Categories: eyes

Pictures of odd-eyed hairless cats are eye-catching

Rosie and Poppy live with Sarah Jenkins who lives in the US. Sarah is a teacher and she decided to share her quality photos of her Sphynx odd-eyed cats on social media because someone said that they looked ‘weird’. Weird is good on social media especially if they are cats. It is an excellent combination if you want to get ahead of the competition.

Odd-eyed hairless cats are rare in my opinion. Photo by Sarah Jenkins on Instagram

They don’t look weird. They look interesting and they definitely caught my eye. They are on the Instagram website and she has 30,000 followers so Sarah has to keep photographing them to feed the voracious appetite of social media aficionados. She also photographs some Sphynx kittens she has which I have featured on another page (click here to see them – another interesting picture). Is she informally breeding them? She might comment.

Odd-eyed hairless cats: Sophie and Poppy. Photo: Sarah Jenkins.

The technical terminology for odd-eyed cats is heterochromia or more fully heterochromia iridium and you can get variations of it when each eye is made up of two colours rather than each eye having a different colour (sectoral heterochromia). The colours are normally yellow and blue. This is because the eye color for these cats is yellow but the dominant white gene has taken the pigment from one eye which makes it look blue because of the refraction of light through the iris. It is the same physics which cause the eyes of kittens to be blue. Kittens don’t have pigment in the iris so they are blue. When they develop they gain colour. Another gene which produces white fur in coats and odd-eyes is the white spotting of piebald gene.

This is the first time I have seen odd-eye colour in Sphynx cats. As mentioned you normally see it in all-white cats because it is the gene which creates the white (colourless actually) coat which takes pigment from one eye.

I wonder, therefore, if these hairless cats are actually all-white cats but for the presence of the genetic mutation which makes them hairless (almost – there is a fluff). The gene is recessive which means you have to breed Sphynx cats from parents who both have the hairless gene. Rosie and Poppy would have had an even coat colour if they had fur because there is no pattern on their skin.

Click this link to go to Sarah’s Instagram page.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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