Two-faced kitty

This adorable two-faced kitten was born in Charleston, West Virgina last week. The condition is called diprosopus. From the Charleston Gazette:
 Mediafiles Thumbs 275 220.19572953737 Kitteh I100611205931 "As far as I understand, it's a defect in a protein synthesis that causes a mutation that leads to two faces," (veterinarian Erica) Drake said. "It's hard to know if it's just two faces or if it's a conjoined twin."

Drake said the kitten's two mouths act independently of one another and she believes each mouth has a separate esophagus leading to one stomach.

However, she said, it is hard to know the kitten's internal anatomy without an X-ray. She said not knowing about any defects that could be associated with internal organs makes it hard for her to give the kitten a definite prognosis.
"Twin-faced kitten puzzles veterinarian" (via Fortean Times)


  1. It’s hard to know if it’s just two faces or if it’s a conjoined twin.


    Jaded vet is jaded!

  2. Urgh. I hate photos like this. They give me emotional whiplash. “Awww…wait, ewww. Wait. Aww. Wait. Ewww.”

  3. No, it’s clearly a sign that some great Evil occurred just moments before this innocent kitty was born…

  4. Does it suckle on two teats at once? Because then it would be getting more than its fair share of milk.

  5. Yikes, Boing Boing! I’d love a “click here to see picture” kind of deal so I have an option as to whether I see disturbing images like this. I’m a huge softie when it comes to animals, especially cats, and find things like this completely upsetting.

    I know I’m probably the only guy that feels that way, but just sayin’.

    I’ll be back next week when two headed kitty is off of the front page.

  6. Most of the cats I’ve met are two-faced. First they’re all just so cute and cuddly then YEOWCH with the claws and the biting and yelping.

  7. Hmmm. That’s definitely one of those “if it’s viable, do you raise it or not?” items.

    Animals generally don’t waste time obsessing over oddities; they just cope. (Not “oh god, I’m going blind” but “hey, it’s always nighttime now. OK, I can deal with that.”) So it’s quite possible little four-eyes here would adapt and lead a fairly normal life, as long as his nervous system isn’t excessively scrambled. His biggest problem might be deciding which side has to deal with a hairball. And since this is a developmental defect, he wouldn’t be likely to pass it on to progeny, if any.

    [Yes, I’m guessing a gender. It’s easier than s/he or “it”. If I’ve guessed wrong, someone will correct me.]

    OTOH, he’s always going to freak out a lot of humans, and will probably have some unique medical problems. It’s going to be hard finding a home willing to just treat him like a member of the family, and to take on the possible bills… and the risk that there’s enough hidden damage that he’d have to be put down relatively early. And frankly, I’d be nervous about most folks who *were* willing to offer him a home, unless I knew they were serious about adopting him as a pet rather than an oddity.

    He may not live long enough for it to be an issue, or the considered judgment may be that he shouldn’t live that long because his quality of life won’t be adequate … but if he does, I really hope he finds a good home.

    For myself, I’d rather not deal with anything more complicated than a polydactyl puss … but I’d sorta like to meet this little one and see whether I would get used to him. If you think of him as a little alien rather than as a cat, he _is_ sorta cute… and after all, cats are already on the edge of being alien intelligences so it isn’t all that large a jump.

  8. “As far as I understand, it’s a defect in a protein synthesis that causes a mutation that leads to two faces” – to a molecular biologist that sounds like a misspelling inside a mistake all wrapped in a misunderstanding. (Could be a gene mutation giving a defect protein. Or the twin-thing)

  9. Broken link.

    “We’re sorry, the page you’ve requested does not exist at this address.”

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