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Home > Cats > Can I Clone My Cat? Process & Costs

Can I Clone My Cat? Process & Costs

Cloning experiment procedure

Cats and humans can forge close bonds and meaningful connections, and more often than not, humans outlast their beloved pet cats.

With modern science, clone animals, including your cat, is now possible. So, you can make genetic copies of cats that are almost identical to the original. As ideal as this option sounds, cloning comes with controversies that are important to consider before moving forward with it. Here are some essential things to know about cloning cats.

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What Is a Cloned Cat?

In short, a cloned cat is a genetic copy of your cat. The clone’s genetic make-up is identical to your original cat and has no variation. So, the clone can have many of the same characteristics as the original, including appearance, size, and personality.

However, cat clones won’t always appear or act the same as the original cat. For example, the first cloned cat, CC, didn’t share the same color and markings as its original. This is because some features, such as coat color, are determined in the womb. Additionally, there is zero promise that the personality of your cloned animal will resemble that of their predecessor.

How to Clone Cats

Lab experiment in a dish
Image By: Edward Jenner, Pexels

The steps to cloning cats are arduous and raise concerns within the animal advocacy community.

Cat owners must first find a veterinarian willing to take a tissue sample from a cat to send to a cat cloning company. The most optimal time to gather tissue samples is when your cat is still alive.

It’s still possible to send tissue samples of a deceased cat, but the tissue quality degrades with each day. Also, frozen tissue isn’t usable.

Once a veterinarian collects a viable tissue sample, the sample gets sent to a cloning company. The company then takes the DNA from the tissue sample and inserts it into fertilized eggs. These eggs are then implanted into surrogate cats.

If the eggs are successfully implanted, the surrogate cat goes through the pregnancy cycle and gives birth to a cloned kitten.

Ethical concerns surround surrogate cats. These cats are often given hormone supplements to keep producing embryos. Cloning also has about a 10% to 20% viability rate, and multiple eggs are implanted into surrogate cats, but very few take hold.

If all the implants are successful, multiple cloned kittens could be born. However, some cloned animals can end up with birth defects and abnormalities. Pet cloning companies ensure that all pets involved in the cloning process are treated humanely, but the exact procedures and measures these companies take to ensure the well-being of these animals are unclear.

Some animal activists go as far as comparing cloning to pet mills because they view the process of cloning as inhumane and not worth the low success rate.

The Costs of Cloning a Cat

Cloning is a risky and expensive process. Along with the low success rate, the cost to clone a cat is very high. You can expect to spend between $25,000 to $35,000 to clone a cat. Because of the extremely high costs, many animal advocates argue that it’s much more cost-efficient and humane to adopt shelter cats rather than go through the long process of attempting to clone a cat.

 

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Final Thoughts on Cat Cloning

Cat cloning is an option for cat owners, but it comes with high costs. Along with the expensive price tag, it takes a lot of work and many attempts to successfully clone one cat. It’s unknown as to how many embryos and kittens don’t survive the process.

Although it can be extremely painful to lose a cat that you’ve had for years, cloning isn’t a process that guarantees that you’ll get your cat back. Pet cloning may be marketed as the perfect solution to keeping your beloved cat in your life, but it comes with costs that concern many animal activists.

Rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars on attempting to clone a cat, animal activists recommend going to the local animal shelter to adopt a new cat. You could end up saving the life of another cat and forming a new friendship with shelter cats that also need a lot of love.

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Featured Image Credit: Edward Jenner, Pexels

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