Two-faced felines or slit-faced cats may be rare, but they are real. People who frequent the internet are likely to have heard of the Chimera cat. Several cat adopters whose kitties turned out with the unique chimera characteristics have done well in sharing these beautiful felines with the public.
To put it in simple terms, a Chimera cat is that feline which is born with a single color scheme on one part of her/his face or body, and an entirely different color on the remaining half. The separating line between the two colors can be uncannily straight most of the time, giving the face the kind of appearance that would make one to think that nature was trying to play a trick – blending a couple of feline personalities into one. These cats have earned the status of celebrities; a typical example is Venus, who has gathered over 1.5 million followings on Instagram. If you have not heard about these special cats, continue reading to get more facts.
History of the Chimera Cat
A chimera, according to Greek mythology, is a monstrous three-headed, fire-breathing hybrid creature. The depiction of the chimera comes as a lion sporting the body of a goat from its back, with its tail realized as a snake. According to Homer’s description of the chimera in the Iliad, it is not human, rather, it an immortal creature with a lion in front, a snake behind and a goat in between, and emitting the breath of the dreadful tongue of bright fire.
It is really good to know that in terms of felines, the chimera phenomenon is not at all scary. Chimera cats are those members of the feline population that are born with breathtaking as well as gorgeous genetic anomalies. They comprise of parents cells sporting distinct genotypes, which are known to commonly occur when there is a fusion of several fertilized eggs, as a result of the presence of a couple of distinct genotypes, with the two giving expression to themselves in the phenotype. The cats born with the chimera traits are characterized by a combination of tissues that are derived from distinct genomes which is rather wild!
It is important to note that without carrying out a DNA test, you cannot know if a feline is born with the chimera traits or not, it could just so happen that; a cat may be born with coincidental color markings or patterns. Also, depending on the particular part of the female body that is affected by the second set of DNA, there is the possibility that a mother can pass two sets of DNA to her litter which will result in chimera. But you cannot possibly predict this. Even if the female cat is DNA tested, it is not possible for one to predict which character trait she might likely pass on to her litter, or the one they are likely to inherit from their father. But whichever way it goes, chimera felines are just adorable.
If you are already conversant with the chimera phenomenon, chances are that you would have likely come across one of the popular chimera felines that have been making the rounds on the internet via Instagram and several other popular platforms. Here are a few of them;
She may well be the first popular chimera cat; Venus comes with a remarkable two-colored face sporting black on the right and orange on the left. This adorable kitty also comes complete with heterochromia (odd eye) sporting one green eye and one blue eye. The celebrity cat is on both Facebook with remarkable following and Instagram where she has amassed over 1.5 million followers. The kitty comes equipped with her own merchandise which includes the likes of a stuffed animal version of herself as well as a calendar. The beauty even appeared on Good Morning America on ABC.
Stéphanie Jimenez is the adopter of Narnia; she is from the Grace Cattery in France. The cat is a striking British shorthair sporting a black body with one half of her face coming in blue color, and the other half realized as black. Both of the cat’s eyes come in blue color. In the same way as Venus, Narnia has a presence on both Instagram and Facebook with a large following which keeps growing by the day.
Quimera and Venus are just like twins; they mirror each other. The left part of her face is realized in black color, while the right comes in orange. She is also an odd-eyed cat with one blue eye and one green eye.
Yana is a tortoiseshell feline sporting the features of a chimera. Her owner is Elizabeth from Belarus. According to Elizabeth, she acquired the cat as a kitten through a classified ad, Yana also sports the double facial coloration, but distinct from Quimera and Venus, she comes with two green eyes. She is on Instagram with a large following.
Quick Facts About the Chimera Cat
Chimeras are not seen as a breed of feline; however, there are several unifying characteristics which have been found to be evident in most of them. They come thus:
- There is no special place to find the chimeras, and they are not known to come from any special breeding project. Besides, you can acquire ordinary tabbies at rescue organizations, animal shelters, and you may be lucky to discover a surprise litter right there in your backyard which may contain a chimera. Though chimera felines that are realized in such clear patterns or markings like the celeb duo Quimera and Venus are very rare, and they are absolutely priceless. However, the cat parents for Venus acquired her from an animal rescue centre, and has since remained a zealous supporter of “adopt don’t shop”. This has proved that some people who have chimeras as house pets didn’t have to part with a fortune. Prospective cat adopters who wish to have a chimera can take to the internet for online searches, though finding a cat with chimera traits is comparable to locating a needle in a haystack.
- Talking about the odd eye color of the chimera, the phenomenon is referred to as heterochromia (two eyes that don’t match). The feature is very noticeable in most chimeras. Most kittens that are born with the odd eye are not chimeras; however, the odd eye is most likely to occur in the chimera thanks to its two distinct sets of DNA. One eye color naturally comes from their own DNA, and the second one will emanate from the other set.
- The difference that emanates from chimerism can be quite subtle; your feline friend may actually be a chimera without it being noticeable. Conversely, a tortoiseshell or calico’s natural coat markings or patterns may have some close resemblance to the chimera, but they are different in actual fact. The best way to know whether your cat was born as a chimera is to have her/him DNA tested.
- It is quite impossible to breed the chimera in the traditional sense since it is up to Mother Nature alone to decide when and where the next chimera feline will surface from.
- It is believed that a chimera cat initially started out as a couple of distinct kitties, with two sets of DNA. At the early stage of development, a pair of embryos will accidentally fuse together in the uterus; thus, a chimera cat is realized with her own individual DNA, in addition to the DNA coming from the second embryo that fused with it. (There are people who would like to describe the situation by saying that a chimera kitty is her own identical twin).
- At the kitten stage, the different coloration may be so subtle that it would not be easily noticed or may be realized as very obvious. From time to time, we have seen some chimeras with dramatic differences that are rather startling.
- When someone refers to you as two-faced, you will most likely take it as an insult, but with respect to chimera felines, it is considered as a great compliment.
- The most popular chimera cats are Venus and Quimera, while Venus has gathered a whopping 1.5 million following on her Instagram page; Quimera tags behind with over 81k following on the same Instagram. These cats have attained celebrity status, and are referred to as the most popular or famous split-faced or two-faced felines on planet earth. Besides, if you are ever opportune to behold a spectacular chimera kitty anywhere, it is an incredible image quite unforgettable. You will always remember this precious and gorgeous feline with the amazing face split into two halves by distinctive colors.
- The half-faced kitty is a resultant effect of the chimera biology which is best described as a genetic condition known to give rise to a kitten with the appearance of double faces. According to genetics, the chimera felines are born with the split face appearance thanks to the fusion of two or more embryos at the earliest stage of embryonic development. With respect to chimera, what we are seeing is a couple of possibilities in a single cat. At a certain point in the life of the embryo, it was destined to be realized as two cats – but within a short while, two embryos which have barely passed the stages of fertilized eggs into one in the uterus. We must not fail to point out the fact that, before the fusion occurred; individual cells had already started developing within each of the embryos or eggs. In explanation, the inherent physical character traits of the two entities already exist. This means that it is actually those two distinct entities that we see when we look at a cat with chimera trait.
- Presently, we can’t lay hands on any statistics that say how common or rare chimera felines are. However, the way that both celebrity cats Venus and Quimera made people gasp is a clear indication that chimeras sporting such distinctively split-face are extremely uncommon. Though, the total frequency at which the chimera trait occurs might just be more common than anyone would know. But still, among animals like the feline population which are usually known to have multiple births, the occurrence of chimeras might be a bit more normal than anyone would realize.
- The chimera character trait is not limited to the feline population alone; the unique merging process has been noted in several other animals, including human beings. One fascinating fact about chimerism in the human population is that the affected people are not even aware that this fate occurred in their formation.
Things You Should Know About the Chimera Cat
While we have seen nothing from science signifying that chimera felines are born with some specific health problems, there are still some domestic cat health risks adopters should look out for.
Feline obesity – This means excessive weight in cats, and it is on the rise among domestic cats. A kitty’s health can be adversely affected by just adding extra pounds, and there is proof that too much weight is a risk factor for both liver problems and diabetes. Added to this is the fact that being overweight has the potential to reduce a feline’s life expectancy. Find out more about cat food for weight loss here.
Urinary tract issues and kidney problems – This type of health condition is also very common among domestic cats, and chimera cats are not exempted from this condition. Take a look at our review of cat food for urinary tract health for more options.
Worms – Any domestic cat that spends a lot of time in the great outdoors is at the risk of contracting worms. This includes the likes of roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms. Head over to our review of dewormers for cats for more alternatives.
There is no special feline food for the chimera cat; generally, any quality cat food will suffice. However, you should focus more on food rich in animal protein as opposed to plant protein, though many cats are natural hunters who are not averse to hunting down rodents birds, and pests which they consume as a whole meal. Vitamins should also be an important component of feline meals.
For more guides on choosing the right cat food, you may wish to check out our reviews of the best wet cat food, senior cat food, hypoallergenic cat food, cat food for hairballs and cat food for bengals.
Care for all breeds of a feline is practically the same; the emphasis should be on cleaning the kitty’s litter box on a daily basis as the feline population is particular about bathroom hygiene. Chimeras should be constantly kept indoors to avoid attacks from other felines, dogs, or even wild animals. Keeping your cat indoors will keep it safe from people who would love to have a chimera as a household pet without spending money to acquire it. Also, indoor cats are safe from any feline disease that may be making the rounds.
Since it is an already known fact that the chimera kitty cuts across all breeds of cats, recommendations are that each chimera felines should be groomed according to the specifications of her breed. However, it is common knowledge that you should expose your kitty to regular baths, but if she happens to belong to the breed with waterproof fur, then baths become unnecessary. The best soap for your feline companion should be mild shampoo. If the chimera happens to be the thick-coated breed, then combing and brushing should be done on a regular basis to avoid mating.
Other parts of the cat’s body also need to be cared for; for instance, the kitty’s teeth should be brushed once daily or weekly for people who cannot accomplish daily dental care. The ears should also be checked and cleaned with cotton buds or soft, moist cloth, the sides of the eyes should also be cleaned in case it has some discharge.
Due to the fact that chimerism is not seen as a breed, the affected felines don’t come with an identical personality trait or standard characteristics. The condition is just a genetic phenomenon which can manifest in any kitty Irrespective of breed. Each chimera cat is expected to come with all the natural temperament and personality trait of their lineage. The only common fact about the chimera cat is that they are widely admired by all cat lovers, and you don’t need to look very far to see the evidence. A good example is Venus – the celeb chimera cat that has amassed over 1.5 million followings on Instagram and is still counting. From what is perceivable, the chimera cats have sparked a remarkable interest.
Many people have been asking questions about the chimera kitty; whether she is a good cat, again you only need to take a glance at Quimera’s Instagram page to view her adopter’s unequivocal response: absolutely yes! This delightful and inquisitive cat appears like she is actually enjoying all the benefits of a typical feline lifestyle, sticking her tongue out, sprawling on laps, as well as rolling on her fluffy pillows. Cat life sure is great!
The conclusion about the temperament of the chimera kitty is that each of them will sport the temperament of their breed. Even the human companion of Venus lavishes the cat with enough praises for being good.
- Venus the Two-Faced Cat a Mystery – National Geographic