Squirt, a cat with an impossible mix of colours

Squirt lives in South Africa with Ronel Slabbert. He has a black shorthair body and a grey (blue) semi-longhair tail: an impossible mix of colours according to Sarah Hartwell, the UK’s doyen of cat genetics.

She says that he has a good claim to being a chimera cat because “he is a mix of black shorthair and blue semi-longhair… An impossible mix of colours in distinct patches, those patches are an impossible mix of fur type”.

Squirt a chimera cat with a unique coat
Squirt a chimera cat with a unique coat. Photo by Ronel Slabbert.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Ronel tells me that he knew that his cat was unique in the way that he took on his big dogs, a husky and a mastiff. In fact, Squirt took over the whole household which includes, by the way, three other cats, he says.

Squirt is a rescue cat who was raised by Ronel from three weeks of age. He was neutered quite recently on March 1. The veterinarian was pleased and interested to see him and recommended that he look up information about chimera cats.

He is a unique looking cat. He immediately stands out as having a unique coat and who best to describe it than Sarah Hartwell. Thank you Ronel for contacting me and showing me your delightful cat.

P.S. I recently wrote about another incredibly rare cat living in France with a unique coat: Narnia. This cat was all over the newspapers recently.

P.P.S. Sarah taught me something today. She says that the split face tortoiseshell cats which we have seen quite a lot of on the Internet are not necessarily chimera cats. She says that they are tortoiseshell cats with a particular type of distribution of fur. In relation to domestic cats, within the popular press, the world “chimera” has come to mean cats with a clean central demarcation in fur colour on the face. It is a layman’s term in this instance.

6 thoughts on “Squirt, a cat with an impossible mix of colours”

  1. Today is 29/11/2020.
    My dad went out to buy some stuff and found a stray cat with the same characteristics (i.e. black body hairs and gray tail).
    First we thought that she was in dust and so we showered her but its actually gray.

  2. Beautiful cat! I had a friend in Texas who had a dog who was very unique. She was basically white with some black tips/markings. Perfectly normal. But the texture of her coat was bizarre. The front half of her body was a simple short hair. But at her midpoint – or waistline – the coat was very shaggy and long. The change was abrupt, not transitional at all. It was as if 2 different dogs had been stuck together in the middle.

  3. Is there some reason a unique cat like this is precluded from breeding, especially if the uniqueness isn’t a health risk to offspring? If I were a breeder or knowledgeable or even just curious I’d look into reproducing something of interest. If it’s interesting enough to report, it might be worthy of that.

    • Hi Albert

      According to my Vet – the chances were very good that he would have been sterile.
      He was a feral cat that was part of the cats at the school where I rescued him.

      I didn’t even know this was something special…
      I jokingly told people he looks like his printers ink was finished when it got to his tail.

      It was only when Joe our vet saw him, when I took him to be neutered, that he made me aware of this and also gave my Sarah Hartwell’s website to go have a look

      • Because these colours are not carried on the X chromosome, he would probably have been fertile, but would have passed on either black or blue (grey). Enough is known about chimerism that there is no need to allow a cat to breed just to find out which embryo formed his testes 🙂 Ronel did the responsible thing.


Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo