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Is My New Kitty A Chimera Cat?

Discussion in 'Describing Cats - What Does My Cat Look Like?' started by JackPage, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. JackPage

    JackPage Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Aug 13, 2019
    So I picked up this new addition to our home and she has some very uniques markings. Most obvious is her split face half grey tabby/half orange tabby. i have never seen a tabby cat like her in my life and couldn't figure out her unique coloring. I did a bit of research and think she may be a Chimera cat.

    What do you think?[​IMG]





    Created an account to see if anybody could provide answers or whether they have seen another kitty like this?

    Kissamew and white shadow purraised this.

  2. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    Probably not; chimerism is very rare. She looks to be a normal little torbie (tortie/tabby). Very cute!

    Torbies aren't as common as regular tabbies and torties, but also aren't very rare. I know a few.
    Moka purraised this.

  3. JackPage

    JackPage Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Aug 13, 2019
    Planning on having her DNA tested to see. She doesnt appear to have any tortoise shell, markings are split between the two tabbys.
    jefferd18 and white shadow purraised this.

  4. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    That's normal for a torbie. That just means she got orange coloring from one parent and dark coloring from the other, and the tabby gene from both parents.

    I've heard that chimeras have different DNA on the chimerical parts than the rest of them. So samples from both colors have to be tested; normal DNA testing won't do it.

    Here's Google results for "torbie cat", you can see there's a lot of variety: torbie cat - Google Search
    StefanZ and Moka purraised this.

  5. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    Here's a good explanation of tortie/torbie/etc. As they point out, split-face coloring isn't rare, or a sign of chimerism.
    Tortoiseshell and Tricolour Cats
    Docs Mom and goingpostal purraised this.

  6. Moka

    Moka TCS Member Adult Cat

    May 4, 2017
    The "split" face in cats is more common than you would think. It is called a mosaic pattern. I had a cat with a very defined separation on her face and I highly doubt she was a chimera. The mosaic pattern can appear anywhere on the body and is commonly found in tortishells and torbies. It is just more striking when it happens on a cat's face.
    Here is my Reeses. She had a few different patches along with the pattern on her face. One hind leg was ginger tabby and the other was black and white. It is still unclear if she was a torbie and white or a tortishells and white with a mosaic pattern, but I am almost certain she was not a chimera. I don't think your little one is either. To me, she looks like a torbie.

    100_4690 (2).JPG
    goingpostal and StefanZ purraised this.

  7. abyeb

    abyeb Charlie's Purrson Staff Member Forum Helper

    Feb 18, 2017
    She’s so cute! I don’t think she’s a chimera, though, that split coloring is a normal torbie/tortie variation. This article has more info: CAT CHIMERAS (MALE AND FEMALE)
    white shadow purraised this.

  8. jen

    jen TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 27, 2001
    Hudson, OH
    She is super cute!! I love torti-tabbies/torbies/whatever you want to call them!

  9. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    Hi! I've seen one or two, but not as wonderfully darling as this little sweetheart!!

  10. jefferd18

    jefferd18 Ms. Jeff's Legacy Adult Cat

    Jul 2, 2019
    I have never seen one like your kitty either. The only sure way to know is to get her DNA tested. She sure is a cutie.

  11. JoyM

    JoyM TCS Member Young Cat

    May 7, 2019
    I do agree with this comment that it’s probably a mosaic, however the prevalence of chimerism in cats is supposedly much more common than first thought.
    I fostered a little tortie a while back that had a similar line down her face that continued down her entire tummy. My cousin and his wife have their PhDs in biology (specifically marine biology but they have worked at universities and labs in various biology fields) and they questioned if she was a chimera.
    Since it’s extremely rare in humans, the scientific community has long thought it was also rare in other species but I don’t share that view. Considering chimera are created when 2 embryos merged early in the pregnancy creating one fetus with 2 separate sets of DNA, it would make sense that it would be rare in humans and animals that don’t frequently have more than one baby at a time but would be MUCH MUCH more common in animals than commonly have multiple babies at once (like cats). Because their are just so many embryos in the womb at once, there is many more opportunities for two of them to merge. I would love to see a study on cats who have small litters (like less than 4) to see if they have a great prevalence of chimera.
    This was my little foster, Spice that my cousin was curious about:
    KarenKat purraised this.

  12. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    Mosaicism is a whole different thing too. I think the OP's kitty is a normal torbie :D.

  13. sargon

    sargon High Priest of Freya, The Slightly Bitey. Alpha Cat

    Sep 22, 2016
    St. Louis Metro Area
    Seems a normal cute torbie to me, too.

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