How Cats Became Domesticated
As we approach 2023, virtually all cat owners will agree that cats are no longer just a part of the home dynamic. They virtually own it.
But it wasn’t always that way. So, how did cats transform from wild animals to our lovable pets? Here’s a brief look at how cats became domesticated.
Cats were always our friends
Of course, cats haven’t always lived with humans. However, studies have revealed that they probably lived alongside us in harmony for centuries before they became domesticated. In fact, it is suggested that the mutually beneficial relationship between felines and humans can be traced back 8,000 years. This is because cats would kill the mice that often threatened the crops of farming communities.
Wildcats become domesticated pets
Most modern domesticated cat species are united by a common ancestor in the North African / Southwest Asian wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica. Following the mutually beneficial relationship with farming communities, cats were soon taken on boat journeys with grains for the same purpose of keeping mice away. This naturally enabled cats to spread across the globe.
Ancient Egyptians respected cats to the point where killing a cat could be punished by death. Over the centuries, humans started to keep cats nearby. However, unlike dogs, cats were not selectively bred to achieve certain appearances or traits. This has only happened over the past century or two
Domestic cats as we know them today – cats that primarily live indoors – have only existed for around 75 years. Compared to wildcats, they are smaller and usually less temperamental. Nowadays, they are the kings of our castles.
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