These Viral Claims of Rare Cat Species Are AI-Generated Images!

Nature Social Technology

The trend of using artificial intelligence (AI) to generate images has been gaining popularity lately. It’s fascinating how AI-powered apps and software enable us to create unique and surreal photos using filters and algorithms. However, this has also raised concerns regarding the spread of misleading and false images across the internet. 

A recent example is the viral pictures of cats with unconventional colors and patterns, most resembling snake patterns. These images are being shared widely, with claims that they are of rare and unknown species such as “Serpens cattus” and “Felis Salamandra.”

Social Media Claims

A Facebook user posted a picture of a cat with black and bright yellow colors in the “Nature and Weird Stories” group, along with the following caption:

“Serpens cattus (snake cat) is the rarest cat species in the world. These animals live in remote regions of the Amazon floodplain, and therefore are relatively poorly studied. The first pictures that captured a snake cat appeared only in the 2020s. The mammal weighs up to 4 kilograms and reaches 50 centimeters in length. The animal is practically not amenable to domestication, although some Amazonian tribes use snake cats to protect their homes from rodents.”

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We also found a similar claim in the group “Amazing Wildlife and Nature,” where a member posted pictures of black cats with yellow spots, claiming they were a rare cat species called “Felis Salamandra.”

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Both claims went viral and were shared across social media. However, we discovered that these fascinating creatures do not actually exist. Instead, the pictures were created by AI.


Using the Reverse Image Search feature, we could trace the origin of the viral pictures to a Russian Facebook user named Alex Vasiliev. According to an article from LAD Bible, Vasilev said, “Apparently, an ordinary cat and an image of a mangrove snake were used to create the Amazonian cat.” This technique gives the images a unique and surreal appearance.

Picture of a Mangrove Snake, credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Here’s the original post by Vasilev, posted on the “Midjourney Cat” Facebook group.

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Furthermore, Dr. Andrew Kitchener, the Principal Curator of Vertebrates at National Museums Scotland, has also confirmed that there are no such species as “Serpens Cattus or Snake Cats,”

Another AI-species Cat: Felis Salamandra

The pictures of black cats with yellow spots claiming to be “Felis Salamandra” have been traced to a prank played on April Fool’s Day. As with the previous creation, the person behind this artwork, Kâma Usha Bengal, has since clarified that the photos were generated by AI using images of Fire Salamanders to create unusual patterns. Therefore, this claim is also false and likely a humorous prank. (Read the statement from the creators here | Archive)

Fire Salamander, credit: San Diego Zoo

Furthermore, no evidence supports the existence of cat species called Serpens Cattus and Felis Salamandra. Despite searching through scientific literature and databases such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and the Catalogue of Life, no results were found for both species. 

Furthermore, the description of these supposed species does not match any known cat species. Although there are many species of cats in the Amazon region, none of them have the characteristics attributed to Serpens Cattus and Felis Salamandra.


The pictures of cats with unconventional colors and patterns claiming to be of rare species, resembling serpents, are not real. Instead, these images are a product of artificial intelligence and do not represent any known cat species.


Title:These Viral Claims of Rare Cat Species Are AI-Generated Images!

Fact Check By: Fact Crescendo Team 

Result: False

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