Orange Cat Eyes – What Breed Could It Be?

Have you ever been mesmerized by the glowing amber eyes of a cat? Intriguing, isn't it?

Let's unravel the secrets hidden behind the orange eyes of cats!

Orange eyes in cats, a shade as alluring as a breathtaking sunset, can be a head-turner.

But did you know, this striking eye color is quite rare in the world of our feline friends?

Now that you're on the edge of your seat, are you eager to dive into the specifics?

Stay with us as we journey into this intriguing realm, answering your questions along the way.

Cat Breeds Boasting Orange Eyes

When you think of a cat, you may not imagine one with striking orange eyes. Yet, such captivating felines exist.

While no specific breed claims exclusive rights to orange eyes, some breeds may occasionally flaunt them.

Let's explore the possibilities in breeds that you might see orange eyes make an appearance.

Breeds Of Possibility: Who Can You Expect Orange Eyes From?

You might spot these intriguing orange eyes in some breeds more than others. Among them are:

  • Devon Rex
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • American Wirehair
  • Maine Coon
  • Turkish Van
  • Scottish Fold

Orange eyes can make a surprise appearance in other breeds too.

For instance, the dignified Persians, with a color chart allowing for copper eyes - an enchanting shade flirting with orange.

What's more, don't discount the humble non-pedigreed domestic shorthair and longhair cats – they could occasionally flash a pair of orange eyes too!

Decoding Cat's Breed by Eye Color

Think your cat's orange eyes reveal its breed? Not so fast. A cat's breed goes beyond just eye color.

Moreover, unless you bought or adopted a cat with a documented pedigree, odds are that your cat is not of any particular breed.

The correct name for describing your cat would probably be "domestic shorthair", or possibly "domestic longhair" (depending on their coat).

Known as DSH and DLH respectively, these are our gorgeous beloved pet cats that don't belong to any specific breed.

True orange eyes in domestic shorthairs and longhairs are a rare spectacle.

So, if Kitty flashes a pair of brilliant orange eyes, it doesn't necessarily mean it belongs to a particular breed. But aren't you curious to know more?

Read more about what breed your cat may look like: What Breed Is My Cat?

Delving Into Orange-Eyed Cat Breeds

To unmask the mystery of "operation orange cat eyes," we rely on breed standards set by reputable associations like the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) and TICA (The International Cat Association).

We uncover those breeds that can potentially sport orange eyes. Bear in mind, breed standards can change over time, and there may be slight variations across different associations.

Determining orange eyes in cats can be subjective. Many breeds list amber and copper as possible eye colors, which may appear similar to orange.

This could be particularly true in photos, where lighting and editing can cause color variations.

A cute fierce looking maine coon cat looking outside the window, Orange Cat Eyes: What Breed Could It Be?

Portrait of a cat with bright orange eyes, Orange Cat Eyes: What Breed Could It Be?
Orange eyes angry cat, Orange Cat Eyes: What Breed Could It Be?
British shorthair cat portrait looking shocked, Orange Cat Eyes: What Breed Could It Be?
Young black cat sitting on a wooden floor, Orange Cat Eyes: What Breed Could It Be?
Scottish fold cat with orange eyes, Orange Cat Eyes: What Breed Could It Be?

Devon Rex

The Devon Rex has a distinct appearance and is best known for its soft wave coat. With their huge low-set ears, these kitties look quite impish.

The Devon Rex has a muscular body with a short muzzle and high cheekbones. These cats also tend to have a personality to match their looks.

Any eye color is acceptable in the Devon Rex to meet breed standards, though most have bluish aqua eyes. Orange is rarer in this breed than in others.

A cute Devon Rec with orange eye cat lying in his small sack home

Japanese Bobtail

The Japanese Bobtail is a medium-sized cat with a defined structure and a slender build. These cats are considered the good luck cats of Japan.

We've all likely seen many versions of a ceramic cat with a raised paw beckoning in homes and businesses as a symbol of good luck. That cat is traditionally a Japanese Bobtail.

This cat has high cheekbones and a long nose. As the name implies, it has a short, bunny-like tail and is generally colored in a bi-color or tri-colored pattern.

Japanese Bobtails have been featured in art for at least 1,000 years. Overall, these cats are active and intelligent.


Check out our post about the Maneki Neko and the good luck they bring.

Although the Japanese Bobtail has large eyes, they are more oval than round. The breed standard allows any color of eyes, including orange.

A Fierce white and black colored Japanese bobtail on an orange background

American Wirehair

The American Wirehair is a breed that's marked by its coarse and rough coat. This breed is energetic and adaptable.

The American Wirehair is medium-sized with a firm and muscular body. They are closely related to the American Shorthair which is from where the mutation originated.

The eyes are wide-set, medium to large in size proportionate with the size of the head, and more rounded than oval.

Any eye color is acceptable under the breed standard, though it should be a complement to the coat color. Many cats of this type with tortoiseshell coloring have orange eyes.

American wirehair cat

Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is one of the only longhaired cats native to America. These cats are rugged and can endure cold harsh climates.

They have smooth, shaggy coats and are overall very handsome. They have an affectionate nature, cute quirks, and are willing to help.

The Maine Coon can adapt to many environments and has a medium to large body and a broad chest.

One of their most distinctive features is their eyes, which are large, oval to nearly round, expressive, and set at a slightly oblique angle. Any eye color is permissible but generally ranges from gold to green.

A cute fierce looking maine coon cat looking outside the window, Orange Cat Eyes: What Breed Could It Be?

Read more: The Maine Coon Cat

Turkish Van

The Turkish Van is a breed from the Middle East, thought to have originated in Turkey. They have a unique and distinctive pattern, generally having colored head and tail markings.

These cats are solidly built, medium-length-haired with a wide chest, substantial body, and legs.

The Turkish Van is intelligent and rare; they even have a waterproof coat which makes them adept at swimming.

The Turkish Van is the only breed of cat which most often has amber or orange-colored eyes. Other eye colors are okay in regards to the breed standard, and some might even have multi-colored eyes.

Read more: Turkish Van Cats: 5 Fascinating Things You Should Know

A white Turkish van cat with orange and blue eyes lying on the couch

Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold cat was a mutation that occurred in farm cats in Scotland. They are marked by their ears which fold forward and remain resting on their heads.

The Scottish Fold has an open, friendly, sweet expression. The breed was established by crossing British Shorthair and domestic cats.

All Scottish Fold cats can trace their lineage to the first fold-eared cat discovered by William and Mary Ross, who founded the breed.

If you're considering a Scottish Fold for your next pet, make sure not to breed them. The mutation they carry could be fatal when two cats with folded ears are crossed.

The Scottish Fold cat has an excessive amount of melanin in their eyes, so generally, they are amber, orange, or brown.

An up close photo of a Scottish Fold cat starring at the camera

A Deeper Look into the Science of Cat Eye Color

Do you ever gaze into your cat's eyes and marvel at their color?

Various shades adorn feline eyes, determined by the melanin in their DNA, a genetic gift from their parents. The eye color, like their captivating coat, is often an inherited trait.

Have you ever stumbled upon an old myth saying a cat's diet, particularly fish, can alter its eye color?

Let's debunk this: it's not true!

The eye color of your precious cat is determined by genetics and science.

The Role of Melanin

Melanin plays a crucial role in determining eye color. This pigment is produced by cells called melanocytes found in both the skin and eyes.

The amount and distribution of melanin determine the color of your cat's eyes.

The layer of a cat's eye responsible for its color is the iris, which contains two layers: the stroma and the epithelium.

Both layers harbor melanocytes, but it's primarily the melanin in the stroma (the front layer) that influences eye color.

A higher concentration of melanin will give the iris a darker hue, resulting in colors from amber to brown.

In contrast, a lesser amount of melanin yields lighter colors, from green to yellow.

Blue eyes are special; they contain minimal to no melanin. Instead, their color comes from a phenomenon called the Tyndall effect.

This effect occurs when light scatters in the collagen fibers of the stroma, giving off a blue hue.

Genetics and Eye Color

Eye color in cats is largely a genetic trait, passed down from parent to offspring. The genes involved are yet to be clearly identified, but research suggests the involvement of at least two sets of genes, possibly more.

Cats can carry either dominant or recessive versions (alleles) of these genes. The combination they inherit from their parents dictates their eye color.

For example, a cat with two copies of the dominant blue-eye allele will most likely have blue eyes. Conversely, a cat with two copies of the recessive green-eye allele will probably have green eyes.

The Most Common Eye Color in Cats

Yellow or amber eyes are the most common in cats, followed by the intriguing hazel.

Interestingly, blue-eyed cats lack melanin in their irises. Their eyes are essentially clear, but the blue shade emerges due to the light reflecting off their iris's curved surface. White cats frequently flaunt this eye color.

What Is The Rarest Eye Color For Cats?

A few colors are rare when it comes to eye colors in cats.

One such color is amber or orange which are among the lighter color of cat eyes.

Copper-colored eyes represent the darkest hue found in cats. It's an unusual blend of light brown with shades of red and orange, occasionally speckled with yellow, green, or more orange.

The color is rare, standing out as distinct from orange yet equally unique.  It's all attributed to the melanin content.

Some cats showcase heterochromia iridium, each iris bearing a different color. This is truly a rare phenomenon and a sight to see!

At What Age Do Cats Get Their Eye Color?

Kittens are born with blue eyes because the melanocytes in their irises haven't started producing melanin yet.

As the kitten grows, these cells begin to function, and the eyes start to change color around 4-6 weeks of age. By the time the kitten reaches three months old, the eyes will have reached their permanent color.

Kitten's eyes start changing at around 4-6 weeks, but their true adult color won't show until they are around 4 months old.

Some kittens have heterochromia, a condition where their eyes aren't the same color. This doesn't hurt them in any way; it just means the melanin didn't reach both eyes.

It's worth noting that some cats may experience a change in eye color due to health issues.

Conditions such as uveitis, an inflammation of the eye's uvea, can cause a darkening of the eye color. Always consult with a vet if you notice any sudden changes in your cat's eye color.

Exploring the Magic of Orange-Eyed Felines

The charm of orange-eyed cats is a unique spectacle, mesmerizing in its rarity. Although rare, the possibility is definitely there in many breeds of cats.

Let us know if you have a furry friend with orange eyes so we can coo over the cuteness with you.

funny british shorthair cat portrait looking shocked or surprised on orange background with copy space

You might also like:  Eye Problems In Cats: What Every Owner Needs To Know


Your Cat’s Eyes and Vision: The Complete Guide

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7 comments on “Orange Cat Eyes – What Breed Could It Be?

Vicki May 4, 2023
Calico with orange eyes…
Torry February 12, 2023
My Orange Maine Coon mix has Orange eyes. He’s adorable.
segelkatt October 12, 2022
My red Maine Coon mix had eyes the same color of his fur which was quite pale with slight tabby markings only on his face, no stripes or dots anywhere else and a cream colored tip of his tail. The eyes changed from light to darker but always that orange color.
Claire Kelly July 22, 2022
I took in a stray who is a torti. I did not notice her eye color at first - I called it a dark bronze. Solid build, short hair, Happy she has found her forever home with me, my small dog & 3 other cats.
stephanie jones January 17, 2022
my cats eyes are dark orange and they are almost the same color as her orange fur!
pete August 20, 2021
my cat pete has orange eyes. he’s domestic long hair but bears all the markings of a norwegian forest cat.
maggie101 August 4, 2021
My cats eyes change bronze to green. She is a mixed breed like most cats. Just unique coloring

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