Ojos Azules Longhair
Spanish for "blue eyes", the Ojus Azules capture your attention with their deep blue eyes set against the myriad of colors where you wouldn't expect to see blue eyes. The contrast is breath-taking. Typically these rare cats are medium in size and will often have white patches on the body. Most notably white patching on the feet and a white tail-tip are associated with the gene causing these unexpected intense deep blue eyes.
The history of these cats appears to start in 1984 in New Mexico where they were identified in a feral colony. The first identified cat was a tortoiseshell female named Cornflower. When bred to unrelated males, her kittens exhibited the same blue eyes thereby proving that the trait is a dominant one. But they are still a very rare breed - for example there were only 10 known Ojus Azules in 1992. TICA recognized the Ojus Azules as a breed in 1991 but there are few breeders working with it today. The New Breed program allows for the registration and development of cats and is over-seen by TICA's Genetics Committee. Yearly reports are produced and the health is monitored along with the overall development of the breed.
The gene shows up periodically and may be more widespread than originally thought. Or it may be the work of another mutation. A blue bi-color cat with sapphire blue eyes was discovered in Windellama in New South Wales, Australia, by A M Schneider. Since there have been no imports of the Ojus Azules to Australia, this cat would appear to be the result of a spontaneous mutation in the domestic population there. When in the homozygous state, some health issues have resulted. There is much work to be done with this breed to determine if the striking blue eyes can be conserved without health issues.
Due to their rarity, little is known about the temperament of these strikingly pretty cats. The handful that are known to exist are with breeders who are working with geneticists to determine if the gene is viable for conservation. If their efforts are successful, we will discover the underlying personality of the cats.
The coat is short, soft and silky and they are accepted except for solid white. The standard for the breed is still being developed however the deep blue eyes are a key feature that must be present. The coat itself should be soft and silky. There will often be white patches on the extremities such as the face, feet and tail. They are typically a medium-sized cat with a moderate triangular head shape with a pretty expression and large eyes that highlight the deep blue color.