What gene is responsible for a blue-eyed cat?


Quick Answer

There are at least three different genes that can produce blue eyes in cats: the dominant white gene, the recessive white gene associated with color points and the white-spotting gene. All of these genes affect the production of melanin, regardless of whether it is in the skin, fur or eyes.

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Full Answer

Eye color is due to melanin in the iris. The dominant white gene masks all other color genes that the cat may carry, preventing the production of melanin. This produces cats with white fur and blue, orange or odd-colored eyes. The white spotting gene works similarly to dominant white, in that it masks all other coat colors. In the case of blue eyed cats with the spotting gene, the eyes are within the bounds of a white spot. They can be of any coat color. Recessive white is associated with color points, the pattern seen in Siamese cats. Cats that carry some forms of the recessive white gene will have blue eyes and albino white, solid, or Siamese-type color points.

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