What is a Chimera cat?
These awesome two-faced kitties have created serious wonder over the origin of their incredibly unique features. We have done some digging and now we want all the chimera kittens!
As can be seen from popular photos a chimera cat is generally seen to be a cat with two different colour faces (split down the middle) and very often with heterochromia - two different colour eyes.
How does this happen you ask? Well it's all very science-y. It is down to a rare genetic mutation. While a chimera cat is a singular organism it is genetically its own fraternal twin. Crazy, right?! This phenomenon occurs when four parent cells form together either as two already fertilized eggs or as two early embryos that have fused together. As the cells had already started to develop in the separate embryos, each half keep their original phenotypes which determines their appearance and marking. This means that the resulting cat becomes a mixture of all these genes which can lead it to have this super unusual combination of fur, eye and marking colours.
This phenomenon can often be seen in a combination of orange, white & black but a Chimera cat's markings can come in many colour combinations, including grey and black like this awesome kitty:
(Photo via Jean-Michel Labat -Caters)
How common are Chimera cats?
This manifestation of the double sided face kitty is very rare as it's not something that happens in the normal course of reproduction. There are other types of cats called Cailco cats who have unusual patterns of fur which may lead to confusion. Calicos however are genetically different to a Chimera they are a single kitty with an XXY composition of chromosomes(two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome) rather than a fusion of two early formed embryos like a Chimera. The only way to know for sure would be a genetic test!
Why do we love them?
Here at Pawsome Couture we love all cats and these magical kitties are no exception... each Chimera cat is incredibly unique and the chances of any existing is very rare. Cheers to the wonders of nature!