An influencer who paid $900 for a ‘rare’ breed of cat from an animal rescue center has claimed she was ‘scammed’ after a DNA test revealed the feline is just a standard tabby.
Chloe Mitchell, 23, from Michigan, started to suspect her new pet might not be everything the shelter had described her as after sharing a video on TikTok.
Although adorable, her followers couldn’t believe the cat named Puka was a fifth-generation ‘super rare’ African Savannah as the breed looks similar to a cheetah and they encouraged her to get a DNA test.
In a new post, Chloe reveals that her fans were indeed correct and Puka is not a specialist hybrid breed but more of a ‘Jack of all trades.’
Chloe Mitchell, 23, from Michigan , started to suspect her new pet might not be everything the shelter had described her as after sharing a video on TikTok
Although adorable, her followers couldn’t believe the cat named Puka was an African Savannah as the breed looks similar to a cheetah and they encouraged her to get a DNA test
After conducting a DNA test, it turns out that the creature shares only an 8 per cent likeness to the rare breed
African Savannah cats – a cross between an African serval and a domestic cat – are typically hard to breed, which can push the cost of them up to anything from between $1,000 and $20,000, so Chloe thought she was getting a good deal at $900.
However, after conducting a DNA test, it turns out that the creature shares only an 8 per cent likeness to the rare breed.
Chloe didn’t appear to be disappointed by the outcome and she told viewers: ‘It doesn’t matter to me what she is because I love her no matter what.’
While the social media star – who has 3.3 million followers on TikTok – only got the DNA test to check the breed of Puka she said it was also useful for a ‘bunch of other reasons.’
In the clip she goes on to explain that she also learned Puka’s oral health is ‘actually really bad’ and she’s at high risk for periodontal disease.
‘Now I know I have to brush furball’s teeth,’ Chloe says.
The pet owner also learned what Puka’s blood type is and if she is at risk for ‘any mutations that could cause disorders.’
She explains: ‘Praise the Lord because Puka is clear for every single one of them.
‘Disclaimer, ‘clear’ does not mean she won’t develop a disease.
‘I just know that she doesn’t have any mutations that make her prone to said disorders.’
Chloe, who has a huge following on TikTok and social media, whipped her fans into a frenzy by telling them she would get her new cat DNA tested
Fur-baby Puka is now in her forever home with Chloe, who says she is bonded with the feline and could never take her back to the shelter
When news about Chloe’s cat drama originally spread, it wasn’t long before the name of the shelter became public and people began inundating them with comments and questions.
Taking to their own Facebook page, they explained that there are multiple reasons a cat’s adoption fee can be higher than normal.
They also revealed that Puka’s litter had all been very sick and reportedly cost $450 each to treat.
They wrote: ‘All of our animals leave here fixed and with all of their shots and preventives, as well as being microchipped.
‘This all costs money. No one is making a profit here, everything goes back into the shelter for medical supplies, food, etc.’
However, Chloe says she wasn’t told about the medical costs and that the reason Puka was so expensive was because she was a rare breed, and this was also why she had been at the shelter for so long because no one wanted to pay that much.
She said that she wasn’t sure if she wanted to take legal action against the shelter as it ‘costs money.’
She continued: ‘I can’t help but feel kind of obligated to take action. But the shelter director kind of scares me and I’m just trying to live my life.
‘But not only has she scammed me, but she has scammed a lot of other people out of a lot of money.’
Chloe has been urged on by her followers to get Puka DNA tested and if it proves she’s not an African Savannah cat then to take legal action against the shelter
Chloe says she fell in love with Puka and didn’t care what breed she is. However, later she said she wasn’t happy with paying the $900 adoption fee
The center then accuses Chloe of being untruthful about the situation, with its director writing: ‘I’m so mad about this because she’s not only lying about this story but she’s making a profit off this.’
In one of her own videos, Chloe says the shelter has offered her a refund, if she returns the cat, something she has no intention of doing.
Due to Chloe’s claims that she’s been scammed, the rescue center says her followers have turned vigilante and left scathing reviews and harassed staff over the phone – including death threats.
One voice message that was heard by news site FOX 17, said: ‘I’ll blow this number up, and I’ll blow your location out as well. Hope you have a wonderful day.’
As such, the shelter said they’ve had to report the situation to the police who are now keeping watch over the property.
Chloe says it was never her intention for the shelter to receive these kinds of comments, threats and messages.
She told FOX 17: ‘I never asked for the Internet to go call them or leave Google reviews in my defense whatsoever. … I’m not asking to be defended; I’m just asking to be heard.’