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Havana Brown cat staring at camera

Some of the most captivating appearances in the animal kingdom are green eyes. These mesmerizing jade spheres are rare among most household pets, making them a unique and desirable feature for cat lovers. There is a history of green-eyed cats in folklore and mythology and the appearance of these eyes have been fascinating to people for centuries. Today we’ll explore nine cat breeds that have this stunning eye feature, as well as some fun facts about this emerald-eyed trait.

Green-eyed cat basics

Genetics play a big part. Eye color is determined by melanin, which is a pigment in the iris that can range from sky blue to a very dark brown color. Melanin is produced by specialized cells called melanocytes. Also, the way light scatters within the eye partially determines the eye color as well. Green eyes are a result of a moderate amount of melanin, and various genes influencing its production and distribution.

There’s a science behind the glow. That distinct green glow that cat’s eyes have at night isn’t specific to cats with green eyes. Cats with brown eyes, hazel eyes, or yellow eyes also have this unique feature because their eyes have a special reflective structure at the back of the eye called the tapetum lucidum . It also helps improve their night vision.

Green eyes feature in folklore. Green-eyed cats have been an alluring symbol throughout history, captivating people across cultures and appearing in legends and folklore. From the Egyptian goddess Bastet to the bakeneko of Japanese mythology, green-eyed cats were often associated with mystique, good luck, and supernatural powers, and sometimes served as protectors or symbols of connection to the gods. The elusive nature of these felines made them a symbol of mystery, further solidifying their place in mythical lore.

1. Russian blue

The Russian blue is a gentle and intelligent breed of cat known for its striking blue-gray coat and bright green eyes. They have plush, silky fur and a distinctive cobra-like stance. These affectionate and loyal cats are known for their quiet nature and reserved personality, making them ideal pets for those who prefer a calm and relaxed companion.

Russian blues have a playful and curious side, and they love to explore their surroundings and play games with their owners. They are highly in tune with their owners’ emotional needs and can sense when someone is in need of comfort or support.

Russian blue cat standing on fence

Facts about the Russian blue

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Soft meows and purrs
  • Life span — 10–20 years

2. Turkish angora

Recognized for their silky white fur, many Turkish angoras also have a pair of mesmerizing green eyes. These beautiful cats are also known to have heterochromia, which often results in having one blue eye and one green eye. Turkish angoras are regarded for their playful, social, and affectionate nature.

Close up of a Turkish Angora cat

Facts about the Turkish angora

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Melodic meows and chirrups
  • Life span — 12–18 years

3. Sphynx

The sphynx is an exotic breed of cat known for its hairless body and wrinkled skin. These unique-looking cats have a distinctive appearance that sets them apart from other feline breeds. Despite their lack of fur, they are incredibly warm and affectionate, and love to snuggle up with their owners.

The sphynx is an intelligent, playful, and loyal breed, and they thrive on attention and physical contact. Due to their hairlessness, they require regular grooming to maintain their skin health and prevent skin damage.

Sphynx cat in front of a pink background

Facts about the sphynx

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Soft meows, purrs, and chatters
  • Life span — 12–15 years

4. British shorthair 

The British shorthair cat is a beloved breed known for its round face, plush coat, and charming personality. With their stocky build and broad chest, they have a sturdy appearance that exudes confidence and grace.

These friendly cats are easygoing and adaptable, making them great companions for families and individuals alike. Their playful nature and affectionate temperament make them a joy to be around, and their distinctively cute looks have made them one of the most popular breeds in the world. They are similar to the slightly smaller American shorthair, which can also produce cats with green eyes.

British shorthair cat lying on grass

Facts about the British shorthair

  • Intelligence — Average
  • Vocalization — Quiet meows and purrs
  • Life span — 12–20 years

5. Egyptian mau 

The mau is an ancient breed known for its spotted coat and strikingly large, green eyes. With their grace, athleticism, and affectionate personalities, they are highly-valued by cat fanciers worldwide. These intelligent and curious cats are known for their love of play, and their natural hunting instincts make them excellent mousers.

Egyptian maus have distinctive black mascara-like lines around their eyes and a delicate build. They are fiercely loyal to their owners and thrive on attention and physical contact, so make sure to give them plenty of time to avoid issues like depression. Along with the Bengal cat, Egyptian maus are among the few naturally spotted domesticated cats in the world.

Egyptian mau cat outside

Facts about the Egyptian mau

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Soft meows and chirrups
  • Life span — 13–16 years

6. Norwegian forest cat 

The Norwegian forest cat, also known as the Wegie, is a large and majestic breed of cat that originated in Norway. With their long, thick coats and bushy tails, they are well-suited for surviving colder climates.

These intelligent and independent cats have a playful nature and love to explore their surroundings, making them great companions for adventurous owners. They have an affectionate personality and striking appearance, which includes tufted ears and almond-shaped eyes to complement their large size.

Norwegian forest cat walking outside

Facts about the Norwegian forest cat

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Soft meow and purrs
  • Life span — 14–16 years

7. Bombay cat

The Bombay is a striking breed of cat known for its sleek black coat and distinctive green eyes. With muscular bodies, rounded heads, and short, glossy coats, they have an exotic appearance that is reminiscent of a small panther.

These intelligent and affectionate domestic cats are loyal companions and love to play with their families, making them an excellent addition to any home. The Bombay’s captivating looks and charming personalities have made them a popular breed among cat lovers around the world.

Black Bombay cat close up

Facts about the Bombay cat

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Soft meows and purrs
  • Life span — 12–16 years

8. Havana brown 

The Havana brown is a charming breed of cat known for its distinctive chocolate brown coat and striking green eyes. With their muscular build, rounded heads, and short, shiny coats, they have a sleek and sophisticated appearance that exudes elegance. These intelligent and affectionate cats are known for their playful personalities and love spending time with their families.

Their unique looks and friendly dispositions make them an ideal choice for those looking for a loving and loyal kitten. Despite their name, the coat color of the Havana browns can come in a range of different shades from dark chocolate to reddish-brown, among others.

Havana Brown Cat resting on chair

Facts about the Havana brown

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Soft meows and purrs
  • Life span — 12–15 years

9. Abyssinian 

The Abyssinian cat is a sleek and elegant breed known for its distinctive ticked coat, which features bands of color on each hair. With their lively personalities and curious nature, they are often described as the “clowns” of the cat world.

These intelligent and affectionate cats are highly active and love to play, making them great companions for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. They are also deeply loyal and devoted to their owners making them an ideal pet for families, and they’re also considered among the easier cat breeds to train. Abyssinians have large, expressive green eyes and a graceful build, with long legs and a slender body that is built for athleticism.

Abyssinian cat lying on chair

Facts about the Abyssinian

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Quiet meow and chirrups
  • Life span — 12–15 years

Frequently asked questions

Are green eyes rare for cats?

Green eyes are not as common as other eye colors in cats, but they are not rare. Certain breeds are even known for their green eyes.

How common are black cats with green eyes?

Black cats with green eyes are usually considered rare, but they can be common in the Bombay breed. A black coat and green eyes is quite unique and attractive for cats.

Are all gray cats with green eyes Russian blues?

Nope, not all gray cats with green eyes are Russian blues. They are known for their gray coat and green eyes, yet other breeds or mixed-breed cats may also have emerald eyes.

What breed are black cats with green eyes?

Black cats with green eyes are often associated with the Bombay breed, Other than black cat breeds, some mixed-breed cats may also display this combination of features.

What is the rarest cat eye color in cats?

The rarest eye color in cats is generally considered to be blue with no hint of yellow or green. True-blue eyes are rare and typically associated with specific breeds, like ragdoll and Siamese cats. Also, heterochromia, where a cat has two different eye colors, is rare.