Man's dead cat gets '10th life' with cloned kitten

Born on July 21, Garlic is the first cat cloned by Beijing-based Sinogene. The pet-cloning company has created more than 40 pet dogs. PHOTO: NYTIMES
Born on July 21, Garlic is the first cat cloned by Beijing-based Sinogene. The pet-cloning company has created more than 40 pet dogs. PHOTO: NYTIMES

BEIJING • Seven months after Mr Huang Yu's pet cat Garlic died, the British shorthair was given a 10th life. Born on July 21, the new Garlic was created by Sinogene, becoming the Beijing-based company's first successfully copied cat.

The pet-cloning outfit has made more than 40 pet dogs - a procedure that costs a hefty 380,000 yuan (S$73,600), while the price for a cat comes in at 250,000 yuan.

Mr Huang, 23, was overjoyed on first seeing Garlic's second incarnation, saying the similarity between the two cats is more than 90 per cent. "When Garlic died, I was very sad. I couldn't face the facts because it was a sudden death."

The happy owner said he hopes the personality of the new Garlic is as similar to his old white-and-grey cat as its appearance.

With a growing pet market in China, and a huge appetite among their owners for spending, Sinogene chief executive Mi Jidong thinks the market for pet cloning is set to rocket. A report by Pet Fair Asia and pet website Goumin.com found that pet-related spending in China reached 170.8 billion yuan last year.

Pet cloning is illegal in many countries but allowed in some, such as South Korea and the United States.

The first major success in animal cloning was Dolly the sheep, born in Britain in 1996 as the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2019, with the headline 'Man's dead cat gets '10th life' with cloned kitten'. Subscribe