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What’s the Origin of Domestic Cats?
People don’t know where domestic cats come from. Researchers also argue about where and when cats were domesticated. Some of them also say that felines have domesticated themselves. Take a look at the different theories about them.
The first domestic cats
About 40 centuries ago, it was believed that the Egyptians had domesticated cats. This belief is geographically valid because based on DNA evidence; today’s domestic cats have the same ancestry as that of African wild cats. In 2004, however, when a nine thousand five hundred year old Neolithic tomb in Cyprus was excavated, the remains of a cat alongside a human hint that people cared for cats even before 4000 years ago.
On the other hand, some studies show that the domestication of cats could have started 12,000 years ago during the boom of the agricultural industry in the Fertile Crescent (fertile land in the shape of a crescent surrounding Egypt and Syria) of Middle East.
It is believed that more agriculture brings more vermin which brings more cats. It’s a sensible theory considering the fact that even today’s feral cats continue to congregate to live in food-rich places, whether it’s a restaurant with plentiful leftovers or diners. a farm where they could hunt vermin.
It is believed that the Greeks and Phoenicians brought domestic cats to Europe around 3000 years ago. The Romans held cats in high regard when it came to pest control, so the Roman legions took them with them whenever they traveled to Gaul (modern France) as well as Britain.
Cats were brought to Britain
When the Romans left Britain around 1600 years ago, most of their cats remained there. Around 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.
Something unfortunate happened to cats around 700 years ago in Britain. During this Middle Ages, word spread that cats were suddenly suspected of being involved in witchcraft. This is why a cat massacre took place in Europe and hundreds of thousands of cats were slaughtered. Most people have speculated that this culling of cats led to the increase in the rat population in Europe, which in turn caused the increase in the spread of the 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 leap forward. During the 17th and 18th centuries, new world explorers and traders left Britain and Spain to introduce domestic cats to the United States.
The present cat
The cats have become very popular and at present there are around 8.5 million pet cats in the UK. They are considered the most popular pet in the world.
Many households have one dog, but many cat owners show their love by having multiple cat households. Currently, there are over 100 breeds of domestic cats, and people continue to develop new breeds.
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