The Chimera cat is one of the most interesting cats in the feline world due to its perfectly symmetrical bi-colored face. In simple terms, they have two different shades on their faces and/or on their bodies, which are often separated in an uncannily straight manner. Chimeras behave just like any other domestic cat.
The Chimera’s history
According to Greek mythology, a Chimera cat is a fire-breathing, three-headed monster. They are said to have been a combination of a lion, dragon, and snake. According to the Illiad, an ancient Greek poem written by Homer, a Chimera is not a human, but rather an immortal creature with a lion in front, goat in between, and snake at the back that emits a bright fire.
In a more scientific history, the Chimera is in no way as monstrous and dreadful as Greek mythology describes it. In fact, Chimeras are just a product of a genetic anomaly.
According to genetics, a Chimera kitten is born out of the fusion of two or more embryos at the earliest stage of embryonic development. It’s a genetic mutation since they are a single organism genetically fusing with its own fraternal twin.
The other names given to these kinds of cats are “two-faced” or “split-faced” cats.
Some of the most famous Chimera cats ever introduced to the world are Venus, Quimera, and Narnia de la Grace. As funny as it sounds, they are followed by many people and have their own social media accounts showing their beauty and endearing natures.
What makes up a Chimera cat?
Chimeras are two different embryos merged at the first phase of pregnancy in the mother’s womb. They have two kinds of DNA since they are supposed to be two different individuals. They are born after literally having their fraternal twin merged with their own body. As a kitten, a Chimera’s color is not quite noticeable and only gets evident as they mature.
The easiest way to identify a Chimera is to look for a bi-colored coat, separated right in the middle of the face and body. The Chimera is not registered as an official breed because of its complexity and its beautiful genetic anomalies.
Not all Chimeras have perfectly symmetrical colors. Even a small pop of different colors could be a sign of a Chimera. Because the Chimera is not an official breed, it can occur in breed of domestic cat, such as the American Shorthair or the Persian cat. Any breed could produce a Chimera.
Attitude and Temperament
Chimeras can absolutely make good pets. Despite the monstrous description of Chimeras in Greek mythology, they are usually great pets. Owners of the most famous Chimeras, Venus and Quimera, testify how adorable and sweet their little fuzzy creatures are.
Just like other cats, Chimeras can enjoy being normal felines who love sitting on their owner’s lap, rolling on fluffy pillows, and playing with the family members. However, in some cases, Chimeras are a bit of aloof and independent, which means that they can also enjoy themselves without any company.
Your Chimera’s attitude and temperament will have a lot to do with what breed its parents are, as Chimera itself is not an actual cat breed. Some are more aloof and some are overflowing with curiosity, and enjoy exploring their surroundings.
Trusting the experts
The Chimera, up to this day, is still a mystery for many people. The best way to know and identify if your little fuzzy friend is a chimera is to have them inspected by an expert in cat genetics. They can help you identify whether the cat is indeed a chimera, or just a pretty resemblance.
As some sources have claimed, the best way to determine if your feline is a Chimera is to have a DNA test because, without one, it would be actually terribly hard to tell if your cat is indeed a Chimera.
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Where can Chimeras be found?
Whether you believe it or not, Chimeras can be found at rescue centers, shelters, or even wandering in the streets. However, Chimera cats with markings like the famous Venus and Quimera are quite rare, and finding them in the streets or in shelters is one in a million opportunity.
Does Chimerism only happen in cats?
Chimerism is when one organism has two sets of DNA. It can also happen to other animals like mice and dogs. Chimerism can even happen among humans! In this case, the markings are not the same with the cats, as the color of a Chimera human’s skin is not divided by two different colors. Still, it could be evident in some of his or her other features, such as the hair.
Are Chimera cats prone to different health issues?
Science says that there is nothing to worry about when it comes to Chimera cats and their genetic anomalies, as the don’t cause any severe illnesses. Like any cats, they can be prone to some disease when not taken care of properly. The most common health issues of a Chimera cat are obesity, worms, kidney problems, and urinary tract issues.
In conclusion, Chimera cats are felines born with a single-color scheme on one side of their face and a completely different color on the other part. This phenomenon is a result of a genetic condition where two embryos are fused with each other. Given that Chimeras are not an official breed of a cat, they do not have a standard of distinct behavior from being a chimera.