Cats and yellow eyes just go together in the minds of most people. Most breeds of cats have yellow eyes, save for a few and they are distinguished breed-wise by this difference.
Russian Blues are part of that much smaller family of cats that don’t have yellow eyes.
Many people will say that their grey cat is a Russian Blue, in order to make their cat sound more distinguished usually, but then their cat will have yellow eyes.
So, can Russian Blue Cats have yellow eyes, ever?
No! In order to be recognized as a pure Russian Blue cat, it cannot have yellow eyes (as an adult).
If your Russian Blue cat has yellow eyes, it’s not a pure breed, though it might still have some Russian Blue in there.
The other thing that is a little weird about Russian Blue cat eyes is that they are the only breed that starts out with yellow or golden eyes and then they turn green as the cat matures!
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Where Do Cat Eye Colors Come From?
Cat eye color is connected to the level of melanin they receive from their parents. Melanin also controls the level of pigment found in their coats and skin.
The more melanin a cat inherits, the darker its fur will be.
But the effect is different on eyes – the melanin doesn’t start to take effect until roughly six weeks of age (most very young kittens have cloudy blue eyes, though Russian Blue kittens usually have yellow!) and then the true color starts to come in by twelve weeks of age, solidifying by around six months to a year.
Eye color is also linked to breeding, at least in some cases.
For example, Siamese cats always have blue eyes, and Russian Blue cats always have green.
Green eye color is less common than yellow but more common than blue.
The green color can range from green with yellow undertones to green mixed with blue to green with gold or yellow in the iris.
Russian Blue cats, to be breed standard, must have pure green eyes, the more vivid the better. Green eye color means a lower level of melanocytes in the iris. Some coat colors are more likely to have green eyes such as a tuxedo.
No Green Eyes, No Russian Blue
Like Siamese cats and their blue eyes, Russian Blue cats are distinguished not only by their coat (a silvery grey) but also by their eyes.
All purebred Russian Blue cats have green eyes and not just green, but a deep, bottle green or emerald color.
In fact, breeders will not breed Russian blue adults that have yellow eyes because the green eyes are considered the breed standard for showing pedigrees.
Russian Blue cats are also different from other cats in that they often start out as kittens with yellow eyes, not the usual blue.
As the cat matures, they get a green ring around their eyes (at about the four-month mark) which grows until by adulthood, they have the vivid green eyes that the breed is well known for.
As a side note, don’t be fooled by photos. Photos can, due to lighting and other factors, change green eyes to yellow!
But the actual cat will have green eyes, so go by things like certified pedigrees, showing status, and reputable breeders to ensure that you get a Russian Blue.
But My Russian Blue Cat Has Yellow Eyes!
Sorry to disappoint, but if your Russian Blue has yellow eyes, it’s not a Russian Blue.
It’s either a mixed breed or you were completely lied to and it’s something like a domestic shorthair cat with ‘blue’ coloring.
Russian Blue cats are not only distinguished by their green eyes, but also by the following characteristics:
- A double coat with silver tips makes the cat look as though it shimmers in the light. It’s so plush that you could trace a pattern on the coat that will stay there until you smooth it out again
- A long, slender, elegant build with good muscles
- A slightly upturned mouth that gives it an enigmatic ‘smile’
- A long, slender tail
- A wedge-shaped head
Russian Blue cats are quite distinctive in their appearance, so don’t let yourself get lied to by a dishonest breeder!
Russian Blue cats have extremely distinctive physical characteristics. They have a thick, double-layer plush coat that shimmers in the light due to the silver tips, and vivid green eyes.
A purebred Russian Blue cat will never have yellow eyes – if it does, it isn’t a Russian Blue (much like a purebred Siamese cat will always have blue eyes or a purebred Bombay will always have copper eyes).
Russian Blue cats are carefully bred to preserve that vivid green color, with both parents contributing the melanin required to ensure that the color stays green.
The shimmery grey color and bright green eyes make for one of the more beautiful cats around!
But this means that a Russian Blue cat unless it’s very young (under four months of age) will never have yellow eyes.
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.