Maine Coon Eyes: A Deep Dive into The Enchanting Gaze

Maine Coon Eyes

Maine Coons are famous for their big, strong bodies, fluffy tails, and beautiful long fur. But now we are talking about their eyes for a moment. Purebred Maine Coons usually have large, wide-set eyes. Maine coon eye color may be golden or green. Sometimes, white Maine Coons can have blue eyes or even eyes that are two different colors (one blue and one gold or green). The Maine Coon eye color is blue when they are born but their eye color may change as they grow up. Generally, adult Maine coon eye colors are gold, yellow and green.

Continue reading to learn more about Maine Coon eyes.

Components Of a Cat’s Eye

  1. Iris: The part of the eye that is colored and fills the entire opening.
  1. Pupil: Dissimilar to ours, Maine Coon eyes feature vertical slit pupils that expand to nearly occupy the entire visible area. This happens to allow more light to enter during excitement, fear, or anger.
  1. Cornea: The shielding of the pupil and iris is called the cornea. It is a transparent covering.
  1. Lens: The lens is situated behind the iris and pupil. The lens alters a cat’s eye shape to aid in focusing images onto the retina.
  1. Retina: Retina acts like a cinema screen. The retina is located behind the eye where the images are formed.

Maine Coon Eye Shape

The Maine Coon eye shape is a bit oval, but they might look round when they are fully opened. Maine Coon vs normal cat, Maine Coon eyes are slightly angled because the outer part of their eyes points towards the base of their ears. Maine Coon eyes can be any shade of green or gold. Maine Coons with white fur or mixed fur colors can have blue or other colored eyes, which is considered acceptable. 

Maine Coon Eyelashes

Maine Coon eyes do not have traditional eyelashes. Instead, their third eyelid serves the purpose of protecting eyelashes would.

Maine Coon Eyebrows

Maine Coon cats lack eyebrows, but they do have small, whisker-like hairs above their eyes. These hairs, called vibrissae or tactile hairs, help them feel what’s nearby or around them. This work is similar to that of whiskers.

Maine Coon Eye Markings

Tabby Maine Coon eyes often have dark markings around them called mascara markings. These markings begin at the outer corner of each eye and angle downward toward the area beneath each ear. These markings give the appearance of eye makeup. Some Maine Coons even look like they just have eyeliner around their eyes.

The Language of Eyes

A Maine Coon’s eyes are very expressive and can reveal a lot about its feelings.

If a Maine Coon stares at you, it might be feeling confrontational. But if it blinks slowly, it’s a sign of trust and affection.

Big eyes can indicate fear, playfulness, mischief, or anger. It may also mean your cat has spotted something to hunt.

Maine Coons and Night Vision

Maine Coons, like all cats, can see well in the dark. This is because their retinas have many rod cells, which are good at gathering low light.

What Color Eyes Do Maine Coon Cats Have?

Maine Coon eyes can be in various stunning shades, like gold, copper, amber, light green, deep emerald, or vivid ocean blue. Some Maine Coon cats may even have Heterochromia, with two different-colored eyes, such as golden and blue. The variety of Coon eye colors adds to the charm of Maine Coons.

However, they are blue-eyed Maine Coon cats when born, which gradually change color as they grow older. The final eye color usually develops over several weeks to a few months.

Maine Coon Eye Color

We’ve learned that Maine Coon eyes come in a range of stunning shades, and some even have two different-colored eyes. But what makes each eye color unique?

Maine Coon Cats with Green Eyes

Maine Coon Cats with Green Eyes

Throughout history, green eyes in cats have often been associated with magical and enchanting qualities found in legends and folklore. However, Maine Coon cats with green eyes are especially unique. They are uncommon and stand out beautifully against their unique appearance. If you’ve ever seen a Maine Coon cat with green eyes, you’ll notice they have a deep, captivating color. It might resemble hazel, with a blend of green, gold, and brown, or it could be a vibrant emerald green or a rich mossy green.

If you have a Maine Coon with green eyes who loves to observe everything around them, people won’t take a long time to become completely captivated and fascinated by this stunning cat.

Maine Coon Cats with Blue Eyes

Maine Coon Cats with Blue Eyes

Maine Coon cats with blue eyes are quite rare. This is because blue eyes happen when there’s not much pigment, and they’re more common in albino Maine Coons that are completely white.

Although they are blue-eyed Maine Coon cats when born, it’s more typical for Ragdoll or Siamese cats. Still, Maine Coon with blue eyes have a special charm and captivating quality that make them attractive to breeders and people wanting to own a Maine Coon.

What Is an Odd-Eyed Maine Coon?

When a cat is born with odd eyes or different colored eyes then according to Wikipedia it’s called complete heterochromia.

This condition is mainly found in white Maine Coon cats and is a similar condition that occurs in humans and other animals. One eye may retain its blue color from kittenhood, while the other may develop into a golden or green color.

This happens because the cat carries a gene called the white spotting gene or the dominant white gene, which stops melanin from reaching the cat’s eyes as it grows.

Do Maine Coon Kittens’ Eye Colors Change?

When your Maine Coon is a kitten, it will always have very light blue eyes. Many owners wonder if their eyes will be the same color throughout their lives.

The Maine coon blue eyes in a kitten are due to special eye cells known as melanocytes, which have not started to work yet in your little fur baby. You do not need to worry about that by the time they reach four to six weeks old, they will start to develop their natural eye color.

If your cat is all white, there may be a chance that they will retain the bright blue eyes throughout their lives, but regardless of the eye color, the Maine Coon will develop into a luscious and charming cat!

Factors Affecting Eye Color in Maine Coon Cats

The color of Maine Coon eyes isn’t randomly decided as they develop; it’s influenced by specific factors, primarily the cat’s DNA inherited from both parents. However, in contrast to what many people think, the color of a cat’s eye and the color of its coat are controlled by separate genes and are not directly connected.

So, what factors directly impact the color of Maine Coon eyes?

Genetic Makeup

The quantity of melanin in their DNA decides the color of Maine Coon eyes, which is inherited from both parents. These genes regulate the production and distribution of pigments in the Maine Coon’s iris, affecting the color of their eyes. 

Melanin Levels

The eye color is determined by the amount of melanin differing concentration determines the different shades of color in the iris for example gold is the darker eye color, and they are the result of higher levels of melanin in Maine coon eyes.  Whereas green and blue are the light colors determined by the low concentration of melanin.

Age And Development

As they grow up, Maine Coon cats’ eye color changes. As mentioned before, Maine Coon kittens are born with blue eyes, but their eye color changes, as they become adults. This occurs because melanin production and distribution in the iris begin to develop during the first few months to a year of life.

Eyes Comparison: Maine Coon vs. Normal Cat

1.   Maine Coon Eyes Are Larger Than Average

Cats have eyes that seem the right size for their bodies. Their eyes are half as big as humans compared to their heads. Here’s a straightforward reason: Cats needed to hunt and avoid larger predators in the wild. Those with big eyes had better vision and an edge.

Cat lovers are aware that cats can see very well in dim light. Their big eyes not only help them to see better in low light but cats can also change the size of their pupil quickly concerning the change in brightness. In the dim light, cat pupils widen to allow more light to come inside the eye. When it’s brighter, the pupils narrow to protect the cat’s eyes from being blinded by the light while still allowing them to see well.

Maine Coon eyes may appear bigger than those of other cat breeds. This breed probably came about in the 18th century when European cats mixed with local American cats from the area of New England.

Because New England winters were tough, cats with big eyes had a better chance of hunting by seeing clearly their prey and ultimately, living long enough to have babies. That’s why Maine Coons have bigger eyes than most cats.

You may also be interested in: Maine Coon Size Chart.

2.   Maine Coon Cats Have Wide-Set Eyes

In the wild, animals with eyes set wide apart have a bigger angle of view and can see more around them. Grazing animals like horses or goats have this feature because they need to watch for danger while eating. Cats, on the other hand, have an average field of vision of about 200°, which helps for not having a blind spot in front.

Eye positions can vary for different cat breeds and individuals. Maine Coons often have eyes set wide apart, which helps them see more around them. This, along with their slightly wider muzzle, gives them a serious look. If you own a Maine Coon, you might observe they often react quickly to things on the side, it’s due to these special traits.

3.   Maine Coon Eyes Have a Slightly Oblique Shape

Maine Coon cats have slightly slanted eyes, giving them a unique and expressive face. They’re not as sharply angled as Siamese cats’ almond-shaped eyes, but you can still notice the slant.

According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, Maine Coon cats should have slightly slanted eyes, which is a characteristic of the breed. Breeders prefer cats with this feature because it adds to the breed’s distinct appearance. While not all Maine Coons have this feature, it can also be used to identify the purebred of Maine Coon. With their slanted eyes and long faces, Maine Coons often have a serious expression.

4.   Most Maine Coons Have Gold or Green Eyes

Gold and green eyes are common in cats, but Maine Coons tend to have these colors more often as compared to other breeds. Yellow and amber eyes are the most typical for cats. It is rare to find dark hazel eye color in Maine coon but some do have.

Maine Coon cats often have green eyes more than other breeds, and even some are cats with orange eyes. Orange eyes are quite unusual for cats, especially those outside the Maine Coon breed.

While yellow eyes aren’t unusual, Maine Coon cats with yellow eyes often have hints of copper or gold, giving them a metallic appearance, which is rare in other breeds. Like all kittens, Maine Coon kittens are born as blued-eyed Maine coon cats, but their true eye color shows up within four to eight weeks as the pigment binds to the iris.

5.   Maine Coon Cats and Unique Eye Colors

Scientists found a genetic link between white fur, blue eyes, and deafness in cats. This mix of traits is quite common in breeds such as the Turkish Van, European Shorthair, or Persian cats.

But Maine Coon cats with blue eyes and white fur are rare. Blue eyes happen when there’s no pigment in the eyes, making the iris look blue as it reflects light. Usually, Maine Coons have green, yellow, or amber eyes.

Heterochromia iridium, in these conditions where one eye has pigment and the other looks blue, is rare in Maine Coon cats. It’s seen more often in breeds like British Shorthairs, Munchkins, Turkish Angoras, and others.

6.   Maine Coons and Cataracts

Maine Coon eyes vs normal cat eyes, Maine coon eyes have a bit more chance to get cataracts. While it’s not as common as in breeds like Himalayan, Burmese, or British Shorthair cats, it’s still more common than usual.

Cataracts may not be a big problem, but they’re worth keeping an eye on because they can make your pet’s life harder and might cause blindness. Cats with cataracts can run into things more because they face difficulty in seeing obstacles.

As cats get older, their eye lenses can become thicker and cloudy. This makes it harder for them to see because less light gets through. If your pet has cataracts, they usually need surgery. A vet can take out the cloudy part of the lens and put in a new one to help keep your pet’s vision.

7.   Maine Coon Cats and Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the biggest Maine coon eye problems. It is a bit more common in Maine Coons. But breeds like Burmese and Siamese cats have a higher chance of getting it. Cats can get glaucoma in both eyes because of genes or just in one eye for unknown reasons.

Glaucoma happens when fluid builds up behind the eye, causing pressure and eventually harming the optic nerve. If not treated, it can cause blindness. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for glaucoma, but medication can slow it down.

You may also be interested in: Maine Coon paws.

Maine Coon Eye Problems

Maine Coon eye problems

Signs of Maine coon eye problems include discharge, watery eyes, squinting, excessive blinking, and pawing at the eye. Maine Coons, like all cats, have an additional eyelid at the inner corner of their eyes called the third eyelid or nictitating membrane. This membrane might become more visible if a cat has an eye infection.

See Also: Maine Coon Behavior Problems.

1. Eye Infections

Maine Coon eyes can get infectious from bacteria and viruses, which they might catch from other cats.

Common bacterial infections include Chlamydia and Mycoplasma, while common viral infections include feline herpesvirus and calicivirus.

Symptoms

  • – Red and swollen whites of the eyes
  • – A clear or yellow sticky discharge
  • – Protruding third eyelid at the inner corner of the eye

Treatment

  • – Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics. These antibiotics can be in the form of ointment or drops.
  • – Viral eye infections usually go away on their own but may need antibiotics if recommended by a vet.
  • – Antiviral medications are required in several viral infections.

2. Eye Injuries from Trauma

Sometimes, cats can get hurt in their eyes due to trauma, which can happen in various ways like fighting or getting hit in the eye by something like a small bunch.

Symptoms

In severe cases, you might see a cut on the cornea. This or a scratch on the eye’s surface can lead to frequent blinking and watery eyes.

Treatment

Once the damage is checked by a vet, they might give antibiotics and a protective surgical collar to stop the cat from touching its injured eye.

3. Allergies

Maine Coon eyes can get irritated due to allergies, similar to how hay fever affects some people. Allergens can include:

  • – Pollen
  • – Flea-control products applied to the skin
  • – Fragrances
  • – Cleaning products
  • – Mildew
  • – Mold
  • – Dust

Symptoms

A cat with an allergy might have watery eyes, redness in the whites of their eyes,  or discharge of clear or yellow color. They might exhibit sneezing or wheezing.

Treatment

A veterinarian will assist in identifying the allergy’s cause and might offer an antihistamine ointment as treatment.

You may also be interested in: Are Maine Coon Hypoallergenic.

4. Iris Color Change

This is called iris melanosis and happens when the iris gets darker due to a sudden increase in cells that make melanin.

Iris melanosis is usually harmless, but it can become cancerous and should be watched closely by your vet.

Symptoms

Tiny dark spots show up on the iris and spread slowly.

Treatment

See a vet promptly because this condition can cause glaucoma, detachment of the retina, or cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. Your vet will suggest the right treatment.

5. Glaucoma

Feline glaucoma happens when the fluid behind the lens of the eye doesn’t drain properly.

This causes fluid to build up and put pressure on the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain.

Symptoms

Glaucoma makes the eyes gradually cloudy, pupils stop reacting to light normally, cats squint, and their eyes may look bigger.

Treatment

Glaucoma can’t be cured, but vets can ease symptoms with special eye drops.

6. Corneal Ulcer

When the deeper layers of the cornea are damaged, this situation is called a corneal ulcer. This is also called Ulcerative Keratitis.

Causes include:

  • – Eye injury
  • – Infection
  • – Lack of tears
  • – Foreign object
  • – Chemical exposure
  • – Disease

Symptoms

A cat affected by a corneal ulcer will exhibit redness and tears in its eyes. It might narrow its eyes because of light sensitivity or keep the impacted eye shut.

The cat may squint due to sensitivity to light or keep the affected eye closed.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause, and surgery may be needed. The vet will evaluate the situation and choose the best course of action.

A protective collar will be put on to prevent the cat from scratching its eye.

7. Cataracts

The situation in which the lens of the eye thickens is called Cataracts. They often develop in cats after eye inflammation from trauma, viral infection, or other infections. Cataracts can also occur in kittens with poor nutrition.

Symptoms

A cat affected by cataracts will show a cloudy whitish-gray spot in the middle of its eye.

Treatment

If cataracts are discovered soon enough, a vet can figure out and treat the main problem. Sometimes surgery is needed. Annual eye check-ups are the best way to watch a cat’s eye health and try to prevent cataracts.

8. Detached Retina

If a Maine Coon’s retina comes loose in one eye, it loses vision in that eye. Maine coon will be called one-eyed Maine coon. It can occur in either one eye or both eyes.

Causes include high blood pressure, injury, bleeding, glaucoma, aging, age-related degeneration, and tumors.

Symptoms

You might notice your cat moving cautiously, bumping into things, or having trouble jumping. Its pupils won’t react to light.

Treatment

Once the vet figures out the cause, they’ll treat it as needed. Surgery can reattach detached retinas.

9. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is when the thin membrane inside the eyelids and the white part of the eye get inflamed. This thin layer is also called conjunctiva. It happens because of bacteria or viruses.

Symptoms

Conjunctivitis makes the Coon eyes uncomfortable, so your cat might scratch at it, blink a lot, or squint.

Treatment

A vet will give you eye drops to clear up conjunctivitis. Keeping your Maine Coon’s vaccinations current can prevent many causes of it.

Conclusion

Maine Coon eyes offer a surprising array of colors, including gold, green, blue, or even odd hues. While these cats are not prone to frequent eye problems, owners should remain watchful. Vigilance for changes in eye appearance or unusual behavior is crucial. Early detection is pivotal as it facilitates easier treatment. Therefore, regular eye checks and attentiveness to any abnormalities are imperative for Maine Coon owners. By staying proactive and observant, owners can ensure their beloved feline companions maintain optimal eye health and address any concerns promptly, enhancing their overall well-being and quality of life.

See Also: Maine Coon Ears.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Maine Coon cats see colors?

While cats can see colors, their vision differs from humans. Humans have three types of color receptors in their eyes, allowing them to perceive a wide range of colors. Cats don’t see all the colors like we do.

Are Maine Coon cats prone to deafness?

Maine Coons, Persians, and Ragdolls are believed to have a higher rate of congenital deafness. Among white cats, approximately 2% with two blue eyes have a 40–60% chance of being deaf, while those with non-blue eyes have a 10–20% chance.

Do Maine Coons have large eyes?

Yes, Maine Coons have large and beautiful eyes with a slight slant. Maine Coon kittens are born with blue eyes, which change color as they grow.

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