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Heterochromia in a cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: no breed
Age: 1-2 years
I recently got a cat as a rescue. She is white, with light grey and yellow splotches.My question is about her eyes. I have searched all over the internet and asked my vet today but he didn't seem to think her eyes were anything special nor did he give me a term for it. Her eyes are blue and green. Not one blue eye and one green eye. Each eye is split perfect down the middle, vertically. The outside of each eye is blue and the inside of each eye is green. Is there a term for this?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There is a name for this! It is called heterochromia.

There are a few types of heterochromia:

  • Complete heterochromia - where an animal has two different colored eyes (like one green and one blue.)

  • Partial heterochromia - where one eye will have more than one color.

  • Central heterochromia - where there is a ring of a different color surrounding the pupil.



It sounds like your cat has partial heterochromia.

In most cases this is something that an animal is born with and it is nothing to worry about. It doesn't affect their vision.

In dogs it is more common with a merle coat color. In cats it is more common in white Persians, Japanese Bobtails, and Turkish Angoras but can happen to any breed. Sometimes when an animal is born with heterochromia there can be other defects in the eye but not always.

If an animal had normal eyes and then started to develop heterochromia this can mean that there is a medical problem such as inflammation, injury or a tumor.

Thanks for a great question!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.