Cyclops Kitten

Status: Real
image Ichneutron sent me a link to this picture of Cy, the Cyclops Kitten on Yahoo Photos. According to the info on Yahoo, Cy was born in Redmond, Oregon, on Dec. 28, 2005 with only one eye and no nose. He lived for one day. The other cat in the litter (there were only two) was born normal. The photo is by Traci Allen. There's no reason to think the photo isn't real. The condition is known as Cyclopia. gives this description of it:

The eyes are fused into a single enlarged eye that is placed below the nose (the nose may or may not form, if it forms it resembles a proboscis). Much of the face may be missing, such that the eye and proboscis (if present) are placed near the crown of the skull... Severe cases of cyclopia result in stillbirth or in death within a few hours of birth.

The four-eyed kitten, however, remains a hoax.

Update: I notice that quite a few people are calling hoax on this picture. But I'm keeping it listed as real. After all, it's a known form of mutation, and the photo has a source.

Update 2: And the photoshops of Cy have begun.

Update 3 (April 8, 2006): Cy's owner has sold him to the Lost Museum, a creationist museum opening soon in Phoenix, NY.


Posted on Mon Jan 09, 2006


Kittens have closed eyes for a couple of weeks after birth, though, and when the eyes open, they are a milky blue for days.
Posted by Giblets  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  05:59 PM
I think he's cute. Shame he died.
Posted by Boo  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  06:08 PM
Posted by mooo1  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  06:18 PM
At the risk of sounding like a fool, I think that's totally fake. It has slight imperfections in the fur and the lighting. Big time Photoshop hoax.
Posted by Benny  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  09:18 PM
The imperfection in the photo appears due to using a lens on macro mode (no depth of focal field). In human cyclopia (there are plenty of preserved specimens), the nose often forms above the eye. because the facial development is so badly disrupted The eye is fixed open and dark because the other structures in and around the eye don't form - without eyelids, the kitten can't be born with its eyes shut.

It's a pity people are so ready to cry hoax that they overlook genuine mutations without doing some research into the condition first. This one is just a sad mistake of nature.
Posted by Sarah  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  10:27 PM
Sarah, is the head smaller than normal too?

That eye just looks huge--maybe just because it's lidless?
Posted by Joe Welling  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  11:26 PM
I'm afraid I'm going to have to call hoax on this, also. While, yes, this is an actual condition, we're only presented with one photo of this kitten. If there are more, they need to be shown. Otherwise, it's just going to look like a very clever Photoshop job. I imagine that anyone who happened to have a cat that has given birth to such a rare specimen would want to take a lot of different pictures of it to help document it. This just doesn't happen every day, you see. As for the image, it looks fake in several ways, but mostly just the face in general.
Posted by Rachel  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  11:58 PM
Err... It may not be very common, but it's hardly unheard of. Furthermore, why are you expecting the press to print multiple pictures of something that is such minor news?

I don't think it's fake.
Posted by J  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  03:44 AM
My family's had several cats, and most gave birth several times -- I agree with Giblets, there's no way a one-day kitten could have its eye(s) open and clear in the first day. Yes, mutant or not, I really don't think that's possible -- even if the mutation affected its lids (i.e. it was born without any), I don't think it's possible for the eye to be so clean, it must have been almost white, I expect.
Posted by Gutza  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  04:06 AM
The head appears about the right size (hard to say without a full body picture), but the wrong shape. The muzzle does not protrude. The disruption of growth and fusion of the eyes creates an abnormally sized eye. Some of the human cyclops have an eye that occupies much of the forehead area or central area of the face.

If the photo was taken soon after birth, the lidless eye would be clear because it's still moistened with amniotic fluids. It's equally possible that the breeder has kept it moistened as she would do if a normal kitten was born with eyes open.

I'm surprised that the "kittens don't open their eyes for 2 weeks" line is used as an argument for fakery when there is no evidence of eyelids and when the kitten's facial structure is abnormal (hence normal rules don't apply).

Some of the pictures of human mutants in Gould & Pyle (late 19th century textbook) would almost certainly be shouted down as Photoshop simply because people have trouble accepting that gross deformities happen.
Posted by Louise  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  10:07 AM
Not fake. the AP followed up

Not. Fake.
Posted by Jason  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  03:28 PM
Thanks for the update. Hopefully that should settle the debate.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  03:51 PM
Poor thing.
Posted by Big Gary in the northern hemisphere  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  04:21 PM
I found that AP article as well and one thing that struck me was the fact that the owner is currently keeping the kittens corpse in her freezer!

I mean, I guess in the interest of science I can see a laboratory with actual scientists keeping the corpse on ice for study but this woman keeping the corpes in her freezer just strikes me as bizarre.
Posted by Chuck  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  07:43 AM
Didnt it say that the kitten didnt have a nose? How did it live for one whole day without breathing? Out of its mouth I guess?
Posted by Mike  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  07:48 AM
I am still not convinced. The eye being open, clear, and not the usual blue, is very wierd (though theoretically possible). The NO NOSE and it lived for a whole day part? Indeed, how is it breathing, especially when the owner is feeding it: "Allen said she stayed up all night with the deformed kitten on her recliner, feeding Cy a liquid formula through a syringe"

WTF? C'mon.
Posted by Lisa  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  12:16 PM
Someone call the guy in Oregon and get the corpse, I want to see more pictures.
Posted by Natalie  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  12:19 PM
I would have to say it's a good attempt at making it look real! But it is missing the milky blue eyes. Technology these!
Posted by Ursula  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  01:48 PM
its hard to tell if its fake or not but why did it have to die.............
well it made a good mini project and now im done with it
Posted by Kevin  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  02:24 PM
the mutation makes the cat look really weird but i want to know why its mouth and ears look so weird maybe its not a hoax maybe it is i cant decide if i see more pictures then ill belive its true but for now im not taking any sides
Posted by thomas  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  02:30 PM
TOTAL HOAX! It take a few weeks for kittens to open their eyes, as already said before. And even if it was lidless, all kittens' eyes are blue when born.

Looks like a photoshop of a kitten/monkey.

And AP has been so wrong before. If they post more images of the animal soon, maybe I might be more likely to believe it, but one picture? No. Not buying it.
Posted by Siren  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  02:42 PM
If it didn't have a nose, how did it breathe? Did it have some sort of airhole? If it didn't then how would it have stayed alive? If there was really no way for it to breathe then this is a hoax.
Posted by Betty  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:25 PM says that the brown color of the eye was just yet another abnormality of it. Only normal cats' eyes are blue at birth, not cyclops ones. Click on the link and read it. This makes me think that maybe the whole blue-eye thing is irrelevant.
Posted by Betty  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:58 PM
The photos have been verified by checking the images that were on her camera card. The photos were in order with Christmas photos of her family. Experts say it would be impossible to load then on her card in order with the other pictures. She says she still has the body of Cy in her freezer in case science wants it. And she promises that Cy will not show up on eBay.
Posted by Bill  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  05:36 PM
I work in a vet clinic, foster raise orphaned kittens, and have spent my entire life in the company of animals. A kitten that young would not have its eyes open. In the event that it was a freak with no eyelid, the eye would have begun to dry out. Hoax.
Posted by Amanda  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  05:31 AM
Ok, here we go... It's amazing how people think that just because they have been around or 'raised' NORMAL kittens, they think they know absolutely EVERYTHING that IS or COULD be possible in relation to a feline, HOWEVER, you obviously don't know much at all, or are very close-minded to scientific anomalies and don't believe the truth even if it were to slap you in the face. For those that don't believe it could have lived through a day with her feeding it through a syringe, DUH, THINK about it. Obviously it was breathing through the mouth since there was no nose, however, she was not ABLE to feed it continuously. I bet you anything that she had to feed it a drop at a time and wait a few minutes between drops, that way it didn't suffocate. Idiots, I tell you! THINK PEOPLE!! This is common sense stuff here! And lastly, for those commenting about the eye being open, let me go back to the first part of my comments, YOU DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING! Things ARE possible. Just because you have never seen it before does NOT mean it can't be a fact or happen. Just because you have never personally experienced it yourself, doesn't mean it isn't real. Also, THE KITTEN WASN'T NORMAL AND WOULD NOT HAVE NORMAL FEATURES! The stupidity is astounding!
Posted by Penny  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  06:35 AM
Posted by JAKE  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  07:04 AM
Does any one know this lady who submitted the pictures, we need more NOW. Is the body really in her freezer, put it on ebay, I am ready to bid. I can't wait to see what I will find in my mailbox when I win. A Cyclops kitten or a copy of the Photoshop program?
Posted by Natalie  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  07:09 AM
Thanks Jake, not Angry, just awake, and I can get pretty vocal at times lol! I didn't mean to come across as angry, just making some points! 😊
Posted by Penny  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  07:14 AM
This has got to be fake, kittens are born without thier eyes open, if this lady can really send the corpse of this kitten to scientists and actually have this documented, maybe I'll believe it.
Posted by Ju  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  12:06 PM
Ju: Can you read the whole thread before posting? This condition that the kitten was born with can cause it to be born without eyelids.

As for everyone using the "the eye should be blue" reasoning as for why it is fake: So you're saying that a deformity that makes an otherwise nromal animal have one lidless eye couldn't also, I don't know, effect other things like EYE COLOR? To paraphrase Penny, an animal with an abnormal deformity won't have normal features!

For everyone using the "no nose how did it breathe" reasoning: Pinch your nose shut. Take a drink of something. You survived!

The lack of reading, reading comprehension and knowledge of anything scientific in this thread really scares me. But then again it also helps me understand how so many scientifically myopic people can support things like "Intelligent" Design. Science classes in our schools must really be in bad shape.

I'm with Penny here. The amount of stupidity on this thread is astounding.
Posted by Jason  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  12:29 PM
Some people are saying that kittens don't open their eyes for two weeks. Some folks are saying kittens are born with blue eyes. So this pic must be a hoax. How bout the fact that most kittens are born with 2 eyes and a nose. I am open minded, this could be real. The elephant man was real.
Posted by Tammy  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  12:38 PM
Isn't this the second report of some sort of birth defect in kittens in the last 6 months or so? Didn't the other one come from somewhere in Oregon as well?

I'm originally from Oregon. Adele Davis talks about how there is a high incidence of thyroid problems in Oregon and how she feels that it is because of the nuclear testing at the army base between Oregon and Washington State. Redmond is right next to Bend which is in the mountains about 2 hours or so south of the Army base (Camp Pendleton is the name, I think).

Anybody have any information about that aspect of things?


I genuinely wonder if there is some sort of pollution in that region (isn't this
Posted by Lauren  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  12:47 PM
This is totally creepy. CREEPY!
Posted by Krystal Lynn  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  01:47 PM
Associated Press Story on CY

Cy, short for Cyclopes, a kitten born with only one eye and no nose, is shown in ...

One-Eyed Cat Had Medical Condition
By TERRENCE PETTY, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jan 10, 8:58 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. - A photo of a one-eyed kitten named Cy drew more than a little skepticism when it turned up on various Web sites, but medical authorities have a name for the bizarre condition.

"Holoprosencephaly" causes facial deformities, according to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health. In the worst cases, a single eye is located where the nose should be, according to the institute's Web site.

Traci Allen says the kitten she named Cy, short for Cyclops, was born the night of Dec. 28 with the single eye and no nose.

"You don't expect to see something like that," the 35-year-old Allen said by telephone from her home in Redmond in central Oregon.

Allen said she stayed up all night with the deformed kitten on her recliner, feeding Cy a liquid formula through a syringe. She says she cared for the kitten the next day as well, until it died that evening.

Allen had taken digital pictures that she provided to The Associated Press. Some bloggers have questioned the authenticity of the photo distributed on Jan. 6.

AP regional photo editor Tom Stathis said he took extensive steps to confirm the one-eyed cat was not a hoax. Stathis had Allen ship him the memory card that was in her camera. On the card were a number of pictures _ including holiday snapshots, and four pictures of a one-eyed kitten. The kitten pictures showed the animal from different perspectives.

Fabricating those images in sequence and in the camera's original picture format, from the varying perspectives, would have been virtually impossible, Stathis said.

Meanwhile, Cy the one-eyed cat may be dead, but it has not left the building.

Allen said she's keeping the cat's corpse in her freezer for now, in case scientists would like it for research.

She said one thing's for certain: "I'm not going to put it on eBay."
Posted by BIll  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  02:20 PM
I see what the article is saying but I wonder what causes this genetic fluke.
Posted by Lauren  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  02:40 PM
What is Holoprosencephaly?
Holoprosencephaly is a disorder caused by the failure of the prosencephalon (the embryonic forebrain) to sufficiently divide into the double lobes of the cerebral hemispheres. The result is a single-lobed brain structure and severe skull and facial defects. In most cases of holoprosencephaly, the malformations are so severe that babies die before birth. In less severe cases, babies are born with normal or near-normal brain development and facial deformities that may affect the eyes, nose, and upper lip.

There are three classifications of holoprosencephaly. Alobar, in which the brain has not divided at all, is usually associated with severe facial deformities. Semilobar, in which the brain's hemispheres have somewhat divided, causes an intermediate form of the disorder. Lobar, in which there is considerable evidence of separate brain hemispheres, is the least severe form. In some cases of lobar holoprosencephaly the baby's brain may be nearly normal.

The least severe of the facial anomalies is the median cleft lip (premaxillary agenesis). The most severe is cyclopia, an abnormality characterized by a single eye located in the area normally occupied by the root of the nose, and a missing nose or a proboscis (a tubular-shaped nose) located above the eye. The least common facial anomaly is ethmocephaly, in which a proboscis separates closely-set eyes. Cebocephaly, another facial anomaly, is characterized by a small, flattened nose with a single nostril situated below incomplete or underdeveloped closely-set eyes.

Is there any treatment?

There is no standard course of treatment for holoprosencephaly. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive.

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis for individuals with the disorder depends on the severity of the brain and facial deformities
Posted by Jim  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  02:54 PM
As you can see this poor little kitten was in fact suffering from a birth defect. causes are unknown. and if you really research this defect. the single eye in non functional. no eye lids, and it was a sad site to see, but it does happen in all animals (and humans too)
Posted by Jim  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  03:03 PM
Here is a web site that will prove it is no hoax
Posted by Jim  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  03:16 PM
Has anyone seen the other three pictures that were suppose to be on her memory card? It's hard to tell from the angle of the one picture I've seen, but it's real( I'm not saying it's not, there are many documented cases of Holoprosencephaly) it should have a large dorsal sac on the rear of it's head. You can go to for a good overveiw of Holoprosencephaly in humans, but be warned there are pictures a human fetus with the mutation that might make some people uncomfortable.
Posted by Abbey  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  04:02 PM
another one, but not as cute:
Posted by katey  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  04:05 PM
a darling cute thing.
i've heard about cyclopia before. im sure that's not a hoax.
Posted by nina  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  04:46 PM
The kitten is all white. Maybe the eye is not blue because it is an albino!
Posted by Tortuga55  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  05:15 PM
One more iteration: the kitten's eye is open and NOT blue because it is not formed correctly. It is two eyes fused, with no lid. Also, the kitten's brain was so deformed (and missing frontal lobes) that it was probably not even conscious. It was able to breath through its mouth and eat at the same time because those gestures are automatic and do not require "conscious" brain activity. Doubtless its lungs were filling with whatever the woman was feeding it, and if it didn't die of its deformity it most certainly drowned. There is a website called that has a page detailing several cat birth defects, and there is even another picture of a different cat with the same issue. Don't look if you're squeamish.
In humans, this deformity can be as severe (usually stillborn) or very mild - resulting in close-set eyes, a cleft palate, possible mental retardation, or even just one single large front tooth where we normally have two.
Posted by sarah1348  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  06:41 PM
I've never seen anything like this personally, so I don't know for sure, but you may be seeing a very dilated pupil, making the eye look black. It could have also had a malformation of the iris (the colored part of the eye) making it difficult to see or absent. Breeds of cats and dogs that have less pigment, such as ragdoll cats and dogs that are dappled or merled in color, are more prone to defects of the eyes and ears, so the cat's breed may have something to do with it.

Where I work we have a pair of conjoined kittens preserved in a jar. They are joined at the front of their bodies from the face to the groin, so they were stillborn. It's fun to show it to kids.

When you work in a setting where you see these kind of things, the desire to preserve it is common. It's not out of callousness (I feel especially sorry for this kitten since the breeder actually tried to keep it alive rather than giving it a peaceful death). For me it just reinforces how amazing it is when things go right.
Posted by hippievet  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  07:06 PM
I am so sad .. read this
Posted by jonny  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  09:29 PM
if any of you read the article that was likofied on page 1, you would know that there were more pictures (4 i think, all together) and the memory card that the pics were on were sent to a photoshop specialist dude, and he said that a photo job for Cyclops Kitten would be impossible. also, if any of you saw a BIG picture of the kitten, you would see a faint blue color in its eye. and if you knew ANYTHING about human/animal anatomy, you would know that cats, as well as humans and dogs, can breathe thru their mouths.
Posted by Junkie  on  Sat Jan 14, 2006  at  12:21 AM
That Photoshop Specialist dude wasn't very special then. I know the pictures are real, but I'm also well aware that this wouldn't be difficult to do in Photoshop, as is everyone else who's ever browsed
Posted by Charybdis  on  Sat Jan 14, 2006  at  08:53 AM
You don't need to photoshop something like this, Nature can be odd enough by itself. Mutations are a part of life, that's how creatures evolve. If it's a hideous mistake like this, it doesn't live, and so doesn't get a chance to pass it's defective genes. Mutations also happen from chemical, pollution, x-ray, and other hazardous exposures. We just usually don't see creatures or people with defects such as this because of our 'sensitive, politically correct' societies forbid us to indulge our natural morbid curiosity, which is why Ripley's museaums and good old fashioned freakshows draw us in so easily. The only 'freaks' that are mainstream are ones that come from major chemical spills and radiation leaks, due to major news exposure and/or lawsuits. A little defected kitten is not news in the world scope, as many animals are born freakish, ask any farmer or animal breeder about the ones they have to put to sleep due to defects. Even 'cute' mutations/defects are still legit, such as the common multi-toed cats-I have one myself, that has 6 toes each paw-I didn't hold a press conference when she was born.

Most mutations and defects are just hidden away, because it is 'shameful' to be odd, and so the general public aren't aware of the vast amount of oddities in life. Just because YOU haven't seen such a thing before does not mean it is fake. Have you with your own eyeballs seen every single thing in the world or universe that you just 'know' is real? You accept many things for fact, why not this too?
Posted by tina  on  Sat Jan 14, 2006  at  09:45 PM
Tina has a good point. I think this is probably true. Obviously lots of people won't believe it since it seems so farfetched but, I mean, it's certainly possible.
Posted by Betty  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  05:44 PM
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