Monday, August 3, 2015

Cat Breeds: Ojos Azules

Some breeds are stuck somewhere between being a hybrid and being a recognized breed. Such is the case with the Ojos Azules. Fist discovered in New Mexico in the 1980s, this odd-looking breed has bright blue eyes which are the product of a genetic mutation.

Most breeds with blue eyes are either white or have point coloration. The Ojos Azules, on the other hand, can be found with any coat color and pattern. So you can have a tabby with blue eyes, a grey cat with blue eyes, or even a rare and striking black cat with blue eyes. The possibilities are practically endless.

Both the shorthaired and the longhaired version of this cute little cat were only accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1991. Breeding was temporarily suspended when it was thought that the gene that gave the cat its blue eyes might cause skull defects, but it soon became apparent that the gene is harmless. Still, there are few breeders working with them today. Many of the breeders who where working with them prior to the suspension didn't pick it up again after breeding resumed.

The breed standard for the Ojos Azules is still being developed, so what they will be is hard to say. The blue eyes are important, and the cat should be medium in size with a head that is moderately triangular. White is unlikely to be an acceptable color in competition, but all other colors are allowed. The face should be sweet and pretty. Other traits are still being decided upon.

This cat is not easy to find right now. But if you want a cat with bright blue eyes and a sweet disposition, the Ojos Azules might be the cat for you.

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