Kelly Anderson, 32, from Texas, shared how her cat Chai, who died in 2017, was “the closest thing she had to a soul mate” and she decided to have her cloned, which brought her cost nearly £20,000.
A cat owner has told how she spent almost £20,000 cloning her ‘soulmate’ pet because she was so upset when she died.
Kelly Anderson, 32, from Texas, was mourning the loss of her five-year-old cat Chai, who died in 2017, when she decided to contact a company that offers animal cloning services.
She said the process of cloning her cat took four years and now she has a new pet called Belle who shares the same DNA.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, Kelly said Chai was “the closest thing she can describe to a kindred spirit”.
She said: “I lost her at a very young age, so when she passed away I remembered a conversation I had had with my flatmate about cloning and contacted ViaGen Pets.
“Belle came into my life last year.”
Texas-based ViaGen Pets is part of TransOva Genetics, which has been cloning horses and cattle for 17 years and recently began offering the service for dogs and cats.
Kelly had her cat cloned for $25,000 (£19,100) and it now costs $10,000 more when the cost of cloning dogs is $50,000.
She explained: “She’s her own cat. I didn’t expect her to be Chai, I never wanted her to be Chai.
“It’s a piece of Chai and that’s what matters most to me, that I can wear a piece of her.”
The decision to clone animals is controversial, and many people on social media have wondered why she didn’t adopt a cat.
One person tweeted that “animals are not objects”.
Another said: “It’s not the same pet you had. He won’t have the same personality and won’t even develop the same bonds with you.
“If you’re trying to recover from the death of a pet, cloning is the exact opposite you should be doing.”
Others on Kelly’s Instagram complimented her on her cloned cat.
One said, “So adorable,” while another added, “Beautiful.”
And Kelly also said she adopts cats and has fostered more than 100 in the past and justified the cost by saying people regularly spend the same amount on cars.