Fact Check

Chimera Cat

Photograph shows a half-black, half-tabby 'chimera cat'?

Published Aug 22, 2012

Claim:   Photograph shows a half-black, half-tabby "chimera cat."


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, August 2012]

I was browsing through Facebook and found a picture of this chimera cat. The cat appeared to be a mix of solid black and tabby - complete with heterochromia (one blue eye and one green eye). But it looked like photoshop to me.

Is the chimera cat a real animal? It's beautiful but seems to be too good
to be true.


Origins:   The cat shown in the image displayed above is named Venus, and she was adopted from a North Carolina dairy farm in 2009. Her distinctive appearance comes from a face that is neatly divided vertically into two very different halves: one side having solid black fur with a yellow eye, and the other having orange tabby markings with a blue eye.

Venus has her own Facebook page ("The Amazing Chimera Cat") on which her owner provides Venus' back story:

Ok so here's her story. Almost 3 years ago in September 2009 one of my childhood friends posted some pics of a bunch of stray kittens her husband took pics of while he was doing some work on a dairy farm in North Carolina. Naturally being an animal lover I looked through the pics and saw this little split face cat that looked like a combo of the 2 cats I currently had (and still have), an orange tabby and a black tux. I wanted her right then and there because she looked like a combo....I hadn't seen the eyes yet. So when I clicked on the next picture I couldn't get on the phone fast enough with her. I asked her to get permission from the farm owner to adopt the cat out, paid for her to take her to the vet to be cleared of illness/disease & get 1st round of shots, and my husband (yes he is awesome) flew up 2 days later to get her. She flew back in a carrier on his lap (a soft material pink one... lol) and was about 2 mos old at the time. He did get a LOT of attention at the airport & shocked and amazed everyone who got a look at her through the carrier. We (us and the kids) really wanted to give her a cool name with meaning so we came up with Venus, greek for the goddess of beauty and love.

More of Venus can be seen in the following videos:

Most likely Venus' unusual physical appearance is due to ordinary genetic variation and not true chimerism.

Last updated:   8 July 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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