When Did Cats Become Domesticated?

Here kitty, kitty…

twins-01I love cats. They’ve been in and out of my life for many years. My twins, Onyx and Onkoku, were born in my garage a little over 9 years ago. We’ve lived in a few states. Despite their dislike for travel, I pack them up and bring them along. I can’t imagine life without them.

This got me wondering, when did cats start being a part of our lives? The folks at ePetSure.com did a little digging to find the answer. With their permission, I wanted to share their findings with you.

When Did Cats Become Domesticated?

It would seem that the relationship between humans and cats stretches back thousands of years. It doesn’t seem so far-fetched to imagine cavemen cleaning litter boxes and feeding their saber-toothed kittens fresh brontosaurus milk. Of course, this is a stretch, but how far back does the domestication of the common house cat go?

Interestingly, some experts believe cats started to feel comfortable around humans before the idea of keeping them as pets. William Murphy, a geneticist at Texas A&M University, claims small wildcats would live among Neolithic villagers in the Middle East. “They just hung out, and humans tolerated them,” he says. For those not up on ancient history, the Neolithic age was just over 10,000 years ago!

Those who are up on ancient history will take note that this predates ancient Egypt, often thought of as the first time cats and humans lived together. However, back in 2004, researchers on the island of Cyprus discovered a gravesite which contained the remains of both human and feline.

The common theory among experts is that it was the cats’ decision to live among humans. They believe that wildcats were drawn to settlements to hunt the mice and rats that were feeding off the grain crop grown by the villagers. Naturally, all it takes is one plate of food outside your hut and the cat, no matter how wild, will always come back for more! However, no one knows when the first string was playfully dangled in front of one of these wild beasts!

So how far have we come in 10,000 years? It is estimated that the number of house cats worldwide exceed half a billion.

Now you know!

These amazing creatures have been in our lives for a very long time. We’ve domesticated them and while they are fairly self-sufficient, as responsible pet owners, it’s our responsibility to care for them and ensure their well-being. I invite you to run a comparison for the cost of cat health insurance at ePetSure.

Don’t have a cat? Learn more about adopting a shelter cat.

Are cats a big part of your life? If yes, share a pic with us in the comments below.

 

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Freshly Baked …

Founder of KirinGie.Me. A dreamer and believer that humanity can come together for the greater good and well-being of the pets we love. You and I can make a difference to reduce pet abandonment, relinquishment and euthanasia through community support, corporate sponsorship, and city partnerships. Ask me how and get involved.

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Founder of KirinGie.Me. A dreamer and believer that humanity can come together for the greater good and well-being of the pets we love. You and I can make a difference to reduce pet abandonment, relinquishment and euthanasia through community support, corporate sponsorship, and city partnerships. Ask me how and get involved.

Share your thoughts: