The History Of The Domestic Cat

The first relationship between humans and cats perhaps dates back as far as the beginnings of Middle Eastern agriculture which began around nine-thousand-five-hundred years ago.

A human skeleton along with that of a cat was found in the southern region of Cyprus and dated back to that time. It was suggested by certain sources (quoting evidence that the genome of a cat was not that different from the African wildcat in this period), that this discovery denotes that cats had been through some sort of domestication themselves by living in landscapes altered by humans.

Fossil evidence discovered in China, (dated to around five-thousand-three-hundred years ago), showed that cats of a similar size to present day domestic cats ate small millet and grain eating rodents in settings that were agricultural. Through research it was opined that actually these cats were leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis), succeeded by the modern domestic cat (F.catus) before three thousand BC. This finding suggests that cats were allowed by humans to hunt all types of rodents threatening stores of grain and that they may have let the cats eat leftover food or even fed the cats.

It was discovered that cats were distributed throughout the world as they were taken on ships, more than likely to kill rodents who would otherwise have eaten food stored on board.

Regarding the patterns of the coat of a cat, it has been discovered that through analysis of the coat patterns, scientists could differentiate between wild cats and those that were domesticated as it is about the only distinction able to be seen between the two. It was also noted that specific breeding to produce coat color didn’t happen before medieval times, which was a lot later than domestication of cats began.

There are in excess of three-thousand domestic cat types (although only eight per cent are pedigreed and differing from other cats), to be found in abundance worldwide. Cats are more numerous than dogs in America, and more is spent on cat food annually than spent on food for babies. Owners who have no offspring tend to treat their cats like children.

Although Cheetahs are unable to roar but also don’t fit into the genus Felis category, they are still different because they have claws that cannot totally retract. There are 2 other types of cats that are wild (Felis silvestris sylvestris as well as Felis manul), which could also have influenced the evolution of the domestic cat although it is understood to have evolved through Felis silvestris libyca (African Wild Cat).

Feral cats are also classed as domestic felines, the only distinction is they’ve lived outside without contact with humans. These feral felines have a hard life (so unlike pet cats), as they can suffer from illness, cruelty, predators and hunger. Kitten mortality is also high. Animal control also more often than not euthanizes them as they are not tame and are therefore unadoptable.