At What Age Do Kittens Eyes Change Color?

by Elle Di Jensen, Demand Media
    Most kittens are born with blue eyes and they eventually change color.

    Most kittens are born with blue eyes and they eventually change color.

    Some cats, like Siamese, naturally have blue eyes, but most other breeds have yellow, green or even orange eyes. You might hold out hope that your kitten will keep her baby blues, whatever her genetic heritage, but if she's still young, there's a chance that her eyes will change color.

    Eyes Closed

    When kittens are born, they haven't quite developed all of their senses. That's why they are born with their eyes closed. A kitten's eyes will continue to develop after birth for about a week, at which point you'll notice that her eyes start to open very slowly. It can take up to three weeks before a kitten's eyes are entirely open.

    Developing Sight, Changing Color

    If you've ever seen a young kitten, you may have noticed that her eyes were a shade of blue-gray. VetInfo notes that kittens are born with blue eyes because they aren't born with the color pigmentation that is needed for true eye color. As a kitten develops and matures, her eye color may go through several changes including gray, brown, yellow, orange and green. Typically by the time your kitten is 3 months old, her eyes will have changed from blue to the color they will be throughout her life.

    Common Kitten Eye Troubles

    Just like bruises, scrapes and colds are usual in children, eye concerns in kittens are fairly common. Kittens can get an infection in their eyes as well as develop allergies that can cause watering or discharge. As curious and playful as kittens are, they can subject their little eyes to trauma from bumping into something or even a scratch from a littermate. And depending on what breed your kitten is, she may be prone to congenital problems like chronic irritation or infection of the cornea because of her eye shape, a condition typical of Persian cats. Watch your kitten for signs that she may be experiencing eye problems, such as discharge from one or both eyes, squinting, and lumps or bumps around her eyes. Immediately talk to your vet about any concerns you have for your kitten's eyes so she can address them and begin treatment as soon as possible, if necessary.

    Changing Color Later in Life

    Once your kitten's eyes have changed color from the bluish-gray that she was born with, her eyes should not change color after that. If you do notice a sudden change, like if they seem unusually brown or dark yellow, that may signal a serious underlying condition caused by anything from trauma to the eye to feline leukemia. VetInfo advises contacting your veterinarian immediately if you notice an alteration in your adult cat's eye color so that the cause can be determined and treatment can be administered.

    About the Author

    Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.

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