Cat brings home a two-headed snake

PALM HARBOR, FLORIDA – NEWS AND VIEWS: Kay Rogers’ daughter told her that the family cat had “brought in a snake and it has two heads”. Kay said in an interview with ABC Action News that her cat is adventurous and likes to bring home presents but that “this tops it”. Her 13-year-old daughter put the snake in a plastic container and created a “habitat set up for it”. They consulted with some reptile specialists to help them get to grips with what to do to look after the snake. They appear to have managed well. They like learning about reptiles so this was a great opportunity. They’ll remember it for the rest of their lives.

2-headed snake
2-headed snake brought through the cat door of a Florida home by the family cat. Photo: FWC.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The event begs the question as to whether the two-headedness of the snake caused it to be captured by the cat. Perhaps the two heads argued about how to fight back or flee and couldn’t come to a mutual agreement. While arguing this adventurous cat grabbed the snake in her jaws and walked it home through the doggy door (cat flap or dog door).

FWC's FB post
FWC’s FB post

The experts say that two-headed snakes are “uncommon”. I should think so! I’ve never seen them before even a picture. The phenomenon is called bicephaly. It is caused when two monozygotic twins fail to separate which leaves their heads conjoined onto a single body. This interesting fact is courtesy the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) department.

They also say that because there are two heads the snake is uncoordinated and can’t find food very well which is at least partly why two-headed snakes are unlikely to survive in the wild. The outcome is probably therefore a good one because this fascinating creature is currently being looked after by FWC.

It should be noted that reptiles are on the menu for domestic cats. This is because the domestic cat’s wild cat ancestor, the Near Eastern wildcat eats reptiles including snakes from time to time. This dietary habit has been inherited by the domestic cat.

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