Thank you for your concern regarding the bonsai kitten website. The bonsai kitten website is a hoax that has been circulating around the Internet since at least 2001. The FBI has investigated this website and its creators, and have found no evidence of any kind to suggest that actual abuse has been committed. Kittens are NOT really being grown in glass jars.

The FBI and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have investigated the site's origin and discovered that the name and address under which it is registered (Dr. Michael Wong of New York) are false. The site was reportedly created by an M.I.T. student as a joke among friends. When it initially appeared, a local humane organization investigated but found no evidence of actual animal abuse. It seems that the Web site's creator was simply trying to draw attention with offensive content.

From the Urban Legends Reference Pages:

The Bonsai Kitten web site is a joke, not an actual promotion for the making of bonsai kittens. Investigations by law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have already determined no real cats were harmed in the creation of the pictures used on the Bonsai Kitten web site. Signing a petition to shut down the Bonsai Kitten web site will not prevent any kittens from being harmed, because no kittens were harmed in the first place.

It was all a joke, one which some say was in terribly poor taste. If that was your reaction, take comfort in the knowledge that many others thought the same.

How could you have known the Bonsai Kitten site was a satire despite its lack of "This is a joke!" banners emblazoned across it? Satire doesn't always announce itself as such (some feel that would ruin its humor), so in cases like this, one dusts off the common sense and aims it at the problem:
  • The process described is impossible: animals so treated would die long before they could be "molded."

  • The web site offers no way to purchase the materials advertised. A real commercial enterprise wouldn't build consumer interest through a flashy web site then fail to offer anything for sale. (The site does include a page of "Helpful Tools & Supplies" but provides no form through which they can be ordered.)

  • The "Bonsai Kitten" site displays no actual pictures of the finished product. There are plenty of pictures of kittens in jars which can comfortably accommodate them (cats are quite elastic and can fit into very small spaces without discomfort), but there are no photographs of molded kittens on display.

We feel that the Web site's creator is simply trying to attract attention by upsetting people who care about animals. Circulating frantic e-mails and petitions only contributes to this attention. We feel that the best thing to do in this situation is to avoid visiting the site or urging others to visit it, and to inform people that the site is not real. The site is protected by the U.S. Constitution, under the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech, regardless of how stupid or disgusting that speech may be.

Help out the hard-working animal welfare and animal rights organizations by forwarding this e-mail - or any of the links below - to people who forward you bonsai kitten petitions and e-mails, or post them on message boards, etc. Educate others that it IS a joke, even if its not a joke you (or they) find very funny. And most importantly - ask others NOT to contact animal welfare and animal rights organizations about the bonsai kitten site. They already know about it and have been fielding e-mails from the concerned public about it for years.

You can find more information on the following websites: