Reason #1: It’s Not the Same Pet
The driving force behind cloning is the desire to have the exact same pet, in body and personality, with you for a longer period of time. The genetic makeup of a cloned pet is the same as the original. However, a cloned pet may look and act differently than you expect.
Take the first cloned cat—known as CC or Carbon Copy—who came out with entirely different coloring than the original cat, reports Britannica. That’s because there are multiple color options on a cat’s DNA and fur color is determined in the womb.
Also, your new pet will have an individual personality. While its possible that Fluffy #1 lived for cuddles and soft treats, Fluffy #2 may be more of a hunter who wants to spend her days pouncing on insects or toys.
A pet’s personality is a blend of genetics and their environment, Downing says. Outside forces like a pet’s training and treatment, have a bigger impact on personality in puppies and kittens than their inherited temperament.
How Much Does It Cost to Clone a Cat or Dog?
The price to clone a pet in the USA costs upwards of $50,000 for a dog and $35,000 for a cat. Plus, you have to find a veterinarian willing to take a tissue sample from your pet and send it to the cloning company.
Credit: Eric Jeon
What Happens When You Clone a Dog or Cat?
To clone a dog or cat, scientists have to conceive life in the lab. They take eggs harvested from donor animals, remove the nucleus (imagine separating yolk from egg white), and insert cells from the original pet.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, the egg then contains the full genetic material from the original pet. It doesn’t need to be fertilized by sperm. But in order to kickstart cell division—something fertilization usually does—scientists run an electrical current through the egg turning it into a growing embryo.
The embryo is then surgically inserted into a surrogate mother dog or cat. If the embryo is accepted, pregnancy follows, and the hope is that the surrogate mother gives birth to a cloned kitten or puppy that’s healthy. Like with normal breeding, the cloned pet is ready to go home after it’s weaned.
Cloning your pet is possible, but the primary question is whether it’s right to do it. “Pet cloning companies spin this process as an exciting way to keep your beloved pet with you forever,” says Robin Downing, DVM, MS, hospital director of Windsor Veterinary Clinic and correspondent for Top Vets Talk Pets. “But there’s a dark underbelly involved that pet parents aren’t aware of.”
Downing explains that there are multiple reasons why you shouldn’t clone your pet, including: