The world's first cloned domestic cat gives birth
In an article titled, "Cat Is Cloned... Cat Is Cloned", we wrote about the world's first cloned kitten, Carbon Copy, or CC for short. CC was cloned at Texas A & M University sponsored by the now defunct biotechnology company, Genetic Savings and Clone. Texas A&M has cloned more species than any institution in the world, including cattle, swine, goats, horses and a deer.
While there is no longer a market or supplier for cloned kittens, it is an interesting footnote to the experimental project to record that CC became a mother last year, giving birth naturally to 3 kittens.
Mother and kittens are doing well, said Duane Kraemer, an A&M veterinary medicine professor who helped clone her and has been taking care of her ever since.
CC as a kitten with her surrogate mother
The father of the litter is a naturally born tabby named Smokey who was brought into the facility specifically to be mated with CC. Two of the kittens are tabby and whites like their mother, while the third kitten has its father's coloring.
Since her birth in December of 2001, there has been much speculation both inside and outside the scientific community regarding CC's ability to conceive and it had been largely believed that she was infertile. That is obviously not the case.
Press reports do not reveal if CC was able to conceive naturally or if she had to be artificially inseminated. Questions still remain how many times she was bred and failed to conceive.
While CC is the first cloned domestic cat to give birth, two cloned wild African cats successfully mated to produce 8 naturally bred kittens in
July of 2005 at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES) in New Orleans.