White Maine Coon with heterochromia iridum

Heterochromia iridum means odd-eye colour in layperson's language. There are two cats in the picture as you can see. Both are totally white and both have odd-eye colour. They have the classic odd-eye colour which is one is blue and the other is gold-yellow. The cat in the background is not a Maine Coon in my view. If she is then she does not have the right type i.e. appearance to be a show cat because the muzzle is not strong enough and the ears are no lynx tipped. The cat in the foreground is very much a Maine Coon. Odd-eye colour is very common in all-white cats whether they are purebred or random bread. This is because the dominant white gene which removes pigmentation from the hair strands also removes pigmentation from one of the eyes leaving that eye blue. It is also claimed that inbreeding ("a lack of genetic diversity ") predisoposes animals to this condition. The blueness is caused by the refraction of light through the eye rather than by pigmentation in the eye. The other eye which is yellow-gold has pigmentation in it which is melanin (eumlanin) and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is black or brown pigment and pheomelanin is red or yellow pigment.

Photo: Vikariouslyawesome / Twitter


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