When prehistoric wildcats became pet cats

For a long time, it was theorized that wildcats were first domesticated in Ancient Egypt around 3,600 BC, where they were commonly shown on murals and statues. However, recent archeological research has found evidence of domestic cats living with humans in China around 5,300 years ago and as early as 9,500 years ago in Cyprus, where a grave was uncovered that held the remains of a human that had a domestic cat buried alongside them.

From pest control to pet

Even though we don’t know how exactly cats became domesticated, scientists think that it all began when humans realized that cats love to hunt and snack on rodents. African wildcats probably approached the humans’ settlements to hunt the rodents, which in turn were attracted to the people’s vast food supplies. As cats continued to live so close to humans, the animals gradually started to trust the humans, and the humans began to trust the cats. Some civilizations even worshipped cats for their perceived connection to the supernatural!

From pest control to pet

Fully domesticated or not?

Did you know that cats still aren’t fully domesticated? Cats can survive in the wild without the help of humans. Dogs, on the other hand, are barely capable of hunting for their own food anymore. Even though cats can survive on their own, it doesn’t mean they happily do so, especially if they once had a loving home. Taking care of a pet comes with responsibilities, and it’s never okay to dump your feline when you no longer want them.

Fully domesticated or not

Working cats to pet cats

For thousands of years, cats “worked” on farms and in villages as pest control. In fact, some cats are still held simply to keep food stocks safe, though in developed countries, most felines are considered part of the family. Today, about 1 in 4 families own at least one cat! Is your family one of them?