If you are a cat person, you would probably be aware of the mood swings and stubbornness that are traits of this otherwise cute animal species. One moment your cat would be lying in your feet, rubbing its head affectionately against your body, while the very next minute it may turn into an aggressive or grumpy being who pays no heed to your instructions while reaching for the items it is forbidden to touch.
Just like their dual behavior, some split face cats have a two-colored face, and quite literally so.
As you can see in the above image, a split face cat has its face symmetrically divided- with one half being a particular color while the other half being a totally different one. In most cases, the color of both eyes also differs from each other, though this is not always the case.
Possessing a two-colored face is the distinctive characteristic of chimera cats.
What is a chimera cat?
Would you believe if we tell you that one chimera cat is actually two cats?
Let us explain.
Basically, the reason for a chimera condition is that either two embryos, or two fertilized eggs adjoin together to form one organism. Therefore, the resulting offspring has two different sets of DNA: its own, as well as of the cat that would have been its twin.
Presence of two different sets of genes, with each maintaining its phenotypes results in an offspring that has a combination of characteristics from both embryos.
This explains the reason why the resulting offspring is a split face cat. It contains an amalgamation of genes and physical traits from both embryos. This is also the reason why the chimera cats possess different-colored eyes.
Since chimera condition is an occasional occurrence, split-face cats are rare. Therefore, they receive great attention when spotted. In today’s socially connected world, it is easy to share pictures if you own such a cat with unique looks, or come across one on your way. Some people did so, and their cats became an internet sensation. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
With one half of her face being black while the other being orangish-brown, Venus instantly became popular when her picture was first shared on the internet in 2012. She was previously a stray cat but was adopted in 2009 by a couple who lives in North Carolina. Venus lived an ordinary life till she rose to fame, thanks to a Reddit post. She now has her own social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook. Her Insta handle is “venustwoface cat” and she has millions of followers on social media.
She has even appeared on television shows such as Fox & Friends and The Today Show.
Many viewers who were astonished by Venus’ unique appearance had doubts about her being real. Venus’ Facebook account respond to them wittingly by including the tagline:
“0% photoshopped, 100% born this way!”
Venus also has her own YouTube channel with 13.4K subscribers.
Narnia is another split face cat that has gained massive following on the internet. He was born in 2018. His owner who was surprised as well as fascinated by the cat`s unique two-colored face, instantly shared Narnia`s photograph on the internet.
The attribute which sets Narnia apart from other split face cats is that even though he has a face similar to them, he is not a chimera cat. This has been proved by tests that reveal Narnia does not have two different types of DNA but only one. Therefore, the reason behind Narnia`s two-colored face is still unknown.
It may be referred to as one of mysterious cases.
Like Venus, Narnia also has an Instagram page called “Amazing Narnia” and he has 255k followers. Narnia’s following particularly increased after his two kittens were born, each one of which took one of his face colors. This means that one of his off-springs was completely grey while the other was fully black in color.
Below is an image showing his kittens.
If you haven’t yet noticed, look at Narnia`s picture once again and you would see that both his eyes are of the same color, blue. Blue-colored eyes are pretty rare in cats. Therefore, this attractive eye-color further enhances his beauty and uniqueness.
Currently, Narnia resides in Britain with his owner Stephanie.
Though not as popular as Venus or Narnia, Quimera is a rising star in the category of split face cats. She currently lives in Argentina and her looks are somewhat similar to Venus.
Even though she may later pose a threat to the first social media star in the split face cat category, Quimera currently needs to make a substantial effort to beat or even match Venus’ status. She has 89.3k followers on Instagram, which is quite low as compared to Venus and Narnia. However, she is just as adorable as the other two and we can definitely not pick a favorite amongst the trio.
We have shared with you everything we knew about split face cats and hope you find it interesting. If you like this article, do share it with your “cat-lover” friends and see how many of them are surprised to learn the scientific reason behind the existence of chimera cats.