According to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., melanin, the pigment that colours hair, skin, and eyes, is not yet fully deposited into the irises of a newborn’s eyes or darkened as a result of exposure to ultraviolet light. Melanin production increases during the early weeks of a kitten’s life, causing its eyes to change colour.
A cat is genetically programmed to develop its adult eye colour and will produce the right amount of melanin to do so. Albinos, having no melanin, have pink eyes due to light reflecting off the blood vessels in their eyes.
Although most kittens’ eyes change to shades of gold, copper, or green, some breeds maintain blue eyes throughout their lives, such as those with point markings (i.e., Siamese and Himalayan). White cats may also have blue eyes.
See the Pregnant Cats and Kittens Page for information on caring for pregnant cats, kitten development week by week, kitten training, kitten care, and more. For a full list of cat articles, see the main Cats page.