The picture of Tiki's eyes (a tabby cat aged, maybe, 10 to 14) shows that her eyes are 'marbled', that is to say overall green but with an irregular pattern of brown 'marbling'.

I know that patches of brown coloration may be an indication of melanoma but Tiki's eyes are consistently 'marbled' in an even fashion.

However I have never seen eyes quite like hers before and I wonder if this is common, or not.

Otherwise, despite having been a somewhat reclusive stray for at least two years, and now that she has felt confident enough to settle down in a domestic environment, her health and appetite and functions are all excellent. So my worries about a possibly extensive melanoma are receding and I am favouring a genetic reason for her 'marbled' eyes.

Can anyone be definitive about this ?

enter image description here

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    Do you have a better photo? The one attached is so dark I can't make out even the difference between the iris and pupil.
    – Allison C
    Dec 15, 2021 at 16:16
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    @AllisonC Apologies for that. Tiki does not like the 'red eye' function so I have to video her and then take a snapshot. My equipment is not adequate to the task and I am still experimenting. I have looked online but so far cannot find a picture which shows what I am seeing in Tiki. Efforts are continuing . . . . . . .
    – Nigel J
    Dec 15, 2021 at 16:33
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    @AllisonC Picture up-dated.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 15, 2021 at 19:08
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    Much better, thank you :)
    – Allison C
    Dec 15, 2021 at 20:15
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    You might want to reconsider the vet visits. A cat appearing healthy is not a reason to avoid the vet, as they hide signs of illness, often until it's too late for treatment. Regular vet visits can catch illness before they start showing any signs. (Mine, all young and generally healthy, still go twice a year for checkups.)
    – Allison C
    Dec 16, 2021 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


Brown spots that appear in your cat's eye can be either iris melanosis or iris melanoma.

The big difference in the two is that one is benign (with a chance to turn malignant), and the other is malignant. This is often easier to spot when the cat's eye changes over the time of you owning them. In your case, this has not been a long time.

The only way for you to know whether this is in fact a disease or just a pigment in your cat's eye is to see the vet. The vet can find out which of the two it is by checking:

  • the color of the spot on the iris
  • whether the iris is distorted
  • whether the eye pressure is elevated (glaucoma)
  • whether cells are floating in the anterior chamber of the eye

In conclusion: See your vet about this. This is not something we can diagnose over the internet.


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    I did not vote to close the question with the "only a vet can solve this problem", because it is not an obvious one (e.g. my cat broke their leg) and other people might wonder the same thing.
    – SerenaT
    Dec 16, 2021 at 13:38

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