Little Nicky (cat)

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Little Nicky
SpeciesFelis catus
BreedMaine Coon
Born (2004-10-17) October 17, 2004 (age 17)
Nation fromUnited States

Little Nicky (born October 17, 2004) is the first commercially produced cat clone. He was produced from the DNA of a 17-year-old Maine Coon cat named Nicky who died in 2003 aged 15. Little Nicky's owner, a north Texas woman named Julie (whose last name was not released) paid $50,000 to have Nicky cloned.[1] Little Nicky's owner reported that the cat shared many characteristics with his predecessor, including a similar personality and appearance.[2]

Origin and Cloning[edit]

The cloning of Little Nicky was performed by the California-based company Genetic Savings & Clone, which later closed in 2006. This followed the first successful cloning of a cat (CC) by the company in conjunction with Texas A&M University. The cloning was performed by the chromatin transfer technique, a variant of nuclear transfer.[3] The cloning of Little Nicky was a result of an offer by the company called the "Nine Lives Extravaganza" launched in 2004.[4][5]

Ethical controversy[edit]

Groups such as the Humane Society of the United States, the Best Friends Animal Society, and other groups for animal welfare spoke out against the creation of pet clones such as Little Nicky. They emphasized that the $50,000 invested in the cloning of animals could be utilized for the care of existing animals in shelters, or invested in programs for spaying and neutering homeless shelter pet populations.[5][6]

Little Nicky reportedly had health problems during his life. These health problems were not proven to be related to the cloning process. His owner claims that the original Nicky never had the health problems that the clone had. The company that cloned Little Nicky believes that his health issues were acquired and not genetic.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pet kitten cloned for Christmas". BBC. 23 December 2004.
  2. ^ The cat encyclopedia : the definitive visual guide. Van Zyl, Miezan,, DK Publishing, Inc. (First American ed.). London. p. 214. ISBN 9781465419590. OCLC 859882932.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ Casci, Tanita (2005-02-01). "Purrfect copycat". Nature Reviews Genetics. 6 (2): 89. doi:10.1038/nrg1545.
  4. ^ Anthes, Emily (3 January 2013). Frankenstein's cat : cuddling up to biotech's brave new beasts. London: Oneworld. p. 69. ISBN 9781851689682. OCLC 819521287.
  5. ^ a b "$50,000 Cloned Kitten Truly Isn't One of a Kind". Los Angeles Times. 2004-12-23. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  6. ^ Jha, Suzanne Goldenberg Alok (2004-12-24). "The world's first cloned pet (cost $50,000)". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  7. ^ Woestendiek, John (2010). "Chapter 14". Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man's best Friend. The Penguin Group. ISBN 9781101494899. Retrieved 24 September 2020.