Influencer Pays $25K To Clone Beloved Cat—But Says Their Personalities Are ‘Completely Different’

influencer clones cat

Kelly Anderson, whose cat Chai died at only five years old, paid $25,000 to clone the beloved pet. 

According to The Sun, she made this decision “out of pure love” for Chai, and that she “couldn’t be happier with her decision,” even though commenters on social media, as well as PETA, are quick to judge her decision.

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Chai had been a sickly kitten, and died when he was five on March 16, 2017. Anderson told The Sun, “I couldn’t sleep that night. I just remembered having a conversation with my roommate, who’s a vet tech, at some point that night about cloning.”

“I started doing a lot of research and looked into ViaGen a lot. I called them the second they opened the next morning, and the process from there was basically getting my vet to work with them to get a skin biopsy [from Chai].”

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Four years after Chai passed away, Anderson got her new clone kitten, who looks nearly identical to Chai. She named the new kitten Belle. Anderson said that because Chai had been so sick, Belle is “getting fluffier” than the cat she was cloned from.

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ViaGen Pets spoke to reporters at The Sun and told them that the company “guarantees that they’ll look identical but the animals will develop their own personality because that’s based on external factors.”

These external factors include eating habits, how the pet is raised, and how many other animals live in the house as well, along with many other factors that could impact the cloned pet.

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Anderson told The Sun in a virtual interview that while Belle looks like her old furry friend, she has a “completely different” personality from Chai.

“They have some baseline personalities that are a little similar. Like they’re very bold, sassy, cats, but that could be the breed. But Belle is a totally new cat.”

“She is the troublemaker […] I have all my other cats who are between three and almost 13. This is my oldest,” Anderson said, holding her black cat. “They’re all pretty chill, and then there’s Belle.”

“She’s a kitten and she wants to play all the time. She’s really rambunctious like any other six-month-old kitten. She’s very affectionate and inquisitive and just bold. She has no fear at all she loves going out to new places. I bring her outside or to breweries. She loves exploring and meeting other animals.”

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PETA and many commenters are not impressed with Anderson’s decision to clone her furry best friend.

Unsurprisingly, the new trend of cloning cats and dogs is a controversial one. According to the article in The Sun, “Opponents argue against cloning and say to adopt a pet. Other opponents compare cloning to a high-tech puppy mill.”

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Anderson isn’t phased by the scathing comments she receives.

“I get dozens of hate messages on TikTok every day. Some have ethical problems but some claim I’m using a cloned cat to make money on social media. That’s not [true]. I’m making nothing off this. I just loved Chai so much. That’s the only reason I cloned him.”

PETA sent an email to Anderson, saying that she has an “enormous amount of influence and we are desperate to help shelters […] and to NOT create a cloning trend. Your promotion directly and adversely affects the lives of other cats – those who are sitting in shelters waiting for a family.”

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Anderson works as an animal trainer and disagrees with the email from PETA, with which she has worked in the past on campaigns. 

She replied to their email, saying, “I appreciate your concern but it is very misplaced. And your data is misinformed. Cloning does not affect the cats in shelters at all.”

The cat mom has fostered over 100 cats and previously had always adopted her furry friends. Chai was the first cat she’d ever considered cloning. 

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“There was just something special and different about Chai. I don’t know really, I can’t put it into words. She was just that pet for me. I’ve never had a pet like her. And I wanted to carry on a piece of her.”