This morning I woke up to a pair of glorious Maine Coon yellow eyes about an inch from my face. Behind them was the face and body of my beautiful red tabby Maine Coon, Harry, purring loudly. What a delightful alarm clock!
You’ll notice I just mention yellow eyes. Is this actually a cat eye-color? And do all Maine Coons have yellow eyes?
Many Maine Coon cats have yellow eyes because it is the most common eye color in this breed. Don’t expect to see a Maine Coon with eyes the color of bright primary yellow though. They are more like the yellow of 9-carat cold – pale and shimmering.
Wide-set at an oblique angle, Maine Coon yellow eyes come in a whole range of shades from light to dark and are officially referred to as gold or amber.
Why Are Maine Coon Yellow Eyes different shades?
A Maine Coon’s fur and eye color are determined by melanin a pigment produced by melanocytes. However, there is no correlation between coat color and eye color. The more melanocytes present in a Maine Coon cat’s irises, the darker their color will appear.
A Maine Coon with a medium number of melanocytes will have bright golden-yellow eyes, whereas a cat with a lower amount of melanocytes will have paler yellow eyes.
Because they are purebred, Maine Coons tend to have more intense eye colors. This is caused by increased melanocyte activity which seems to be triggered when cats are bred for specific features.
Do All Maine Coon Cats Have Yellow Eyes?
Many Maine Coons seem to have yellow eyes, but not all do. You’ll also see different shades of orange, copper, green and blue. Some Maine Coons have heterochromia where one eye is blue and the other a different color. This is commonly referred to as odd-eyed.
Did you know that for a Maine Coon to have blue eyes or at least one blue eye, it must have at least some white fur in its coat?
Big cats such as lions and tigers have yellow eyes. Maybe many Maine Coons have yellow eyes to help them live up to their image of being mini lions!
Iris Melanosis vs Iris Melanoma
If your Maine Coon has pale-colored eyes and you suddenly notice darker yellow or brown spots developing across one or both of its irises, don’t assume your cat’s eyes are just turning yellow. Please take it to the vets immediately as it could have iris melanosis which can lead to iris melanoma.
These spots may look like harmless eye freckles and often they are, but occasionally, they can be a sign of something more sinister.
Iris Melanoma is a common cancerous growth that primarily arises in the iris of a cat’s eye. It is very noticeable on cats with pale eye colors such as yellow and should never be ignored.
A vet is the only person who can offer a full diagnosis of this condition and discuss any necessary treatment options. Don’t take any chances with your cat’s health – have any eye-color changes checked out as soon as you notice them.
Maine Coon Yellow Eyes – Conclusion
A Maine Coon can have yellow eyes of varying shades. On a bright day, these can look quite mesmerizing. The smaller their pupils become the more obvious the beautiful golden color becomes.
Of course, experts will tell you a Maine Coon does not have yellow eyes – this word is not in their vocabulary. Officially speaking, you ought to refer to Maine Coon yellow eyes as gold or amber – but we know they are yellow, don’t we 😉
Maine Coons have many beautiful features and their eyes are just one of them!
Maine Coons are famous for their fabulous coats. See just how many tabby patterns and colors exist.