Second Chance: Fascination with Feline Eyes!

Second Chance: Fascination with Feline Eyes!

For 30 years, the Animal Resource Center and Shops of Second Chance Humane Society have been serving Ouray, San Miguel, and Montrose Counties. Our adoption hours are from Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. View shelter pets and services online at Connecting Pets, People, and Community While Saving Lives.

View shelter pets and services online:

Donate here or mail to: PO Box 2096, Ridgway, CO, 81432. 

Go here for more options from Second Chance.

Yeats wrote that a cat’s eyes are “the nearest kin of the moon.”

And Celtic tradition held that cats’ eyes were a portal to another world.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the night glow of a cat’s eyes was a ray of sunshine from the Sun God Ra.

Cats don’t have “night vision” as some believe. However, they can see in low-light conditions. They only need one-sixth the amount of light humans do. That is because they have a curved cornea and large lenses, and their pupils can dilate to full circles to allow in maximum light. The inventor of road reflectors was inspired by seeing a pair of green “lights” on a dark road – which was the glow of a cat’s eyes.

Cats are near-sighted and can’t focus well on distant objects. They also seem to have limited color vision, seeing mostly in shades of blue and green. As most who love cats know, their eyes also change with mood. A cat’s pupils will enlarge at moments of intense emotion, good or bad.

Like us, cats have an eyelid at the top and bottom of each eye. In addition, cats also have a third eyelid or nictitating membrane. The nictitating membrane serves a protective purpose and helps keep the eye clear of debris and protected from trauma.

Cats have the most variety of eye colors of any companion animal.

The most common feline eye color is yellow, from pale lemon yellow to golden. Our silly boy Peter Pan has gorgeous yellow/gold eyes. He’s only age 1 and is such a funny cat. However, he shows symptoms of cerebellar hypoplasia and will need to remain indoors and out of danger.

Hazel’s blend of green and golden yellow is second most common color combo in domestic felines and the most common in wild cats such as lynx and bobcats.

Moon is a good example of a hazel-eyed cat. He is a quiet, gentle boy who is only a little bit shy at first. But he tends to warm up quickly and enjoys getting attention.

The next most common is green, all shades and tones. Beautiful Sky is a five-year-old dilute tortie with clear green eyes. She’s a cat who loves other cats and people of all ages. Scratch her chin and she’ll be a friend forever.

All kittens are born with blue eyes, but most change to another color as they grow. Pointed-colored cats (light body, dark extremities) and white cats are more commonly blue-eyed as adults. Eleanor has some of the most striking blue eyes we’ve ever seen. She raised her babies and is now ready for a life of pampering.


One of the rarest eye colors in cats is orange/copper. Mary is just a year old and has spent most of her life at the shelter. She’s a tortie with gorgeous copper/orange eyes. Although she is shy at first, she will warm up and be a love bug in no time.


Rarer still are heterochromatic eyes (each eye a different color) and dichromatic (two colors in the same eye). We have one kitten with one blue eye and one green eye, who is not yet ready to be adopted.

No matter what color a cat’s eyes are, they are one part of a cat that fascinates and intrigues those who live with them. We learn to read our cat’s eyes and know when changes mean our friend is afraid, frightened, loving, or needs a chin scratch.

AND… To continue the Second Chance Highlights section, we want to share the following:

Our Pet Pantry

If a family is experiencing financial uncertainty, they may consider giving up beloved pets. That’s where our Pet Pantry helps. Supportive community members and generous retailers – Chow Down, Walmart, Target, Petco, DirtDawg, and more – donate food and supplies to Second Chance, and we make it available to those in need.

So far this year: We’ve helped 123 families feed their cats and dogs. (Even with being closed most of April.)

We desperately need reliable, hard-working volunteers to help with lawn care and maintenance around the shelter. Ideally, we’d like 18-year-olds and older people to sign up for weekly shifts through the summer months. Go here to sign up:…/volunteer-sign-up/

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