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Ojos Azules

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Ojos Azules

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Ojos Azules
 
Country of origin
United States
Breed standards (external links)
Not recognized by any major
registry.
Notes
Very rare breed

Ojos Azules are a relatively new breed of domestic cat. Cats with dark blue eyes were discovered in New Mexico among feral cat populations. The first cat discovered was a tortoiseshell named Cornflower, who was found in 1984. She was bred to males without the trait which proved to be dominant as all her kittens showed it. The breed was founded and named Ojos Azules, Spanish meaning 'Blue Eyes'. Ojos Azules are held distinct for their deep blue eyes. Unlike the blue eyes seen linked to the genes in bicolor cats and cats with point coloration, both of which suppress pigmentation, this gene is not linked to any certain fur color or pattern, giving the opportunity to have cats with dark coats and blue eyes. The depth of color in the eyes is greater even than that seen in a Siamese (cat), and does not cause squinting, deafness or cross-eye. They are a very rare breed. In 1992, only ten were known. No true standard has been made, and no cat registration recognizes them. So far, only cats expressing the deep blue eye gene have been called Ojos Azules. It was recently discovered that cranial defects may be linked to the gene, and breeding was temporarily suspended.

Following genetic investigation by Solveig Pflueger, breeding resumed in a small way with attempts to breed Ojos Azules without the lethal genetic defects. One indicator of the Ojos gene is a flattened tail-tip.

References

Cat World, a Feline Dictionary by Desmond Morris, published in 1997.


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