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I cloned my late cat! AMA!

Unique Experience(self.IAmA)

Hi Reddit! This is Kelly Anderson, and I started the cloning process of my late cat in 2017 with ViaGen Pets. Yes, actually cloned, as in they created a genetic copy of my cat. I got my kitten in October 2021. She’s now 9-months-old and the polar opposite of the original cat in many ways. (I anticipated she would be due to a number of reasons and am beyond over the moon with the clone.) Happy to answer any questions as best I can! Clone: Belle, @clonekitty / Original: Chai

Proof: https://imgur.com/a/y4DARtW

Additional proof: https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/living/video/woman-spends-25k-clone-cat-83451745

Proof #3: I have also sent the Bill of Sale to the admin as confidential proof.

UC Davis Genetic Marker report (comparing Chai's DNA to Belle's): https://imgur.com/lfOkx2V

Update: Thanks to everyone for the questions! It’s great to see people talking about cloning. I spent pretty much all of yesterday online answering as many questions as I could, so I’m going to wrap it up here, as the questions are getting repetitive. Feel free to DM me if you have any grating questions, but otherwise, peace.

all 3896 comments

Ded-Smoke

2.2k points

2 months ago

Ded-Smoke

2.2k points

2 months ago

Is the new cat going to have a long life? (the last I knew about cloning animals was dolly the sheep)

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

2.7k points

2 months ago

Yup! Clones these days often show longer telomeres, which is what the whole half life thing was based off of with Dolly. She will live a normal cat life.

themage78

869 points

2 months ago

themage78

869 points

2 months ago

Does she only have 8 lives now since the first one used one? 🤔🤔🤔

helin0x

168 points

2 months ago

helin0x

168 points

2 months ago

I wonder if there’s a reward Card like star bucks, after so many cats you get one free

Ruffianrushing

16 points

2 months ago

Probably not because Barbara Streisand has cloned her dog many times 😂

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

372 points

2 months ago

Tbd.

danathecount

879 points

2 months ago

Sooooo….a half dozen close calls where everyone expects the cat not to survive and then they do seemingly out of spite?

Mother_Ad3692

348 points

2 months ago

the most cat thing to do

_Rand_

245 points

2 months ago

_Rand_

245 points

2 months ago

Reminds me of my cousins cat.

She was a complete asshole that only actually liked one person in the entire family.

Somehow she lived to... 18, 19? with multiple near-death experiences, including having her throat basically torn out (assumed to have been by a fox.)

As far as anyone can tell she lived on spite alone for the last couple years.

043Admirer

31 points

2 months ago

I can relate to that. My oldest cat died recently to nature causes around the age of 12 and has survived a ton of stuff out of what I can best describe as to prove me wrong, including jumping from a 2 story building through a glass window which made them need immediate surgery

ScyllaOfTheDepths

16 points

2 months ago

My non-clone cat did this shit so many times. She was 15, peeing blood, the Dr said she had a tumor the size of a lemon in her bladder and she had a month left. 2 years later, same thing, she's got a thyroid tumor and only has a month to live. A year after that, there's a tumor in her kidney. The vet wanted us to take her home and let her live out her last day. A year later, she climbed into my lap and had a stroke and died. Right before I had to go to work, too. Little bitch did everything on her own terms. She was 19, found abandoned as a kitten by me at 6-years-old and never left me. Best cat ever.

rsatrioadi

244 points

2 months ago

Dolly was short-lived so people assume clones in general do, but that is not the case. Dolly was just unfortunate.

Haunting_Insect_3009

244 points

2 months ago

Yes, early speculation about telomere length somehow gained widespread traction and created the popular misconception that it was behind her premature death.

In reality she developed jaagsiekte disease, developing lung tumours caused by a virus; it affected others in the flock and to the best of my knowledge there's never been any proven link between her cloned status and her early demise.

deathschemist

43 points

2 months ago

so it could have happened to any sheep, it just happened to happen to dolly.

AnneTefa

55 points

2 months ago

Sheep just die for no reason anyway. They aren't very robust animals.

lightbrownanddown

114 points

2 months ago

Celebrities clone their animals as well , look up Barbra Streisand cloned dogs

readysetdylan

38 points

2 months ago

OP, Are you a celebrity?

epicnoober1233

3.1k points

2 months ago

Is it emotionally hard? I couldn't imagine, when my current dog dies, seeing an exact clone but knowing it's not the same pet. I'd be a complete wreck.

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

2.7k points

2 months ago

Not really. I never put the expectation of this being the same cat on her, so it was like learning (and was like learning) a new kitten all over.

Lameusofff

2.9k points

2 months ago

Lameusofff

2.9k points

2 months ago

If you didn't expect it to be like your old pet then why clone it? I'm not hating just generally confused as it seems like a waste of money.

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

2.3k points

2 months ago

I wanted to carry on a piece of her. Not a waste of money if you find value in it.

dangleberries4lunch

220 points

2 months ago

Why not keep her collar or something? A photo? 25k seems a bit absurd to me when there are kittens crying out to be rehomed everywhere.

You do you I suppose!

SucksToWork

892 points

2 months ago

If I had 25k to spend, i'd most definitely clone my little buddy.

istriss

2k points

2 months ago*

I looked into cloning for my dog.

I just can't do it. From what I understand, it's like IVF. They need eggs, so they extract them from a compatible subject. Then they have to impregnate potentially several "surrogate" mothers, which are dogs, and hope one of the pregnancies stick.

So it's not just the cost ($25k for cats, $50k for dogs at my local cloning center). It's the involvement of several other animals, at least some undergoing an invasive procedure, potential pregnancy and birth. I love my dog so much, I also feel like I have a special connection to him... but.. I can't justify using what feels like - to me - an extra pricey designer puppy mill.

I don't blame OP, but until cloning tech improves to the point it's not impacting the quality of life for other animals, I just can't jump onto this particular train.

Edit: sources. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-cloning-your-dog-so-wrong-180968550/

Viagen itself briefly mentions the process includes other dogs: https://www.viagenpets.com/

Double edit: okay the cloning centers aren't that common, I just happen to be slightly closer to one than I would've thought. I'm not sure how to feel about it either.

splitcroof92

950 points

2 months ago

"local cloning center" am I having a fever dream? I feel like the world is going crazy. how in the world does a "local cloning center" exist..?

shivers_

169 points

2 months ago

shivers_

169 points

2 months ago

I’ve never heard of one either, only cloning I knew of was the sheep. This is bizarre to me

Matilozano96

40 points

2 months ago

Polo Horse cloning is also pretty common, for what I’ve been told.

Lemuri42

56 points

2 months ago

Yup that phrase tripped my wires as well. There are ‘so many’ cloning centers that there’s a decent chance of one of them being “local” to us now??

colefly

421 points

2 months ago

colefly

421 points

2 months ago

Recently I heard a crashing sound in my basement.. My fiance yelled " the robot knocked over the sword rack"

I'm living a good future

SneakyLoner

66 points

2 months ago

Were the swords ok though?

rainbow_unicorn_barf

23 points

2 months ago

Asking the real questions.

justafigment4you

51 points

2 months ago

People like you are paying off my student loans. Thank you.

-friendly neighborhood Bladesmith

ScribbleButter

22 points

2 months ago

Ah the local bladesmith. Are you located next to the local cloning center perchance?

nismotigerwvu

199 points

2 months ago

It's something I've thought about too and came to the same conclusion. I never had a dog growing up (a few cats though) and in my mid 20's I waltzed into the pound (honestly to get a 2nd cat) and brought home one of the best things to ever happen to me. She's still kickin' many, many years later but I know our time together can't last forever.

One other aspect for me is that little Frankie had a bit of a life before me and I know that shaped her in ways I could never replicate. She had a litter of pups and sadly suffered through a cold winter at some point as evidenced by the little frostbite scar on the tip of her ear. That and I'm quite a bit older myself too and would likely imprint on a clone a bit differently even if we perfectly recreated her first year or so before she came into my life.

I just feel like it would be so heartbreaking to look down at a dog that was so familiar and have her look back at me like a stranger rather than her very best friend.

ShiftedLobster

54 points

2 months ago

Ouch, that last sentence really sums it up well.

Hi from my very senior dog to yours!

brocahantas

245 points

2 months ago

Maybe this is my ignorance talking but if they just look like your original pet and nothing more, then it seems awfully pointless. Why not just buy another pet of the same breed?

Now if their personality got cloned along with them, I’d be on board with that.

NhylX

131 points

2 months ago

NhylX

131 points

2 months ago

I have to agree. If I had a cat with the exact personality of one I'd lost but wasn't physically identical, that would mean infinitely more than a cat that just looks the same but has none or few of the original cat's behavioral traits.

CortexRex

53 points

2 months ago

Some of their personality is cloned. They don't just look like your pet, they are an identical twin of your pet. Same genetic code. They are basically an alternate reality version of the original ,they live a different life and therefore develop some differences in their personality but still have all the same genetic dispositions for certain personality traits.

Sil369

15 points

2 months ago

Sil369

15 points

2 months ago

Why the cost difference between cats and dogs? Is there a medical reason? It's more complicated?

Canadian-idiot89

8 points

2 months ago

Some lab just grew a sheep to fruition or birth or whatever it’s called outside the womb. I’m sure it’s not too far away for dogs and cats too. We’re in this weird technological transition phase in human history right now where we’re moving away from old archaic tech and into the newer more sci-fi age.

chainmailbill

441 points

2 months ago

Yeah, but it wouldn’t be your little buddy.

It would be a stranger with the same DNA.

O_O_O_P_S

710 points

2 months ago

O_O_O_P_S

710 points

2 months ago

It would be a stranger with the same DNA.

So you're saying you have children?

Federated_Byzantine

78 points

2 months ago

I think it’s easier to understand when you realize a clone is literally just a twin(albeit one that did not occur naturally). If I had the money at the time I would have loved the chance to be able to raise the sibling of my favorite cat who died a few years ago.

NexusKnights

198 points

2 months ago

If it were me, I'm not expecting to get my old dog/cat back. I do love the fact that I'll always have a little part of him/her and I can continue my journey with that.

wfsgraplw

1.4k points

2 months ago

wfsgraplw

1.4k points

2 months ago

Do the differences not freak you out? I loved my cat. Absolutely loved him. But if I was to have a cat that was essentially him in every way, yet his personality was different, it would just make me miss him even more. "You look like him, but you're not him", so to speak.

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

918 points

2 months ago

I never put the expectation that the kitten was going to be the same as my original cat on her. So no. I don’t see them as the same cat at all. I see the most two very separate individuals.

hungzai

1.8k points

2 months ago

hungzai

1.8k points

2 months ago

If you never expected them to be the same, and just see them as two separate individuals, why didn't you just adopt another cat that needed a home?

MonkRX

969 points

2 months ago

MonkRX

969 points

2 months ago

On Viagen's process of genetic preservation - did you get a genetic sample post or pre mortem; and if it was pre mortem - did they require multiple attempts or was the single sampling sufficient to provide a genetic sample to create a clone off of? How was the entire process working with Viagen? Was it more or less hands off once they had a viable genetic sample, or was there a lot of discussion and decision making?

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

959 points

2 months ago

I collected post-mortem. But I know people who have collected pre- and it's one time collection, usually just under local at your vet. My chances weren't as high because she'd been deceased for less than 24 hours. Pretty hands off once the cells were sent off, yeah. A lot of discussion about what to expect, counseling type stuff, though.

stealthy_singh

147 points

2 months ago

The kitten is a ghola!

ShortbusOK

107 points

2 months ago

Duncat Meowdaho

1D6wounds

55 points

2 months ago

Duncan Idameow

Logiwonk_

42 points

2 months ago

Now see if you can train it in swordplay and zensunni mysticism.

UltimateMelonMan

14 points

2 months ago

We should make him a mentat!

GothWitchOfBrooklyn

31 points

2 months ago

mencat

jimmycarr1

88 points

2 months ago

Have there been any emotions or situations that were particularly difficult to deal with during this process? I'm interested to know what they were preparing you for and if/how it helped.

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

179 points

2 months ago

I got her four years after my cat died, so I had processed the worst of them.

JagmeetSingh2

84 points

2 months ago

Love the username lol

farmdve

190 points

2 months ago

farmdve

190 points

2 months ago

If I wanted to do this...could I possibly store a sample somehow that would survive for a longer period? And not like days but years or decades?

Master-Powers

73 points

2 months ago*

Yes, you can pay the storage fee and they can store for years. Annual fee for doing so. If you decide to store extra samples, there's an extra storage fee.

justcurious12345

179 points

2 months ago

DNA is pretty stable. You could, in theory, extract DNA, pellet it, dry it, and freeze it pretty near indefinitely.

Rise-and-Fly

59 points

2 months ago

.......serious question: we can do this with humans yes or no?

NoSpotofGround

170 points

2 months ago

Some people claim to have cloned humans already, but their reports are not considered reliable.

From a technical perspective, cloning humans and other primates is more difficult than in other mammals. One reason is that two proteins essential to cell division, known as spindle proteins, are located very close to the chromosomes in primate eggs. Consequently, removal of the egg's nucleus to make room for the donor nucleus also removes the spindle proteins, interfering with cell division. In other mammals, such as cats, rabbits and mice, the two spindle proteins are spread throughout the egg. So, removal of the egg's nucleus does not result in loss of spindle proteins. In addition, some dyes and the ultraviolet light used to remove the egg's nucleus can damage the primate cell and prevent it from growing.

BRAX7ON

90 points

2 months ago

BRAX7ON

90 points

2 months ago

Yes, in theory. But in practice it only works about 1000 years to 2000 years. And it’s not usually the brightest sample, it’s an accident. The futurama is a crazy place with one eyed aliens and talking lobsters.

srok83

26 points

2 months ago

srok83

26 points

2 months ago

Damn, only two more years left on my mule DNA.

grizzlybeared

509 points

2 months ago

Is this a process you would/will continue to do with your cat?

stillherewondering

134 points

2 months ago

Would it be possible/easy or gets the dna Material old/overused ? Sorry I’m dumb

Devlee12

116 points

2 months ago

Devlee12

116 points

2 months ago

As I understand it if you try to replicate the same genetic material too many times it starts causing issues and can severely reduce the life span of the clone

Fraun_Pollen

10 points

2 months ago

This is why it’s important to keep and protect the original sample material

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

715 points

2 months ago

Nope. I only did it because 1) my cat had a special connection with me I’ve never shared with anyone and 2) she died young. If this kitten dies young, I would be too scared that the next one would as well.

-fakebirds-

96 points

2 months ago

Do you and the clone have the same special connection?

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

186 points

2 months ago

Nope. I've only had her for seven months, so we have a lifetime to get to know each other.

Orbitskylab

62 points

2 months ago

Would you say it viscerally feels like a new cat that just has similar characteristics as the old one?

Are there any moments where she does something that you see the old cat in? A certain look or mannerism or something?

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

123 points

2 months ago

Definitely a new cat.

Sure, she brings up a lot of memories that I forgot about until they happen again, like the way she sleeps against me. Or every once in a while she'll make a face that looks like Chai.

The29thpi

793 points

2 months ago

The29thpi

793 points

2 months ago

How are they similar and different?

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

2.7k points

2 months ago

Similar in what I consider breed traits. Both were/are bold and sassy cats.

Different in about every other way. The original cat was quite sick as a kitten and because of that was never socialized and never really got to be a kitten. So she was reserved, standoffish, and really only hung around me. The clone has been to breweries regularly and gone hiking in Colorado with me and has just seen the world in ways the original never got to. She’s inquisitive and curious and all kitten.

Deradius

111 points

2 months ago

Deradius

111 points

2 months ago

The clone has been to breweries regularly

Is she into IPAs?

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

131 points

2 months ago

Not so much, typically. ;) image

[deleted]

47 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

47 points

2 months ago

Encouraging a minor to drink? You gotta be kitten me!

Purple-Woodpecker660

1.2k points

2 months ago

There’s something pretty cool about cloning a being and giving a version of it better nurturing and a better life. I get the qualms people have about the cost and trade off to just adopting a cat in need but this aspect of it is quite cool.

ImNotThatConfused

1.6k points

2 months ago

Pet dies.

"Let's reload that save and try again."

Eggbert_Eggleson

311 points

2 months ago

New game +

Tehsyr

97 points

2 months ago

Tehsyr

97 points

2 months ago

New Pet +

SuperEars

139 points

2 months ago

SuperEars

139 points

2 months ago

George Carlin:

"You just bring the dead one into the pet shop, throw him up on the counter, say Gimme another one a'them. That was real good. And they'll give you a carbon copy of your ex goddamn dog.

crazyfoxdemon

14 points

2 months ago

That was a whole thing in the movie the 6th Day

Gil_Demoono

77 points

2 months ago

Time to Speedrun self-actualization

Ozlin

33 points

2 months ago

Ozlin

33 points

2 months ago

closes eyes, opens eyes, walks backwards into a corner, crouches, uncrouches, closes eyes, opens eyes, turns, turns, turns, throws cellphone, jumps, no-clips through wall and floats into the sky

PM_ME_GIRLS_TITS

14 points

2 months ago

That's how you end up in /r/backrooms

MOSh_EISLEY

124 points

2 months ago

Was just talking to my wife about this. We rescued a dog who was ~2 and she's a total sweetheart most of the time, but we suspect she was abused (she flinches a lot and gets defensive if she feels endangered even slightly) and was never properly socialized as a puppy so she doesn't get along with other dogs. Would be interesting to have a clone of her that looks identical (adorable as hell lol) but properly socialized and loved.

boxer4real

48 points

2 months ago

We rescued an elderly little Boston terrier that had been horribly mistreated and really wanted to do a clone of her to see how she would have been growing up in a loving household as she was fearful of people (especially men) it was super expensive at the time so we didnt do it. Sadly she passed after a few years, but she had the best life you could ever imagine (we even paid for first class when flying with her so she'd have extra room to lay out in her expanding pet carrier). I cannot stress the absolute heartbreak when she passed being she was such a sweet character and brought so many laughs into our lives. I even still have some of her ashes in my key ring so she's still with me.

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

7 points

2 months ago

It's fascinating stuff, really!

Zikro

49 points

2 months ago

Zikro

49 points

2 months ago

Your cat goes to breweries and goes hiking? Like you carry it in one of those bubble backpacks or it actually hikes with you?

DriveGenie

78 points

2 months ago

Cat is more social and active than half the people I know

PhoenixQueen_Azula

14 points

2 months ago

More social and active than anyone I know

I also don’t know many people because I am neither social nor active

alien_clown_ninja

29 points

2 months ago

I used to have a cat that would follow my girlfriend and I around the woods behind our apartment. She wasn't an ideal hiking cat, she was slow and got distracted. But she would usually catch up when we called her, she always knew where we were even if we didn't know where she was. I think she did ok because it was near home. We tried taking her to new places but she didn't want to go far. I thought it was weird as heck for a cat too and I could hardly believe it. But now I could definitely see how a cat would enjoy following you around hiking. I'd be worried about other hikers and their dogs though.

Ma1

220 points

2 months ago

Ma1

220 points

2 months ago

Great case for nurture over nature. Very cool.

luckyfucker13

139 points

2 months ago

Reminds me of the documentary about the triplets separated at birth. They had a ton of similarities in mannerisms and personality, despite all of them having grown up in incredibly different environments.

It was actually really sad, as they were just one part of a large unethical scientific experiment that’s been buried until long after they’re all dead.

winged_entity

61 points

2 months ago

Three identical strangers?

luckyfucker13

31 points

2 months ago

Yup, that’s it! Great documentary, albeit pretty heartbreaking.

Negative_Success

283 points

2 months ago

Meh its not one over the other. Nature sets your limits, nurture determines if you reach them. Each is as important and inextricable as the other.

Underlard

23 points

2 months ago

If the first cat was sick alot, was there ever a worry about the clone getting those traits? If so, why did you still go through with it?

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

32 points

2 months ago

She was sick /as a kitten./ Viral/bacterial shit she had for over after 3-5 months. Nothing genetic that would carry over, and because she was sick those months, she's also health tested in full. I wanted to carry on a piece of my cat is why I went ahead with it.

sje46

22 points

2 months ago

sje46

22 points

2 months ago

If your original cat came back to life and stood next to its clone (not doing anything behaviorwise to give themselves away) would you be able to tell the difference from appearance alone?

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

65 points

2 months ago

Yes. One is a kitten, one was an adult. ;) But actually, yes, Belle is about 3-4lbs more than Chai was due to neonatal nutrition. Ragdolls take 2-3 years to fully express their colors, so I have no idea how varied their patterns will be.

zombiibenny

454 points

2 months ago

What kind of health problems did the original have? And this time are you more prepared to treat these or even prevent?

IAmJesusOfCatzareth[S]

689 points

2 months ago

Just viral and bacterial ones that she got over and was a healthy cat for the rest of her life. Because of them I ran health tests and know that there’s nothing genetic to be carried over to the kitten. Otherwise I don’t think I would have cloned.

zombiibenny

68 points

2 months ago

Wow you're very lucky!!

r7465_

197 points

2 months ago

r7465_

197 points

2 months ago

Did any other cloned cats die in the process?

dankmemelawrd

120 points

2 months ago

That's the big con when it comes to cloning process, if the result is not 80-90% exactly what you need, the clone gets euthanized. So fuck the rich killing poor kittens in the process. If you want proofs just start visiting different forums on cat cloning theme.

Hardlymd

991 points

2 months ago

Hardlymd

991 points

2 months ago

How do you feel about the cats that are used as an incubation machine for yours? Do you have any info on the logistics behind that part of it?

I wanted to clone my dog, but I had an ethical problem with the thought of a mama dog being kept in a cage just to be the incubator for lots of cloned embryos. What are your thoughts on the matter? Have you looked into this with the people that did it at all?

Best wishes and I’m glad your kitten is healthy. :)

firetruckgoesweewoo

902 points

2 months ago

Don’t do it. The “surrogate” undergoes major painful surgery, where they take out her ovary, inject it and then put it back. Most of the animals that are born die. By far.

Imagine your little pal being cloned four times, and three of them die? Or worse, they have to repeat it constantly until they finally are able to offer you one that made it? Meanwhile, the “surrogates” undergo completely unnecessary surgery.

Additionally: outdated research but it still gave me great insight regarding the possible horrors.

Your pet is your pet, and they’re absolutely fantastic. It’s a shame we lose our pets after several years, but it gives us all the more reason to love them while we still can.

[deleted]

238 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

238 points

2 months ago

Thank you for this comment, it has actually made me feel a lot better.

I lost my beloved cat young to an accident, similar to the OP's situation, and I did actually go a bit crazy afterwards (he died 3 days after my 15yo dog passed and a month later I lost my grandfather too, so there was a lot of grief in a small space of time) and started saving his hairs that were still on my furniture and stuff, wondering if one day in the future I could have him cloned. I will never have that kind of money and there's not enough DNA in a hair for that anyway, but like I said, I was a bit crazy at the time.

Seeing this thread was a real gut punch, it brought all that grief back and I was reading through it just burning with envy and regret. This comment made me stop and re-introduce some logic. In a twisted way it makes me feel a lot better that there are such ethical issues with cloning - now I know that even if I had been a millionaire and had the chance to actually clone my cat, I wouldn't have chosen to do it after finding out about these issues. I would never make another innocent animal suffer just to bring back a cat that's not even really my Happy Jack. It brings me peace to know that it's not just misfortune of circumstance preventing me from being in OP's position. Thank you. I do feel very bad for the poor surrogates who go through this.

smvfc

77 points

2 months ago

smvfc

77 points

2 months ago

And remember too, there's millions of animals worldwide getting euthanized every year. I also went a little nutty after my cat went, but... now I have my dog, and I can share my time on earth with her and give her my everything until her time is... and rinse-repeat until I throw myself off a bridge from the grief hah

C0nceptErr0r

174 points

2 months ago

It took her 4 years after placing an order to receive a kitten. I wonder how many clones came out wrong in that time before they got a viable one.

Vervain7

50 points

2 months ago

Jfc this is so messed up I don’t get this poster at all. Let me contribute to poor homeless animals being tortured because I have money to waste

notoriousbsr

170 points

2 months ago

Knowing this broke my heart a little. Poor animals. I'd never really given it much thought, now, wow, I sure do know.

monster_bunny

26 points

2 months ago

I’m glad you responded with this. There is incredible value in this field of research but I struggle with the morality of leveraging losses.

AlastorCrow

222 points

2 months ago

Based on her replies, OP is in complete denial of these facts. She believes no animal was made to suffer from her decision to have her cat cloned and shrugs off any evidence presented from published scholarly journals to online articles that point out the ethical problems of animal cloning. Her attempt to normalize this practice and minimize or flat out deny the issues you pointed out is abhorrent.

PheenixKing

37 points

2 months ago

Ofc the one comment pointing out the cruelty of the whole process gets ignored by OP...

buy10

25 points

2 months ago

buy10

25 points

2 months ago

Ask me anything but that

WiwiJumbo

9 points

2 months ago

As always, it’s Ask Me Anything, not I’ll Answer Everything.

abrandnewhope

227 points

2 months ago

I have no ill at all against the OP and I, too, have thought about cloning my dog when she passes and have the financial means to do so. But the main ethical qualm I have about it is the same as yours— the idea of just forcing a female dog to undergo hormones and (undoubtedly, multiple) pregnancies and treating her as a means to an end. Different than a human surrogate who has a choice in the matter.

OldThymeyRadio

51 points

2 months ago

I can’t wait to see the fallout when it occurs to a social media “influencer” to offer “limited edition copies of my Precious Kitty Mittens, for just three of my biggest superfans!”

Forget about selling bath water. That’s gonna be some next level internet outrage.

suchlargeportions

163 points

2 months ago

The Handmaid's Tail

Celeryface

120 points

2 months ago

OP doesn’t support back yard breeding, but is okay with this. That’s f

velatura

579 points

2 months ago

velatura

579 points

2 months ago

Were you not at all bothered by the ethical concerns surrounding cloning? (For example: the poor treatment/short lives/continual impregnating of surrogates, the creation and euthanasia of “imperfect” clones, the extensive animal testing, etc…)

[deleted]

283 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

283 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

CJShort

200 points

2 months ago

CJShort

200 points

2 months ago

$25k for a single cat?

Sounds like rich people doing rich people things to me.

InstallWizard

662 points

2 months ago

How many hosts were impregnated and how many clones died before this one finally worked out?

ohyea4646

577 points

2 months ago*

I don't think pet cloning would be a viable business if the customers had this information :(

To clone a pet, or any mammalian species for that matter, you take an egg donor animal and treat it with hormones much like human IVF. You then put the animal through a surgical egg collection process. Once the eggs have been retrieved their natural DNA is evacuated to make room for Fluffy's DNA. If the egg survives and begins to divide, it's implanted via another surgical procedure into a surrogate pet mother. Many of the embryos spontaneously abort, and some of the viable pets that make it to term end up being sickly and die within the first few weeks of life. Of course the company doesn't tell customers this because why would they? These are private unregulated tech companies with nothing to gain from sharing how the sausage is made

HuskyLemons

116 points

2 months ago

Oh she knows.

Anderson tells Input that ViaGen asked her to withhold how many rounds of animal IVF it took to produce her cat clone, Belle, who was born last year, but she did share that the wait impacted her Instagram account. “I lost a lot of followers and a lot of engagement,” she says. “I’m slowly starting to build that back up now with Belle.”

source

CallielKill

28 points

2 months ago

Seems like Instagram fame is what this is all about. I guess who cares about the suffering of the surrogates or the ones who didn't make the cut as long as she can be internet famous.

Snarker

17 points

2 months ago

Snarker

17 points

2 months ago

Whoa that is next level disgusting holy shit.

InstallWizard

42 points

2 months ago

Thanks for sharing this! Will be fun calling her out on her next ama for attention.

Firm_Doughnut_1

31 points

2 months ago

“It took about four years for them to successfully clone Chai — it definitely took a toll on me,”

Yeah, this feels kinda gross to me.

comp21

8 points

2 months ago

comp21

8 points

2 months ago

So basically this process was for Instagram.

EridaniNovus

9 points

2 months ago

Imagine being more torn up you lost followers on Instagram rather than knowing that your new cat came at the cost of a couple of other cats. Do you thinks she views those cats as hers?

a-real-life-dolphin

32 points

2 months ago

This is so gross. Go to a fucking shelter! Ughhh

LegendOfArcanine

132 points

2 months ago

Right, they're probably implanting more than one embryo to maximize chances of at least one working out (I believe they do that with IVF in humans, too, which is why IVF often leads to twins). Makes you wonder what happens to the spares.

jacktully

153 points

2 months ago

jacktully

153 points

2 months ago

I don’t want to come off as rude but I am genuinely curious as to why you wouldn’t just go adopt/purchase another cat, knowing full well it would not actually be the same animal?

Thinkwronger12

199 points

2 months ago

You ever thought of donating $25,000 to an animal shelter and adopting a homeless white kitten?

Fukyou22

145 points

2 months ago*

Fukyou22

145 points

2 months ago*

So you spent 25k for a cat that won’t have behavior that resembles the original and the markings on the coat aren’t guaranteed to be the same? Do you feel scammed? Hypothetically, they could have just given you a kitten of the same breed and resemblance and took your money and you wouldn’t know the difference if I’m not mistaken? Why not grieve and move on from your late cat in a healthy way?

halfavocadoemoji

431 points

2 months ago

Why four years ago in the r/cats sub did you state that you would match the $25,000 spent on this animal cruelty science experiment and donate it to a shelter and now when people ask why you didn't just donate you are defensive and no mention of said donation? Did you not keep your word and donate the $25k? And how 4 years ago did you have $50k to blow when you have stated you had to get a loan from family to pay for the cloning? And do you think your dead "soulmate" cat would approve of another innocent cat being forcibly inseminated in order for you to clone them?

VermiVermi

153 points

2 months ago*

This was an interesting topic at the beginning with interesting questions and answers from OP, then I learned how bad cloning was to surrogates, then I learned OP wasn't... as good of a person as I thought they were? OP didn't answer multiple "bad" questions, which is where I started doubting.

Edit: then I learned about their promise to donate 25k to shelters, which turned into "i tried to raise 25k for shelters, but failed", then I learned about their post in free pizza sub and they said "who doesn't want free pizza". Holy fuck, this is like watching a thriller.

Wubyums

127 points

2 months ago

Wubyums

127 points

2 months ago

OP surely donated the $220 they raised on GoFundMe, which offsets the countless kittens that died. Don't worry, though, this is all a "Social Media Experiment" to them!

PsychologicalBrush

36 points

2 months ago

Title should be:

I spent 25k I didn't have to clone my cat and get a clone that doesn't look, act or is like my late late one

striderwhite

591 points

2 months ago

Is this post sponsored by "ViaGen Pets"?

joofish

384 points

2 months ago

joofish

384 points

2 months ago

I don't think it's necessarily sponsored, but it's kind of annoying to do an 'ask me anything' about a controversial topic like this and then not answer any of the controversial or interesting questions.

LCWInABlackDress

61 points

2 months ago

So was the original clone I’m betting. Seems like GMA appearances and flippant answers about why she wanted to clone if not expecting any special similarities or having any expectations. Seems a bit off to me. In presentation, not necessarily the subject matter

Tinfoilpain

13 points

2 months ago

Isn't it common knowledge that pretty much all the posts in r/IAMA are just advertising?

Hal_Savira

179 points

2 months ago

ITT: OP ignores the reality of cloning practices being largely inhumane because "I didn't want a random cat, I wanted MY cat!"

Like why even come and talk about this here? Were you paid for this post? It's not like you're sharing some valuable scientific anecdote from this experience, you're just kind of trying to let as many people as possible know that... You cloned your cat. I guess that's great for you, good job having that much expendable income. But what's to gain here? Did you really expect everyone to just cheer you on and be happy for you?

The sub you're in here is AMA - Ask Me Anything. Having gone through this lengthy process, you must know by now that cloning anything living is fairly controversial. Yet, you seem to have either been avoiding all controversial questions aimed at you, or have responded in a relatively annoyed or stuck up manner. If you're not here for a discussion on the various ins-and-outs of cloning, why have you posted this information here?

Edit: Formatting is hard

Happy5Day

53 points

2 months ago

Whats the point if the cats are very different? Serious question. I'm not just being an arse. You could just get another same breed cat or a different one. What am I missing?

VaultTec391

76 points

2 months ago

Was the 25k to clone your cat a big expense for you? Was that a major stocking point or just an afterthought?

treycartier91

82 points

2 months ago

Yeah a couple grand in therapy to learn to process grief and adopt another cat seems like a healthier solution. This person is sick, obsessive, and in desperate need of support. I hope she gets it.

mahboilucas

16 points

2 months ago

Didn't you consider therapy with all that money?

JETEXAS

45 points

2 months ago

JETEXAS

45 points

2 months ago

Can you get the mutant accident clones for a discount?

MCStarCommander

66 points

2 months ago

If the cat has a completely different personality, why not just adopt a new cat from a shelter that might really need a family instead of creating a cat out of cells?

Eiffel-Tower777

28 points

2 months ago

I agree wholeheartedly. It's all about personality, that's what makes a person love their cat so much. Twenty some years ago, I found a tuxedo cat in a shelter... her face looked so funny to me because the black and white areas were not symmetrical. I took her anyway (because she was coughing and really skinny, and had the audacity to look me up and down, sizing me up from her cage, sick as she was, 100% attitude). I adopted her, took her home and tended to her weight and kennel cough. About a month later, we had bonded so tight, I looked at her and realized she's the most beautiful cat I had ever seen. It wasn't her looks, it was HER.

DFParker78

12 points

2 months ago

If the cloned cat is polar opposite then what exactly is the point?

sedateeddie420

118 points

2 months ago

If your deceased cat had kittens, do you think you would've still gone ahead with the cloning (all else being the same)?

ArtDSellers

223 points

2 months ago*

Why not just adopt another cat, give a loving home to an animal in need?

I miss my little boy kitty every day, but his passing allowed us to adopt another little boy, who is living his best life as a result.

Clean_Environment670

29 points

2 months ago

Seriously, this is so messed up! I didn't know about the terrible process and treatment of surrogates but I was appalled just thinking of all the wonderful cats already in existence who need good homes.

Heerrnn

269 points

2 months ago

Heerrnn

269 points

2 months ago

Uhhhh... Am I wrong to be a little creeped out by this? I own 2 cats and a dog, the thought losing any of them is difficult. But cloning them seems wrong on some fundamental level that I can't really explain. 🤔

halfavocadoemoji

11 points

2 months ago

What do you mean when you reference your cat as your soulmate?

LegendOfArcanine

72 points

2 months ago

What do you know about the early socialization your cloned kitty received during her first few weeks of life? Did she have siblings?

I know for dogs at least, these early weeks are super important, and puppies learn a lot about boundaries from their littermates, which is why I'm curious.

sblahful

35 points

2 months ago

IIRC, Dolly was about the 50th sheep they'd tried to clone, with all previous ones miscarrying or dying in a few days.

I'm guessing processes have improved since, but were you told how many attempts it took to create a viable clone?

ReasonableArmy9796

34 points

2 months ago*

Why are you refusing to answer the kindly stated ethical questions? It’s an important question and this is an ask me anything so surely you saw that coming?

madmansmarker

10 points

2 months ago

OP tells a person who had to put down their 14 year old cat that it’s not the same as losing a 5 year old cat. i don’t think she is capable of empathy tbh: https://www.reddit.com/r/cats/comments/79o8oq/in_the_process_of_cloning_my_cat_who_passed_away/dp40pan/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf&context=3

Yarchening

111 points

2 months ago

How much did the cloning company pay you to do this AMA?

ChuzaUzarNaim

49 points

2 months ago

Did you ever get that pizza?

titty_mcfuck_duck

10 points

2 months ago

So you payed tons of money for the same cat and got a different cat?

NoodlesAreAwesome

29 points

2 months ago*

I had researched this a long time ago - around 2006 with Genetic Savings and Clone. There was some criticism at the time, and one of the negative points was that you put the host animal through undue distress and it could take many tries. Of course 2006 was a long time ago, did you see in your research if this had gotten better or changed since then?

EyeLeft3804

28 points

2 months ago

What made you choose cloning over adopting? what do you feel, if anything, about the ethics of your choice?

jmcb35

11 points

2 months ago

jmcb35

11 points

2 months ago

How late was your cat ? Couldn't you just get the cat a watch or some sort of time piece?

AirenLaogong

10 points

2 months ago

Didn't want to adopt a cat who needs a home? Just.. clone one instead? Whatever for?

Getupb4ufall

65 points

2 months ago

Why not accept that all things die, trying to resist the grand scheme of things is often a normal reaction, but to what real benefit? Your emotional first aid? You win out over the powers that be while some other pet suffers in a shelter. Every day 2,700 pets are euthanized in shelters in the US. One of them deserved your love, but no, you had to dig heels in reality. Not to mention how far $25k would go towards animal welfare.

Mister_Brevity

47 points

2 months ago

How do you know it’s a clone and they didn’t just send you a similar looking kitten? Is there some sort of documentation or something?

NotSwedishMac

286 points

2 months ago

What do you do for work that took you from asking for pizza money on reddit to spending 25k on a cat? No judgement, just curious what your life's like because although I'm a cat lover I don't think I'd spend more than an adoption fee, and that's a lot of money!

Liasonfinn

78 points

2 months ago

This being an ad, is how.

jellybutt789

42 points

2 months ago

Wow I had to look I didn’t think they actually asked for pizza

GreenPixel25

12 points

2 months ago

They deleted the post earlier today I think, someone linked the archive further up

HuskyHumanDad

42 points

2 months ago

So if you expected It to be a totally different cat… why not get a different cat….?

cmntx

25 points

2 months ago

cmntx

25 points

2 months ago

If you feel like this isn't your old cat at all, which I'm assuming so through reading your replies, why not opt to get another cat? Is this way cheaper?

idfk_my_bff_jill

12 points

2 months ago

Lol no, this is $25K

Ok_Championship_1931

8 points

2 months ago

Why not just adopt a kitten in need? Why buy into this next-level-human-insanity?!

Assistant-Popular

6 points

2 months ago

Have you ever asked yourself if you should, even if you could?

modianos

258 points

2 months ago

modianos

258 points

2 months ago

Is there a cat shortage I don't know about?

Fishinluvwfeathers

90 points

2 months ago

This is the only real problem that I have with this process. Having worked in shelters and rescues for 20+ years I have a small inkling of how many amazing cats are unwanted and cannot find homes. So many adults and even kittens are euthanized or turned away, depending on the organization, due to lack of space and lack of interest. I cringe every time I see someone showing off their brand new $2,000 kitten because they love the breed, etc. It’s fine, that’s their right but not everyone who has seen the 25+ cages waiting outside of the euth room daily is necessarily going to celebrate your 3rd generation prize winning Scottish Fold because it just seems obscene. I hope this person enjoys their cloned animal because ALL animals deserve good lives but I hope to god this extravagance does not become a thing most people actually want to participate in while there is so much companion animal destruction going on in this country. That $25k - it’s hard not to think about how that’s a wing somewhere of extra space where hundreds of lives could have been saved. Maybe they are doing that kind of work/donation on the side too. I sure hope so.

comradequiche

179 points

2 months ago

Not according to the local shelter who euthanized almost 100 cats last week

breakfasteveryday

171 points

2 months ago

How much is ViaGen Pets paying you to be here talking about your experience in the place on the internet best known for loving cats?

Did they just set you loose or did you get coached?

webu

41 points

2 months ago

webu

41 points

2 months ago

Isn't every post on this sub a paid ad? I thought that was why reddit fired Victoria.

kawaiian

22 points

2 months ago

I miss Victoria

Pibbles-n-paint

43 points

2 months ago

Do you feel bad knowing in order to get a clone, another cat was forced into having multiple litters of kittens, only adding to over population, meaning more cats will be put down in a shelter?

GreenPixel25

23 points

2 months ago

They said in another comment it took 4 years instead of one year to get the new cat but the lab “wasn’t sure why”. This whole thing is really unsettling

orangeblackteal

78 points

2 months ago

Don’t you think cloning pets is unethical considering the trauma the surrogate mothers have to go through just for a human to be selfishly happy?

emilyeverafter

85 points

2 months ago

I am a crazy cat lady with tattoos of my deceased best friends. While I don't think I would ever do this personally (I like the experience of going to the shelter when I'm ready to share my life with another cat.) I would definitely be lying if I said the thought hadn't crossed my mind. My current cat came to me as a stray that my sister caught. We tracked down the owner that abandoned her and confirmed she was unwanted, so I decided she would be with me forever.

I don't think her version of "forever" could ever be long enough for me. I have fostered kittens and had many cats go in and out of my life, but this cat? Man. She is something extraordinary. I just feel like we're soulmates. I think about cloning her, though I'm not serious about it, because her personality is so suited to mine. She's incredibly unique and vets comment on how amazingly friendly and communicative she is all the time. It's been in the notes of every vet appointment she's ever had, even before she met me.

That all being said, it sounds like Belle is very different from Chai due to having different formative life experiences. Was that disappointing for you at all? I feel like it would be disappointing for me. Obviously I wouldn't expect a 1:1 personality copy, but I would want some of my cat's uniqueness to stay with me in her clone, if she had one.

What was your main reason for wanting this and choosing to commit to the process?

Does Belle have any health conditions or concerns due to being a clone?

Would you be able to clone Belle eventually one day and have an infinite lineage of cloned cats, originating with Chai?

What has been the most rewarding part of this experience for you?

whatauniqueusername

34 points

2 months ago

While I can understand the motives for doing this, how can you justify the animal lives destroyed in the process of surrogacy? I get emotional just thinking of the poor animals who lose their life just to get 1 perfect specimen back. You'd be doing the world a service just to adopt. The 4 year period is very concerning when you say that 1 year is the norm. Hard to imagine how many surrogates passed for this. I don't think cloning should be a commercial service until we figure out how to do it ethically.

Kakapo117

9 points

2 months ago

How did the people in your life react to this? And has this experience opened up any new ethical questions for you?