First Cloned Cat Celebrates Her 15th Birthday

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis

In December of 2001, the world’s first cloned cat, known as Copy Cat, was born, after 86 previous attempts to clone a cat by Texas A&M University researcher Duane Kraemer. Copy Cat, or CC, is now 15 years old, and according to Kraemer, has a happy life in what he lovingly calls a “kitty barn” in East College Station, Texas.

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Kraemer said that his team kept pushing the boundaries when it came to cloning, and their success is still one of the most amazing accomplishments of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. Kraemer recently retired and is still extremely proud of their work.

As far as CC goes, Kraemer says that she is basically just like any other cat and has her own unique personality, which shows that personality is simply not cloneable. Kraemer’s team allowed CC to mate with a male cat named Smokey to see if she was able to reproduce, and she passed the test with flying colors ten years ago with her own litter. Kraemer built CC’s “kitty barn” in his backyard and today, that’s where CC, Smokey and three of their cats still live.

CC has lived with the Kraemer’s for the last several years, once she was released from the Vet college for adoption. The original program under which CC was created was a collaboration with a pet-cloning company, but the two organizations broke ties because the University was uncomfortable with some of the ethical intricacies that are involved with pet cloning, or cloning of any living creature in general.

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So while Kraemer is a pioneer of the field, leading the way for many university researchers to clone many animals, including pigs, cattle, horses and more, he considers himself just a part of a great and committed team, nothing special by any standard.

We bet CC would beg to differ, though!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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