The world's first cloned cat just became a mother — and she even did it without test tubes. Copy Cat, who was cloned by Texas A&M University researchers in 2001, had three kittens in September. 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 since.
"They're cute, and we thought people ought to know about the birth," Kraemer said. "But we're hoping it doesn't cause the same frenzy CC did."
CC got worldwide attention after she was cloned at Texas A&M, which has cloned more species than any institution in the world, including cattle, swine, goats, horses and a deer.
The father is Smokey, a naturally born tabby who was brought in to mate with CC. Two of the kittens take after their mother, while the third has a gray coat like his father.
CC is not the first cloned cat to give birth, Kraemer said. In New Orleans, two cloned wild African cats successfully mated to produce kittens.