50,000 Worth Of Cute? Cloned Cats Go On Sale

Published: Dec 23, 2004

Just in time for that last-minute holiday gift, a bioscience firm has announced the first sale of a cloned kitten, a male named "Little Nicky." Genetics Savings & Clone (GSC) of Sausalito, Calif., reports selling the kitten to a Texas woman for $50,000. Genetically, the kitten is a twin of the buyer's Maine Coon cat "Nicky," who died earlier this year. The owner declined to be identified in print. The kitten is reported to resemble the original cat in both temperament — mellow — and behavior, quickly learning commands and enjoying water play, as well as being identical in appearance. The sale of the kitten, born Oct. 17 in an Austin lab, is the first of six similar transactions the cloning firm has in the works. More clone kittens are alive and are being weaned before delivery to their owners, says firm spokesman Ben Carlson. The Humane Society and other pet advocacy groups have criticized pet cloning as wasteful, noting that 6 million to 8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year nationwide, where 3 million to 4 million are put to death.

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