CC, the first-ever cloned cat and perhaps the most well-known feline in the world, recently turned 15 years old and she appears to have most of her nine lives ahead of her, according to her owner and the man who helped clone her at Texas A&M University in 2002.
Duane Kraemer, senior professor in the Reproduction Sciences Lab at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says CC – short for Copy Cat – made the record books in several categories. She became the first cloned cat following 87 attempts 15 years ago, and she also became the first cloned cat to become a mother – she has three offspring that were born 11 years ago, all of them still alive and doing well.
“One of the big concerns that critics of cloning had was that cloned animals would suffer health problems and not live as long as non-cloned animals,” Kraemer explains.
“CC proved that theory was wrong. She is in good health and her kittens all turned out to be healthy, normal cats.”
CC has lived with Kraemer and his wife Shirley, who adopted CC, for the past 15 years, along with Smokey, CC’s mate.
“She’s been a great cat and a great mother. CC has been a real joy for us the past 15 years,” adds Kraemer, an admitted cat lover.
It’s believed Texas A&M has cloned more animal species than any institution in the world. Successful cloning of six species have included cats, horses, pigs, goats, cattle and deer. Kraemer was involved in the cloning of the cat and deer.
Once a headline-making endeavor, animal cloning has slowed considerably in recent years.
Several private companies now own the rights to some key cloning technologies, plus the expense of cloning – it can often run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars – have limited cloning efforts.
“Pet cloning of dogs and cats is still being done in Canada, and some former Texas A&M students are actively doing this work,” Kraemer notes.
As for CC, Kraemer says she is content with her life in a two-story custom-built house made especially for her and her offspring, and she has mastered the art of cat naps.
Media contact: Duane Kraemer at (979) 676-0474 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Megan Palsa, Executive Director of Communications, Media and Public Relations in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at ( 979) 862-4216 or MPalsa@cvm.tamu.edu, or Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644
For more news about Texas A&M University, see http://today.tamu.edu/.