'Serpen Catus' or 'Snake Cat'

An image of this breathtaking black and yellow cat is taking the internet by storm, and versions of it have been shared across virtually all social media platforms alongside a copypasta explainer. Called the 'Serpens Catus,' or 'Snake Cat,' this fascinating feline supposedly lives in the Amazon rainforest, and is "the rarest species of feline on Earth." But is it real?

The source of the image is unknown, but its explainer text appears to have originated three days ago from a since-deleted Reddit post. Now, the text and image appear together on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and more. 

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While the visual of a black and yellow snake-like cat is stunning, there is no evidence to suggest that the animal really exists. "The cat is indeed not real," stated Drexel University postdoctoral researcher Lukas J. Musher while writing to Snopes. "There are many beautiful South American felines, but none look like this." 

Commenters to the Reddit post agreed. "Obvious fake. No known gene can produce natural hair or fur of those (navy and bright yellow) colors," one user wrote. "Really rough attempt at a fake Latin name," said another. "One google about species naming would have made this a lot less obvious."

The Amazonian 'Snake Cat' might not be real, but the 'Cat Snake' is. Residing in Southeast Asia, the gold-ringed cat snake is a seven-foot-long venomous serpent bearing a striking resemblance to our viral cat. It's too bad nature decided to go with the snake over a cuddly kitty. 

gold ringed cat snake - snake cat