Who was the first cloned cat? All about CC! (With pictures)

I haven’t had the opportunity to meet a cloned cat in person yet. I’ve heard of this phenomenon many times over the years, but I’ve never personally considered having one of my cats cloned. However, I have always wondered who the first cloned cat was, how long he lived, and what his quality of life was. If you are curious about the same, you have come to the right place!

Discover CC, the first cloned cat!

The first cloned cat was called CC, short for “Carbon Copy”. The cloning took place at Texas A&M University, where researchers took a few ovarian cells from a female cat named Rainbow while she was spayed, then implanted the cell nuclei into an egg. This resulted in the birth of CC, the cloned cat, on December 22, 2001!

Although the cloned cat appeared to be healthy, the scientists who created CC were left with a big surprise: she looked nothing like Rainbow, the cat she was cloned from. Rainbow was a calico cat who had gray and orange markings, but CC had no orange markings. The scientists didn’t expect this to happen, but eventually determined that the nuclei they used didn’t include the gene responsible for developing the orange markings.

What happened to CC, the cloned cat?

CC the cat lived a long and happy life with his adoptive parents, Duane and Shirley Kraemer. She even gave birth to four kittens, three of which survived. This means that she was not only the first cloned cat in existence, but also the first cloned cat to give birth. CC lived with his brood in a purpose-built shed in the backyard of Duane and Shirley’s house. She ended up living to a ripe old age of 18 and was healthy until she was diagnosed with kidney failure. Sadly, she passed away from the disease on March 3, 2020.

Cat cloning goes mainstream

I had known that cat cloning had been happening for many years, but I hadn’t realized how mainstream it seemed to have become. There are many companies, like Gemini Geneticsthat promise to clone your cat and create a new life with 99.9% genetic similarity, nearly identical appearance, and the same general lifespan and reproductive abilities.

It seems like all you have to do is provide the company with a tissue sample from your beloved cat, and they’ll eventually deliver a cloned cat to you. Cloning doesn’t come cheap, however. It usually costs thousands of dollars, so the idea of ​​cloning a cat is probably out of reach for many people. That said, a woman named Kelly in the United States cloned his cat not so long ago, just like a man named Heung in China.

Controversies Surrounding Cat Cloning

Of course, there are some controversies surrounding the idea of ​​cloning a cat or any other pet for that matter. Ethics is the source of most concerns. For example, many believe that cloning a cat indirectly harms stray and abandoned cats that already exist and need it.

Some people also believe that cloned cats may not be as healthy or live as long as the original cats they were cloned from. But so far, there’s been no evidence that the cloned cats have any health issues that the original cats wouldn’t have had. That said, if cloning becomes mainstream in the food industry, it could cause more pain and suffering than necessary, as there will be many more animals born and raised in terrible conditions just to be killed for food.

Final Thoughts

While the idea of ​​cloning cats is intriguing, it seems there’s still a lot of research to be done before the process of cloning a pet can be made widely available to the average person. However, the only way to know how cloning might affect an animal or an industry in the long run is to create more cloned animals and see what happens.

Featured Image Credit: Anne Richard, Shutterstock

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