Two-faced Cat Turns 12 Years Old

PetMD Editorial
Updated: April 06, 2020
Published: October 04, 2011
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Frank and Louie is still officially the longest-lived Janus cat according to the Guinness Book of World Records. And yes, that is two names for one cat. He has one name for each face.

Janus cats, named after the two-faced Roman god, have an extremely rare congenital condition called diprosopia. Diprosopia is where part or all of the individual’s face is duplicated on the head. Frank and Louie specifically has two noses, two mouths and three eyes – though only one mouth is used for eating and only two of his eyes are operational.

His owner, Marty Stevens from Worcester, Massachusetts, calls his right side Frank and his left side Louie. She says that he eats and purrs from his "Frank" side.

Frank and Louie’s unusually long life for a Janus cat has been attributed to Stevens’ love and care. She rescued Frank and Louie when he was just a day old and about to be euthanized at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, where she worked as a veterinary nurse.

When she first took him in, Stevens was told he probably wouldn’t even survive a year. Janus cats often survive only a few days due to other defects, such as a cleft palate, making it difficult for them to get nourishment.

Luckily, Frank and Louie has avoided many common Janus problems. Since Frank and Louie has used only one of his mouths to eat with – as only the right mouth is attached to his esophagus – she has never had to worry about him choking like she thought he would. In fact, Dr. Armelle deLaforcade, an associate professor at Cummings, says Stevens "stood firm and stood by the cat, and I’m really glad she did because this cat really has fewer problems than many cats that have very normal anatomies."

As of September 8th, Frank and Louie officially turned 12 years old. "So he’s ahead of the game. Every day I just thank God I still have him," says Stevens.


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