Ojos Azules are a relatively new
domestic cat. Cats
with dark blue eyes were discovered in
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
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.
Cat World, a Feline Dictionary by Desmond Morris, published in 1997.