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What’s the Origin of Domestic Cats?

People are confused as to where domestic cats came from. Researchers also disagree about where and when cats were domesticated. Some of them also say that felines were domesticated. Check out the various theories about them.

The first domesticated cats

About 40 centuries ago, the Egyptians believed they had domesticated cats. This belief is geographically correct since it is based on DNA evidence. Today’s domestic cats share the same ancestors as African wild cats. But in 2004, when a Neolithic tomb was excavated in Cyprus, nine and a half thousand years old, the remains of a cat along with a human hint that people cared for cats even 4000 years ago.

On the other hand, some studies suggest that domestication of the cat could have started as early as 12,000 years ago during the boom of agricultural industry in the Fertile Crescent (fertile crescent-shaped land surrounding Egypt and Syria) of the Middle East.

More farming is thought to bring more vermin which brings more cats. This is a reasonable theory, considering the fact that even today’s feral cats continue to group together to go and live in places with plenty of food, whether it’s a restaurant with plenty of leftovers or a farm where they could hunt vermin

Greek and Phoenician traders are believed to have brought domestic cats to Europe around 3000 years ago. The Romans held cats in high regard for pest control, so the Roman Legions took them with them whenever they traveled to Gaul (modern day France) as well as Britain.

The cats were taken to Britain

When the Romans left Britain around 1600 years ago, most of their cats were left behind. About 1000 years ago, when the Vikings invaded Britain, they took a number of domestic cats left behind by the Romans when they returned to Norway.

Magic

Something unfortunate happened to cats about 700 years ago in Britain. During this Middle Ages, the news that cats were suddenly suspected of being involved in witchcraft became widespread. That is why there was a cat slaughter in Europe and hundreds of thousands of cats were slaughtered. Most assumed that this cat slaughter led to an increase in the rat population in Europe, which in turn caused an increase in the spread of bubonic plague from 1346 to 1353.

Cats were introduced to the New World

In the 16th century, cats not only regained their popularity but also took another giant leap. During the 17th and 18th centuries, New World explorers and traders left Britain and Spain to import domestic cats to the United States.

The present cat

Cats have become very popular and currently, there are around 8.5 million pet cats in the UK. They are considered the most popular pet in the world.

Many households have a dog, but many cat owners show their love by having multi-cat households. Currently, there are more than 100 domestic cat breeds and people continue to develop new breeds.

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