyes blue.
It is not a surprise if the Siamese cat has been a subject of selective breeding. The traditional ones were highly prone to developing features considered to be faulty such as the crossed eyes and the kinked tails. Breeders were encouraged to eliminate these undesirable features while retaining the good ones, hence the emergence of the modern-type Siamese. Luckily, the tedious breed development resulted in the preservation of the cat’s blue eyes.
Why Is My Cat’s Eye Color Changing?
Since the eye color of the Siamese has the same concept as the sky, it is to be anticipated that the colors may change. Not on the concept that the eyes will change into hazel or green but the intensity of the blue shade may vary from time to time.
If we look at the sky every day, we would notice its color changing. It can be light sky blue today and deep sky blue tomorrow. It is ever-changing. During the days where the sky is pure blue, it could mean that no moisture or smog in the air can absorb a certain amount of light scattering. This then results in a more vivid blue color. The same thing works with the siamese cat’s color.
Additionally, it is worth acknowledging that the absence of pigment in the eyes of the Siamese could mean reflecting into the eye the surrounding colors, hence the natural color modification.
Can a Siamese Cat See Well at Night?
Not as good as a normal cat. On a perfectly typical day, a Siamese cat faces no major problems with his vision. He can see clearly anything that moves including its shape, color, and distance. However, the accurate view and day vision get poor at night.
Albinism remains to be the same culprit on this. With the Siamese cat having difficulty navigating in the dark, injuries are highly likely. It’s not fair to conclude that the Siamese cat is totally blind in the dark. It’s just that they have their limitations. Compared to a normal cat who can see even the tiniest detail in the absence of light, the Siamese cat can only see figures or shapes.
In addition, other cats are born to have the tapetum lucidum which is another layer found in the eyes. This mainly functions by stimulating large amounts of light to get through the retina. Siamese cats don’t have this layer at all. This is why they receive less light.
If they have minor issues with vision during the day, it is worse during the night.
Is a Siamese Cat With Blue Eyes Deaf?
Although Siamese cats have sublime blue eyes, it is often a concern for many people whether or not they are deaf due to their eye color, especially since they have partial albinism and totally white fur at birth. A feline geneticist has the answer to this common inquiry. Dr. Leslie A. Lyons says that this is just a misconception. There is no connection between the Siamese cat’s blue eyes and deafness, she added.
However, there can be certain incidents that can cause injury to your Siamese cat’s ears such as trauma, infection, toxins, as well as degeneration of the ear. If you suspect that your Siamese cat is deaf, you can test this out to make sure your speculation is true or simply bring him to the vet for a check-up.
At home, what you can do is to stand a few feet away from your cat. Then, try to make a loud sudden noise either by screaming, clapping your hands, or dropping a metallic item on the floor. If the cat reacts and looks toward you, he is probably not deaf and has no issues with his hearing.