Question: I am having trouble finding info about black eye color in Siamese cats. One of my Siamese cats has black eyes (if you shine a light on them or if turned into direct sunlight you’ll see the color is so dark blue that it appears black). The cat’s mother is a seal tabby-point and the father is a flame point. Where can I get more info on black eyes in Siamese cats?
My response: this is the first time that I have heard of a Siamese cat having black eyes. In fact, is the first time that I’ve heard of any cat having black eyes. Perhaps it goes without saying that a Siamese cat with black eyes cannot be a true Siamese cat because all Siamese cats have blue eyes under the breed standard. They should be brilliant sapphire blue. Perhaps then, the eyes are very dark blue giving the appearance of being black. The pointing of this cat is very indistinct. That may be linked genetically to the dark eye color.
There may be a health issue (but see update below). I think I need ask you a question. Are the pupils of your cat wide open a lot of the time? We know that the colour of an eye is in the pigmentation of the iris of the eye. When the pupils of an eye are wide open then the size of the iris shrinks and therefore there is less pigmentation to see. Also, what we do see is the back of the eye and this appears to be black or when light is shone directly into it we see green and sometimes red. This is because the light reflects off the reflective layer behind the retina and sometimes the blood vessels at the back of the eye in the retina can be seen and of course they show as the color red.
The point I’m trying to get to is that perhaps what you are seeing is not the pigmentation in the iris of your Siamese cat’s eye but the dark retina at the back of the eye because the pupils of your cat’s eyes are wide open. Is that a decent thought or am I barking up the wrong tree?
If they are open and frozen in the open position it indicates to me that the brain is not responding to light levels and directing the eye to change the size of the pupil. This may indicate partially blindness but that is a rather wild guess in the dark. High blood pressure and/or glaucoma can cause blindness.
However, it seems unlikely that your cat has an eyesight problem because you’d probably recognise that in the cat’s behavior although cats are good at disguising disabilities and you don’t say if you have looked after this cat for a long time.
If I am barking up the wrong tree (quite possible!) and you are actually looking at your cat’s true eye colour then it must be the case that what you’re seeing is a very dark shade of blue which looks black when direct light is not shone upon the eyes.
It will nice if you could e-mail me or try and upload some more photographs of your cat so that both myself and expert visitors to this website can comment upon them. It would be nice to hear from other people as to what their thoughts are on this interesting topic.
Update from Kristy:
“…I have had Sami since a kitten, I have great Pedigree papers with her of long lineage on both parents. There are a couple more pics of Sami, in one you can just see where light is showing a bit of blue at edge of iris with some light shining in it. I need to get my husband to hold Sami in the proper light to get more detail, when that is accomplished I will comment/leave more pics on the article site. Sami has no vision problems and her pupils are not, for lack of a better term ‘permanently dilated’.”
Kristy referred me to a photo of a Siamese cat in Thailand on PoC that I had discussed some time ago (the picture was taken from my site and used elsewhere). That Siamese cat had very dark eyes:
I am convinced now that your Siamese is genuine although the pointing is indistinct and the eye color is genuinely very dark. Perhaps the two are linked genetically. We’ll just have to conclude that you have a lynx point Siamese with black or very dark eyes. I wonder though how a judge would view Simi in competition at a cat show.