What are chimera cats?
While you might not have heard of chimera cats before, chances are that you have seen one. In 2012, chimera cat Venus (@venustwofacecat) gained fame due to her unique appearance. Chimera cats are cats with a special genetic makeup that often have a completely different coat color and sometimes pattern on one side of their face than on the other. Venus, for example, has one side of her face black and the other side orange, with a clear dividing line down the middle.
How do chimera cats come to be?
Chimerism occurs when 2 early-stage embryos fuse together in the womb to form 1 single individual. So, two cat embryos in the end become one kitten. As a result, chimera cats have two distinct sets of DNA, which can cause them to have two different coat colors or patterns on opposite sides of their face, and sometimes the rest of their body. Chimera cats are named after a creature in Greek mythology called Chimera, which was said to be made up of parts of different animals.
Are chimera cats rare?
Despite what you might think, chimera cats are not entirely uncommon. After all, these kitties can have a range of appearances, from subtle differences in shading to more dramatic splits down the middle of their body. However, in most cases, their coloring is not the only thing that sets them apart from other cats. Chimera cats often have heterochromia, which means that they have two different-colored eyes, and some individuals have an asymmetrical face shape. Venus is a great example of a cat with heterochromia, as she has a green eye on the right side of her face, and a blue eye on the left.
Do chimera cats suffer from health issues?
Even though they look very unique, chimera cats are generally no different from other cats in terms of their behavior or health. They are simply a fascinating example of the diversity of life on our planet. While their unique appearance may capture the attention of animal lovers around the world, it is important to remember not to buy or adopt a cat based on the animal’s unique appearance. It sounds cliché, but it’s what’s inside that matters most.