10 Cat Breeds with Yellow Eyes (With Pictures)

Cats’ eye colors vary significantly based on their breed. However, yellow eyes are one of the most common colors and, to some, the most alluring.  

Black-furred breeds with yellow eyes include Bombay cats, American shorthairs, and Burmese cats. Grey-furred cats with yellow eyes include Manx cats, Norwegian forest cats, and Chartreux cats. Feline breeds with white fur and yellow eyes include La Perm and Maine coons.

White cats can have a condition known as heterochromia, which gives them one yellow eye and one eye that’s a different color. There are likely other breeds that are naturally born with yellow eyes. With more than 100 breeds, this list serves as a starting point if you wish to find a cat with golden eyes.

Why Do Cats Have Yellow Eyes?

There needs to be a high amount of melanin to get yellow eyes in cats. Melanin is a pigment molecule produced by special cells called melanocytes.

The more melanocytes a cat has, the more melanin is produced. Melanocyte cells are present in both the skin and the eyes of cats. According to the International Journal of Ophthalmology, the more melanin present in the iris of an eye, the darker it’ll be.

However, cats don’t develop different eye colors the same way humans do. For instance, if a human has more melanocytes in its eyes, it’s producing more melanin.

As a result, the human will have a darker eye color, such as brown, compared to someone with fewer melanocytes. In the latter case, the person would have a blue or green eye color.

For felines, the more melanocyte cells a cat has in its eyes, the more melanin is produced, and the more yellow those eyes appear. This is why certain cats have yellow eyes rather than a different color.

Because the amount of melanin varies based on the individual cat, the range of yellow tones also varies. Some cats may have bright yellow eyes, while others may have more copper-yellow eye colors.

Brighter yellow eyes indicate a lower level of melanin production.

What Kind of Cat Has Yellow Eyes?

There are a wide variety of domestic cat breeds that have yellow eyes. No one type of cat is more likely to have yellow eyes.

For instance, purebred cats can have a higher likelihood of developing yellow eyes if past generations had that trait. Yet, this doesn’t mean that only purebred cats can have yellow eyes. In fact, many other mixed breeds carry and develop the trait of yellow eyes.

The following is a list of 10 different cat breeds with yellow eyes:

  • Bombay
  • American shorthair
  • Burmese
  • Manx
  • Norwegian forest cat
  • Chartreux
  • British shorthair
  • Turkish van
  • La Perm
  • Maine coon

While this is not an extensive list, it’s certainly a good starting point for all the future yellow-eyed cat owners to look at. This list will be divided into sections based on fur color for ease of access.

Fur ColorCat Breed(s)
BlackBombay, American shorthairs, Burmese
GreyManx, Norwegian forest cat, Chartreux
WhiteLa Perm, Maine coon
Black and WhiteBritish shorthair, Turkish Van
HeterochromiaNorwegian forest cat, Turkish van, British shorthair

Black Cat Breeds with Yellow Eyes

Black cat breeds are one of the most common cats to have yellow eyes.

Some of these breeds include:

  • Bombay
  • Black American Shorthairs
  • Burmese

1/ Bombay Cats

do bombay cats have yellow eyes?

The Bombay cat comes in two different types: the American and the British Bombay.

The American Bombay cat almost always has golden yellow but can develop orangey eye colors. Meanwhile, the British Bombay cat can develop green-colored eyes.

Bombay cats aren’t purebred cat breeds that have yellow eyes. American Bombay cats were created by crossing a black American shorthair with a Burmese cat.

Both breeds can develop yellow eyes and black fur coats. The British Bombay cat was crossed between various domestic breeds with Burmese cats, which is why we see green eye colors in some individuals.

If you’re looking for an entirely black cat with yellow eyes, the Bombay cat is for you. Bombay cats are almost entirely black, including their nose and paw pads.

2/ American Shorthair Cats

Although the American shorthair can come in various fur colors and fur patterns, black American shorthair cats are common. Like Bombay cats, they’re not purebred.

American Shorthair Cats

Despite American shorthairs having many fur patterns, many of these variations have yellow eyes. Many American shorthairs often have golden-yellow eyes rather than bright yellow.

However, yellow eyes are most common in black American shorthair cats. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a white American Shorthair with yellow eyes, as many are born with lighter eye colors, such as green.

3/ Burmese Cats

Burmese cats also vary in fur and eye colors. However, golden-yellow is quite a common variety among members of this breed.

Unfortunately, Burmese cats are more likely to develop primary glaucoma. Primary glaucoma is an eye pressure abnormality caused by inadequate drainage of aqueous fluid from the eye.

what color eyes do Burmese cats have?

In a normal cat’s eye, excess aqueous fluid formed in the eye is drained, which helps maintain healthy pressure within the eye. Glaucoma forms when a lack of drainage disrupts healthy eye pressure.

According to Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, since this cat breed is more susceptible to glaucoma, it’s also likely to develop metastatic iris melanosis. Iris melanosis is another disease caused by rapidly replicating melanocyte cells in the eye.

Remember, these are the cells responsible for melanin, which gives some Burmese cats yellow eye pigments. Since Burmese cats have more melanin in their eyes and are more vulnerable to glaucoma, developing iris melanosis is common.

Cat Breeds with Grey Fur and Yellow Eyes

Grey-furred cats and yellow eyes aren’t as commonly found together, especially compared to black-furred cats and yellow eyes.

Nonetheless, there are breeds where this combination exists, including:

  • Manx
  • Norwegian forest cat
  • Chartreux

4. Manx Cats

The Manx is a special breed of cat, as it’s one of the only breeds that exist without a tail.

manx cat with yellow eyes

Despite this, some individuals do have yellow eyes. There are many Manx crosses with different patterns and eye colors, but there are grey Manx cats that exist with golden-yellow eye colors.

5/ Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian forest cats come in many different fur colorations, patterns, and eye colors.

Norwegian Forest Cat

However, grey-furred Norwegian Forest cats with yellow eyes do exist.

6/ Chartreux Cats

Chartreux cats are almost all found exclusively with grey fur. In addition to this, they are also almost always found with yellow eyes. These yellow hues range from golden-yellow to copper to deep orange.

Chartreux Cats

They’re often mistaken for certain British shorthair breeds. A few distinct features that a Chartreux has in comparison are narrower muzzles, with a mouth and skull structure that makes it look as if they are permanently smiling.  

White Cat Breeds with Yellow Eyes

While it may seem a rare prize, white cat breeds can have yellow eyes. In fact, there are several breeds that, while difficult to find, are born with yellow eyes.

White cats with yellow eyes include:

  • La Perm
  • Maine Coon
  • Norwegian Forest Cat

7/ La Perm Cats

La Perms have a special fur coat, being one of the most well-known breeds to have curly hair.

La Perm Cats

These cat breeds come in both short and long-haired fur types. La Perms are also found to have a huge range of coat colors, with white being one of them.

They can even have many different eye colors, including bright yellows and deeper, golden hues.

8/ Maine Coon Cats

Maine coon cats are known primarily for their beautiful, long fur coats and wide, expressive eyes. They’re large cats with long tails.

Maine Coon Cats

Maine coons with yellow eyes aren’t rare, but a white Maine coon with yellow eyes is. White Maine coon cats are often found with other light eye colors, such as green and blue shades.

However, if you were to mate white Maine Coon cats with traits for yellow eyes, you can produce one with that eye color.

Heterochromia In White Cats

White cats of certain breeds can have heterochromia, resulting in one yellow eye.

Heterochromia describes a condition wherein a cat has 2 different eye colors. A cat can have 1 of 2 types: complete heterochromia and partial heterochromia.

Complete heterochromia refers to each eye being an entirely different color than the other. On the other hand, partial heterochromia refers to mixes of different colors in 1 eye, such as finding splotches of blue in 1 eye compared to the other.

While rare in many cats, Heterochromia is quite common in white-furred cats. This is because white cats already lack melanocytes as they are developing and, therefore, are prone to lacking melanin levels in their eyes. White cats can have a specific gene that blocks melanin from reaching their eyes, thus, resulting in heterochromia.

In many cases of complete heterochromia, white cats develop one blue eye and one yellow eye. This is because the blue color in cat eyes results from a lack of melanin production.

This is why we find so many white cats with blue eyes. All the melanin that a white cat with heterochromia has will concentrate in one eye, giving the other a yellow pigment.

Cats with heterochromia, either complete or partial, present special cases. Certain cats, especially those with white fur, can have yellow eyes.

Breeds that are susceptible to heterochromia include:

  • British shorthair
  • Turkish van
  • Norwegian forest cat

Black and White Cat Breeds with Yellow Eyes

Some future cat owners may not be looking for a solid color cat and would far prefer a mix. If you’re looking for a black and white cat with yellow eyes, here are options that fulfill that description:

  • British shorthair
  • Turkish van

9/ British Shorthair Cats

Although many British shorthair cats are known to have solid grey fur coats, some have black and white colors. In addition to this, many British shorthair cats have yellow eyes.

British Shorthair Cats

They’re one of many that are commonly found with yellow eyes. Their eye colors range from golden-yellow to deep copper and can be even as dark as orange.

British shorthairs can also be found with other colored eyes, but these types are often show cats. Such cats are very carefully bred to have these specific eye colors, compared to the natural yellow that many individuals have.

10/ Turkish Van Cats

Turkish van cats also come in various colors, including black and white. However, their eye colors are not so variable.

Turkish Van Cats

In fact, Turkish van cats are unique in that they only have two eye colors: yellow or blue. When they have yellow eyes, they almost always have a golden amber hue to them compared to a bright yellow or darker copper.

Although they can be found with black and white fur coats, Turkish van cats are predominantly white or mostly white.

So, Turkish van cats are one of the most likely breeds to develop heterochromia. Usually, Turkish vans will develop complete heterochromia, having 1 yellow and 1 blue eye.

If finding a cat breed with yellow eyes is your main goal, aim to find a cat with darker fur. White cats with yellow eyes are hard to find because they lack the right amount of melanin.

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Richard Parker

I'm Richard, the lead writer for Senior Cat Wellness. I'm experienced in all cat health-related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, and general pet care. I'm a proud owner of 5 adult cats (all adopted strays), including a senior cat who is now 20.

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