Weird-eye kitty
February 16, 2011 7:57 AM   Subscribe

We have a cat that sometimes visits our garden that has short legs and very strange eyes. They are big, dark brown and flecked. The cat seems healthy and affectionate, but I'm curious why it looks like this.
posted by Zarkonnen to Pets & Animals (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Cat eye color is linked to coat color; both come in a huge range of types. The cat in your garden has very pretty eyes, but they don't seem "strange" to me. You can see many of the colors here.
posted by rtha at 8:18 AM on February 16, 2011

Copper/brown eyes are fairly common in DSH cats.

Look at the colouring chart here (original artist). Colour is linked to coat marking in cats. Brown-eyed "tuxedo" cats are not that unusual (see bottom of this page).
posted by bonehead at 8:25 AM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Beautiful eyes!
Check out this amazing chart for more details on eye color/coat pattern combinations.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:28 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Damnit bonehead, would have beaten you but I had the link from cheezburger and was looking for the original.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:29 AM on February 16, 2011

Response by poster: I think it doesn't come across well in the photo and video (because they're both blurry) that the cat's eyes are set very far apart and bulge out a lot. And the irises are very irregular in colouring - some parts are nearly black, others are a strong brown. Also, I noticed that one of the eyes seemed to have a fleck of something sitting on the eyeball itself, though that may be unrelated kitty misfortune. :(
posted by Zarkonnen at 8:43 AM on February 16, 2011

I think his head is just shaped a bit different.. it's wider and flater then most of the kitties I've owned.

fwiw, my baby girl has a floating something in her eyeball too and it doesn't hurt her at all. It's that brown line on the bottom of her left eye. (do not let the miserable expression she has fool you. She was just grumpy i woke her up to take pictures and being a drama-kitty)
posted by royalsong at 9:14 AM on February 16, 2011

And you know what, taking a second look at him.. I bet you he's part Persian. That would explain the shape of his head and eyes.
posted by royalsong at 9:19 AM on February 16, 2011

I'm guessing part Persian or some other smooshed-face breed, too. And the flecking could be related to age. Every elderly kitty I've ever had has had the flecks as they age.
posted by cooker girl at 9:43 AM on February 16, 2011

He does look part Persian or something. My sister's cat has that same funny,wide, flattish face and the vet said he's most likely part Persian. (And my tuxedo cat has similarly colored eyes.)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:45 AM on February 16, 2011

I know that when my cats got older, they accumulated coppery-brown flecks in their eyes, even though the eyes started off as green or golden. The vet said they were iron deposits. So you may be meeting a spry but aging cat with natural copper eyes that you could probably drag back and forth with a magnet. OK, not really with the magnet bit.
posted by maudlin at 10:09 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

My sister's super old (18? 19?) cat has flecks like that. As far as anyone has been able tell, they aren't a problem.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 10:41 AM on February 16, 2011

Have to say I see nothing that unusual about the cat or its eyes.
posted by Decani at 11:26 AM on February 16, 2011

I think most colour flecks are harmless, but we had a calico who developed a speckly discolouration in one of her eyes over a long period of time, we almost didn't notice and because nothing else seemed wrong and her behaviour never changed we let it go. It turned out she had a tumor pressing on the back of her eyes and she was likely in a lot of pain so we had to put her down. BUT I can't really see this particular kitty's eye specks clearly so I have no idea if they are the same type. I'd suggest you check out a cat vet reference on eye health and see what it says.
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 11:27 AM on February 16, 2011

Another vote for part-Persian and an older kitty. Any cat I've seen with eyes like that have been older cats.
posted by deborah at 12:16 PM on February 16, 2011

If it has very short legs then it might be a munchkin (I could tell from the video or photo). Some people think it's cute to breed mutations into their animals for cosmetic reasons. Munchkins are basically dwarfs. The eye popping thing is probably also due to breeding, for example it's done in persians to give that smooshy faced look and burmese can look a bit popeyed due to their prominent cheekbones. The flecks are probably normal, but they look more obvious because of how the eyes bulge out.

Another thing to consider is that this kitty might be fairly old. The eye flecks can be a sign of ageing (as others have mentioned), my old burmese Mandy has quite a few of them by now and the vet is fine with it. Also, as they get older cats lose subcutaneous fat and their fur thins out which makes their underlying facial structure more obvious. Mandy looks more bug-eyed and pointy-faced than she did when she was younger. The eyelids can draw back more too making the eyes look noticeably bigger (Mandy and my parent's old cat both has this problem). The catface in the video reminded me of Mandy in many ways. That's probably a good thing because cats generally only get old and affectionate if they're healthy and well looked after.
posted by shelleycat at 12:22 PM on February 16, 2011

That first sentance should say I couldn't tell, by the way.
posted by shelleycat at 12:52 PM on February 16, 2011

There's nothing wrong with its eyes.
posted by fire&wings at 2:16 PM on February 16, 2011

you can't really tell from the video, but i agree that it could be munchkin and over breeding could also cause some unusual side effects in eye color and shape.
posted by skwint at 2:32 PM on February 16, 2011

Burmese cats can have short noses and eyes that are very wide-set and/or very, very bright or unusually colored. If the kitty's very vocal, that's another Burmese trait.
posted by devotion+doubt at 5:27 PM on February 16, 2011

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