Before anything else, I would like to dedicate this post to the first calico cat that stole my heart many years ago. She was part of a local stray community that was looked after by a few locals. She was called ‘Mommy cat’ because when she was first discovered, she was nursing a litter of kittens.
Thankfully, all her kittens were adopted out, Mommy cat was fixed and returned back to the community. This sweet calico was amazingly friendly and loved sitting on your lap. She lived a good 13 years before crossing the rainbow bridge.
I still miss and think about her to this day.
If you are asking if ‘Mommy the calico cat’ had blue eyes? No, she didn’t. I still remember her eyes being bright green.
There are calico cats that have blue eyes due to their own genetics. Although finding a blue-eyed calico cat is very rare, it can happen when a calico cat mates with a cat that has blue eyes. Most calico cats have eyes that are yellow or green.
What Exactly Is A Calico Cat?
Many cat lovers might not realize that a calico cat isn’t a cat breed but a type of coat pattern on a cat.
The technical definition term of a calico cat is any cat of any breed that has a tri-color coat. These three colors are usually, black, white and orange. Calico cats can also come in shades of cream and gray and these cats are known as muted calicos.
Let us go a little deeper into the biology of a calico cat color.
The female cat will contribute an X chromosome to the egg. Within this chromosome, lies the DNA of her future offspring. The same goes for the male cat who will contribute either an X or Y chromosome.
For the calico coat pattern to occur, the cat’s genes need to have a black and orange component to it. As the embryo grows, the black and orange patches will get randomly distributed throughout its body with patches of white.
Every calico cat has its own unique coat pattern, even twins!
Calico cats are often mistaken for tortoiseshell cats but a tortoiseshell cat only has a bi-colored cat like orange and black with no white markings.
Calico cats do have their white markings due to the white spotting gene which is responsible for the white patches in cats.
If you ever see a black cat with a patch of white fur on its chest, this is also known as piebalding.
Can Calico Cats Be Male?
One interesting fact about calico and tortoiseshell cats is that they are pretty much born female cats. In the rare case that a male is born, the male calico cat is usually sterile.
A study conducted by the University Of Missouri claims that only 1 out of 3000 is male. Without getting too much into the science of it, male calico cats are so rare due to the matching of their chromosomes after two cats mate.
What Determines The Eye Color Of A Cat?
They say that the eyes are the windows to one’s soul and when I look deep into my cat’s eyes it does feel that way at times.
The color of a cat’s eyes is determined by melanin which is a type of pigment in the body. It is this pigment that also determines the fur color of the cat.
Melanin is found in the cat’s iris and the more melanin there is, the darker the cat’s eyes will be.
The darkest that a cat’s eye can be is a dark brownish copper color which is commonly seen in breeds like the Bombay and American shorthair.
Most of the time, cats will have eyes that range between different shades of yellow and green.
Interestingly enough, what causes a cat’s eyes to be blue isn’t due to the melanin but the lack of it. Yup, blue-eyed calico cats do not have any melanin in their iris at all. This is due to the presence of the white spotting gene which strips the iris of melanin.
When light refracts off their eyes, it gives the impression that the cat’s eyes are blue.
Is It Rare For A Calico Cat To Have Blue Eyes?
In all my ears dealing with cats, I have never seen a calico cat with blue eyes before. The calico coat pattern is rather common but definitely not when it comes to having blue eyes.
That being said, if you have a calico kitten that has blue eyes, don’t be too fast to celebrate yet. Not trying to burst your bubble here but your cat’s eye color might change.
All newborn kittens have blue eyes due to the lack of pigmentation in their iris. When they reach around 6 weeks old, the production of melanin starts to happen and gives their eyes their true color.
There is one very rare cat breed where it is possible for the cat to be a calico and have blue eyes.
This breed is called the ‘Ojos Azules’ and it means ‘blue eyes’ in Spanish. When it comes to blue eyes, this breed takes the cake.
This cat breed is known for its mesmerizing deep blue eyes which look different from your normal blue-eyed cat.
The blue eye gene in the Ojos Azules allows cats with any fur color and pattern to have these deep blue eyes, including our beloved calicos.
Unfortunately, this breed has temporarily been suspended as the gene that gives this breed the blues eyes has been linked to other serious health defects.
What Eye Color Is Common In Calico Cats?
The cool thing about being a calico cat is that it isn’t restricted to just one cat breed. Many cat breeds can have the calico coat pattern. This allows calico cats all around the world to have a wide variety of amazing eye colors.
The more common eye color in calico cats are:
What Kind Of Cats Have Blue Eyes?
In the feline kingdom, cat breeds that have the color-pointed coat pattern have a bigger chance of having blue eyes.
Color-pointed cats tend to have darker colors towards the end or tip of their bodies like the ears, paws and tails.
If you are looking for a cat with blue eyes, you can try these cat breeds:
Calico cats will always have a special place in my heart because of Mommy cat. There is always something special about calico cats that makes me want to get to know them better.
Regardless of eye color, calicos are known for their spunky and assertive personalities. They are also loyal, sweet and loving cats that are happy to bond with their cat owners.