December 24, 2018 4 min read

Many of us have met this anomaly, but hardly ever anyone is interested in the reasons behind this mysterious phenomenon. This deviation from a norm has a scientific background and is called “heterochromia” which means a difference in the color of the iris and also peculiarities of pigmentation of individual areas of fur and skin. The scientists discovered that heterochromia appears as a result of melanin imbalance (a pigment which is responsible for color), i.e. its lack or oversupply. There is complete and part heterochromia and also congenital and acquired ones. 

Complete heterochromiais when the color of one eye is completely different from another. Sometimes, there are cases when both eyes have a very light color, i.e. pigmentation is disordered in both of them. Part heterochromia, also called sector heterochromia, appears in a different way. The color of one part of the iris is noticeably different from another part of the same eye. The brightest example among the animals is a white odd-eyed cat - heterochromia is a more widely known phenomenon. It is widespread among dogs, cats, also horses, cows and Asian buffalos. To a greater extent, they have complete heterochromia, i.e. when one eye is completely pigmented (often brown, less often orange, yellow or green), and the second one has a lack of pigment; that’s why its iris is white, grey or blue. But there are some animals that are more affected by heterochromia than the others. They are representatives of white, marble or light colors. For example, cats of white color or tricolor, dogs of the Husky breed or marble color, such as marble Dachshund, Australian Shepherd, etc., and also piebald horses. Thereby, different eye color can be seen in representatives of completely different breeds and are not related to each other. 

They are no worse than the rest, so it means that heterochromia can be a quite acceptable deviation, which is often endowed with a mystical meaning. But, in spite of this, odd-eyed cats of a breed called the Turkish van, and also Turkish angora, all without exception, have this feature which is inherited from one generation to another and is considered to be a characteristic feature. As a rule, representatives of these breeds have white fur, one eye is blue, and the other is soft copper, yellow or bright orange color. Considering dogs, complete heterochromia is often seen in Huskies, and part heterochromia in Australian shepherds and Border Collies. And breeds such as American Foxhound Terrier, Collie, Dalmatian, German short-haired pointing dog or German Kurzhaar, Funker or Norwegian Hound, Dachshund, Whippet inherits a different eye color. The Turkish van, which are often called van cats, are believed to be symbolical animals and enjoy extraordinary honor in their motherland. According to an ancient story, the favorite cat of world-famous prophet Muhammad was an odd-eyed beauty called Muizza. 

Along with that, according to the national beliefs, these cats don’t just protect the house but also help their owners in achieving goals. An example of this is the fact that the career of the American president, Bill Clinton, quickly increased after the appearance a van odd-eyed cat in his house. If you like an odd-eyed cat, you can buy it not only in Turkey. Ask in catteries if they have such a baby, and you will surely find your future pet.

As we mentioned earlier, the majority of people relate an odd-eyed cat with mystical phenomena. Even knowing a natural reason of this feature, when you look into these magic eyes, you get into a trance and think about miracles. Besides, extraordinary abilities are attributed to these cats by famous Turkish fortune tellers. For example, at the entrance of one of the salons, there is a ban with an image of a van cat, and the session is led by a seer in the company of her charming pet, which in all appearance is helping her. Thereby, odd-eyed cats, whose photos are often seen on the internet, cause genuine interest and delight rather than neglect. It’s rather natural that attitude towards this feature can be different. 

Some people see it as a defect, a kind of flaw or a bad sign, while other people think that an odd-eyed cat is a gift of fate which is representative of a pride, some kind of exotics and evidence that the owner of such a unique animal is an exceptional person. That’s why the latter treat their pets with care and trembling, carefully guarding their beloved “friend,” As people say, it’s all a matter of taste, and you shouldn’t judge any of the sides. Moreover, cats are always a sea of joy and an ocean of happiness in the house, regardless of their eye color. 

They help you to forget about failures and difficulties which you face during the day, to get rid of aches that periodically disturb you and don’t let you enjoy your life. Often, these animals also have unbelievable energy and sharply feel not only people but some future events defending their owners from trouble. That’s why you should not be led by generally accepted standards but be led by your heart when choosing a pet!

Kawaii Meow
Lover of Japanese culture, cats, and self-help hacks. The biggest cat online store.


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