Where Do Domestic Cats Come From?

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  • Published: 21 October 2016
  • Do you give ancient Egypt credit for the domestication of cats? That’s what many people think! But, with some new evidence, it seems that cats became our cuddly counterparts a little further east and because of an emerging pest problem.

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    Sources:
    sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/were-cats-domesticated-more-once
    sciencemag.org/news/2013/12/when-cats-became-comrades
    pnas.org/content/111/1/116
    smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-house-cats-158390681/?no-ist
    pnas.org/content/111/48/17230.abstract
    sciencemag.org/news/2014/11/genes-turned-wildcats-kitty-cats
    slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/07/cat_domestication_debate_over_hunting_tameness_docility_affection_feral.html
    livescience.com/48696-origins-of-cat-domestication.html
    science.sciencemag.org/content/317/5837/519
    journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0147295

    Images:
    Egyptian Tomb Carvings: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sarcophagus_of_Prince_Thutmose%27s_cat_by_Madam_Rafa%C3%A8le.jpg
    Bastet:commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bastet_Istanbul_museum.JPG
    Fertile Crescent: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fertile_Crescent_map.png
    African Wild Cat: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AfricanWildCat.jpg
    Wild Cat 2: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Felis_Lybica_Sarda_05.JPG
    Leopard Cat: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leopard_Cat_Tennoji.jpg
    Leopard Cat Night: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leopard_cat_India.jpg

Comments • 1 278

  • Gregory Garcia
    Gregory Garcia  5 days back

    I've always have had cats. The big fun is when the bird calls the cats by name. The big boy cat looks at me like, "did he just say that".

    • Sopita Ramen con Apio
      Sopita Ramen con Apio  7 days back

      I kick a cat right in the face anytime it’s in my way.

      • LaDolceVita0ASIA
        LaDolceVita0ASIA  1 weeks back

        Update!
        https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/06/domesticated-cats-dna-genetics-pets-science/

        • The King
          The King  1 weeks back

          I love cats

          • Max Xam
            Max Xam  1 weeks back

            The biggest mistake of mankind: the donestication of cats.

            • infinitecanadian
              infinitecanadian  2 weeks back

              Domestic cats are a pest, made all the worse because so many people are too ignorant to keep them inside.

              • Edie Reinhardt
                Edie Reinhardt  2 weeks back

                Simple. They're aliens.

                • Loulovesspeed
                  Loulovesspeed  2 weeks back

                  Where do domestic cats come from?  That's easy, they're from the far away, isolated Greek island of Domestica. LOL

                  • Shirou Tokisada Amakusa Kotomine

                    Drinking Game: Everytime Hank says Cat or Cats.

                    • 7ARAMMY MJNOON
                      7ARAMMY MJNOON  3 weeks back

                      My cousin killed three domestic cats because they ate his parrots

                      • Daniel Logan-Scott
                        Daniel Logan-Scott  3 weeks back

                        So Rudyard Kipling was right.

                        • cheezymuffin
                          cheezymuffin  3 weeks back

                          well lots of place,
                          shelter, breeders, or they just follow you from the street home and now you have 5 cats

                          • Doc242424
                            Doc242424  3 weeks back

                            This dude has the classic waistline wider than shoulders problem...

                            • Qi Chen
                              Qi Chen  3 weeks back

                              Well, Chinese ancient record did say why the ones descended from Chinese leopard cats eventually got displaced by domestic cat from near east. It's because China is also the place where chicken is first domesticated and the Chinese leopard cat variant...can take down adult chickens. There is actually Chinese records of owners complaining that instead of going after rodents, the leopard cat will go after chickens, which are vital sources of protein for the ancient Chinese. The near east domestic variant, on the other hand, generally can't kill adult chickens (or prefer not to go after them) and hens can chase off the near east domestic cat to protect the chicks.

                              • Truth Be Told
                                Truth Be Told  3 weeks back

                                So it sounds to me like cats and dogs became domesticated for much of the same reasons. Dogs likely wandered into human settlements in search of food and were kept around for their hunting abilities. Sounds pretty much identical to the origin of domestic cats.

                                • Brian Alonso
                                  Brian Alonso  4 weeks back

                                  Thisbguy is a cat in a humans costume

                                  • Winston Paul
                                    Winston Paul  1 months back

                                    God ❗️

                                    • Sean Price
                                      Sean Price  1 months back

                                      cats domesticated us.

                                      • david seward
                                        david seward  1 months back

                                        It's hilarious how science tries explaining things. Yet they really have no idea

                                        • Petr Fedor
                                          Petr Fedor  1 months back

                                          Just wonder what happened with domestic leopard cats...

                                          • Pamela Mays
                                            Pamela Mays  1 months back

                                            Cats so cool, they domesticated themselves. They chose to live with humans.
                                            "Lot of rodents. Some leftover human food once in a while. A warm fire to snuggle up next to on a cold night. Yeah, this place will do just fine."

                                            • PuffinTuff
                                              PuffinTuff  1 months back

                                              So cats have been keep pet humans for longer than we first thought.

                                              • Thread Bomb
                                                Thread Bomb  1 months back

                                                One day a cat will figure out how to post cat videos online.

                                                • me meme
                                                  me meme  1 months back

                                                  I don't know where they come from but I do know where they go when they come and use my yard as a toilet.

                                                  • Tony .w
                                                    Tony .w  2 months back

                                                    they come from peoples houses and so do the wild ones ..mostly..and their main focus is to kill ..nibble on a few tidbits.. then go kill again

                                                    • doggos and cattos
                                                      doggos and cattos  2 months back

                                                      I love my fluffies 🐱🐈

                                                      • OJSeph
                                                        OJSeph  2 months back

                                                        "Why is your arm scratched?"
                                                        ...
                                                        "Because my cat can't take a joke"

                                                        • NyarlathotepTheGreat
                                                          NyarlathotepTheGreat  2 months back

                                                          there is a myth that says cats are descendants of ghosts because their origin is unknown.

                                                          • Game ON Case
                                                            Game ON Case  2 months back

                                                            Lol I think humans and cats evolved together , your idea of us domesticating them is funny , my theory is our caveman ancestors had to feed the large cats or they’d be eaten by them

                                                            • Comrade Danny
                                                              Comrade Danny  2 months back

                                                              So cool to realize cats brought their human pets to Cyprus.

                                                              • Dark Rainbow
                                                                Dark Rainbow  2 months back

                                                                This is point-for-point the Wikipedia article on cats. You read it. I read it. Hank read it.

                                                                • Seán O'Nilbud
                                                                  Seán O'Nilbud  2 months back

                                                                  Cats are vermin, like their owners.

                                                                  • lucette5
                                                                    lucette5  2 months back

                                                                    This guy waves his hands around as much as Beto O’Rourke does when talking

                                                                    • Marguerite Johnson
                                                                      Marguerite Johnson  2 months back

                                                                      Our Belgian Shepherd puppy was brought up by three cats. I swear he would sit on command.

                                                                      • Chris Boucher
                                                                        Chris Boucher  2 months back

                                                                        Hey if it was safe to lick my own butt and I could, might cut down on water use... just sayin'.

                                                                        • KreigsMarine2
                                                                          KreigsMarine2  2 months back

                                                                          A dog is a pet......you live with a cat.

                                                                          • Stickman
                                                                            Stickman  2 months back

                                                                            Same as all domestic animals. Humans found them useful and bred them for their own use.

                                                                            • The Garden of Eatin
                                                                              The Garden of Eatin  2 months back

                                                                              I'm pretty sure the first cat looked at humans and thought "Yeah, sure. These guys look like they'll invent the cardboard box some day."

                                                                              • Some Guy
                                                                                Some Guy  2 months back

                                                                                "Where do domestic cats come from?" Pet stores and animal shelters.

                                                                                • Richard Hunt
                                                                                  Richard Hunt  2 months back

                                                                                  Cats were once revered as God's !!
                                                                                  Cats have not forgotten this !! 😶

                                                                                  • crazycatlady39
                                                                                    crazycatlady39  2 months back

                                                                                    So we benefitted cats moreso then them benefiting us. Cool!

                                                                                    • wildcatter63
                                                                                      wildcatter63  2 months back

                                                                                      What about Chow Chows? They are re-incarnated cats that are pissed off about the demotion (and were probably from a different wolf domestication to dog incident than the non-Asiatic breeds)

                                                                                      • Cameron Sanderson18
                                                                                        Cameron Sanderson18  3 months back

                                                                                        nice bro

                                                                                        • FUNDAÇÃO ANIMALIA
                                                                                          FUNDAÇÃO ANIMALIA  3 months back

                                                                                          More than likely, domestication took place multiple times, in ALL cases, animal OR plant - it's funny how humans are prone to accept only all-linear, once-in-eternity developments, don't even consider multi-event processes leading to a present-day state of affairs...why in hell would one and only one time someone had a particular idea? Say, roll over a log something too heavy to be dragged, then cutting the log into slices to make wheels? Would this REALLY occur to one single illuminated mind, or would it have occurred to many, many different individuals in many, many different places, at different times, while trying to solve just exactly the same problem...? If neodarwinian evolution justifies a RANDOM genetic process to reach convergent-evolution similar biological solutions for similar problems in completely UNRELATED organisms, would similarly "intelligent" (for lack of a better word...) apes need to wait for a SINGLE attempt to be successful at solving a common problem, then waiting for the news to spread...?

                                                                                          • G-Luke
                                                                                            G-Luke  3 months back

                                                                                            Cat: I am....Inevitable
                                                                                            **snaps paws**

                                                                                            • ninthRing
                                                                                              ninthRing  3 months back

                                                                                              I've had several pet cats over my entire lifetime & have spent many hours observing their fascinating behavior & interacting with them.

                                                                                              One thing that they do - regular as clockwork -
                                                                                              (which I'm sure anyone who's had a pet cat knows) is come up to me and meow quite loudly whenever I'm talking on a telephone. I've always suspected that they're responding to something in my speech & tone of voice (which subtly alters when I'm talking with someone on the 'phone), that makes them think that I'm talking to them, so they respond. (It's not like they can understand what a phone is, after all.)

                                                                                              Some research that I've read implies that domesticated cats are profoundly more vocal than their wild cousins, with patterns specific for things around them (almost words) & that this may be a result of their millennia long interaction with humans.They lack both the intellectual capacity & vocal structures that would allow them to both fully comprehend & reproduce human speech, but they can demonstrably recognise specific sounds that we make (eg: their name).

                                                                                              I talk to my cat all the time, and while I may be anthropomorphising just a bit, I do think that he has some level of understanding - of my tone, if not recognising the meaning of specific words (just say the word *"chicken"* and expect to have a furry black blur jump up & try to peer down your throat, while sniffing intently). I'm familiar with specific types of meows for a mother calling her kittens, a cat seeing food that it really likes & an unique hiccuping growl used on seeing birds (prey).

                                                                                              I suspect that in the near future advanced genetic engineering will allow us to vastly augment their intellects, as well as their capacity to understand & (to a degree) reproduce human languages - perhaps even giving them simian levels of dexterity. Though this would obviously need to follow some strict ethical guidelines to avoid a moral quagmire.

                                                                                              ~ ~ ~

                                                                                              There is one question about cats which I'd really like an answer to & would appreciate you investigating:
                                                                                              *"How can cats spend so much time sleeping or inactive, yet avoid atrophication of their musculature - actually retaining extraordinary muscle densities & remarkable acrobatic capabilities? "*

                                                                                              Were a human to spend even a fraction of the time being as inactive as a cat, their muscles would waste away & their bones would become as fragile as chalk. There have actually been some long term studies where human experimental subjects spent many months prone in a bed & the results were pretty graphic (NASA studies into the potential effects of low gravity). Humans just aren't designed to be inactive, yet cats achieve 18 hours+ a day lazing or sleeping with ease.

                                                                                              • puttputt524
                                                                                                puttputt524  3 months back

                                                                                                Sometimes I don’t even think Egyptians worshipped cats. They just thought cats were hilarious.

                                                                                                • Jeremy Backman
                                                                                                  Jeremy Backman  3 months back

                                                                                                  From what I understand we never "domesticated " them we just bread them to be small enough not to kill us , there is zero difference mentally between a housecat and a tiger raised in captivity.