Meet Venus - the Chimera Cat

Every so often, along comes an animal that has markings so unusual that they baffle even the experts. Meet Venus the Chimera Cat!

By Lucy Powell

Cats as you know come in all different shapes, sizes and colours. Each of their features are unique to them, no two felines are identical – it’s what makes us love them even more!

When it comes to markings, we know that small feline family cats are related to their bigger relatives: Lions, Tigers and Leopards – all of whom have stunningly beautiful coats; nowhere else in nature are these markings rivalled.

That little splodge they may have under their chin, or that one pink ear and the other tortoise shell one. Your cats markings in many cases will allow him or her to camouflage themselves just like their family in the wild.

But every so often comes along a cat that has markings that are so unusual that they baffle even the experts!

One such cat is truly making a stir online, her name is Venus. She was born with some of the most eye catching markings on her fur, possibly ever seen on a domestic cat.

““So stark are her markings, that she has been described as a ‘Chimera’ cat.””

So dramatic are these markings that people have been questioning whether the photographs were in fact Photoshopped! But the truth is that these photo’s and Venus’s striking markings are completely genuine and not a hoax!

She was found as a stray cat on a dairy farm in 2009 in North Carolina USA. Because of her very strange markings the farm owner posted photographs of her online. This was where her current owner spotted and instantly fell in love with her. She was taken home and has been loved and looked after ever since!

The Chimera is a well known name for those who take an interest in Greek mythology. It is a mythical creature with the heads of a goat, lion and snake, it is also a name that is commonly referred to the condition known as ‘Heterochromia’.

A ‘Chimera’ cat will be what scientists will say is the reverse of identical twins.

So far scientists have gathered that this condition occurs when two embryo’s merge in the Mother cats womb; so what would have been two different sets of genes, merges together to become one cat. The strange thing is that the two embryo’s still manage to keep their own sets of genes.

The kitten that is created will be born with a mixture of the two. This can be seen also in the rest of her fur which has a ‘mottled’ effect. Its a real combination of that tortoise shell with black- it’s almost as if Venus’s gene’s couldn’t quite make their mind up. One thing for sure, her markings really make her a true original!

But how can one explain the perfectly split face?

Well National Geographic’s Katia Andreassi thinks this is a fluke of nature. She says that female cats have two ‘X’ chromosomes so they are naturally drawn to having these sorts of markings. So Venus may not in fact be a Chimera cat but just prone to these markings!

There are ways in which her genetic condition can be found out and that is through DNA testing. With samples from both sides of the cat they should be able to find two completely different sets of Genes. This will tell us that she is indeed a Chimera cat, however it is unknown whether plans for a test have been made.

Another thing that is so unusual about Venus are her eyes: most cats eyes for those domestic breeds will be either green or yellow. A blue eyed cat is extremely rare when found in a common domestic short hair cat. Siamese cats are the only breed of cat known to have blue eyes as it’s part of their genetic characteristics.

Venus is not known to have Siamese genetics with only a small patch of white on her fur. So it doesn’t seem to explain why she has a blue eye.

While the experts are still baffled by Venus’s strange but very beautiful markings, she has been a busy cat! Venus continues to be a very happy and loved cat at her home in North Carolina.

Her fan base is growing with already over 22,000 followers already subscribed to her Facebook fan page. She has also had nearly 300,000 views of her video’s on YouTube too. Check out her fantastic feline Facebook page for yourself.

About the Author

Lucy Powell
Lucy Powell

Passionate about our feline friends and the bond cats can create with their owners. Lucy is a contributing pet-care writer for various magazines and is the proud owner of three specials cats - Lordy, Gatinha and Gina!