The Critters

For Nice Critters

What’s the Origin of Domestic Cats?

What’s the Origin of Domestic Cats?

People are confused as to where domestic cats came from. Researchers also argue on the place and time when cats became domesticated. Some of them also say that felines domesticated themselves. Take a look at the different theories regarding these.

The First Domesticated Cats

Some 40 centuries ago, Egyptians were believed to have domesticated cats. This belief is geographically sound since based on DNA evidence; domestic cats of today have the same ancestors as that of African wild cats. In 2004, though, when a Neolithic grave in Cyprus that is nine and a half thousand years old was excavated, the remains of a cat alongside a human hint that people took care of cats even before 4000 years.

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

More agriculture is thought of bringing in more vermin that brings about more cats. This is a sensible theory considering the fact that even feral cats of today continue to group themselves to go and live in places with lots of food supply no matter if it is a restaurant with plentiful scraps or a farm where they could hunt vermin.

Greeks and Phoenician traders were believed to have brought domestic cats to Europe some 3000 years ago. Romans have a high regard for cats when it comes to controlling pests so Roman Legions take them along whenever they traveled to Gaul (modern day France) as well as Britain.

Cats Were Brought to Britain

When the Romans left Britain about 1600 years ago, most of their cats stayed behind. Around 1000 years ago when the Vikings invaded Britain, they took a number of domestic cats left behind by the Romans when they went back to Norway.


Something unfortunate happened to cats some 700 years ago in Britain. During these middle ages, the news that cats were suddenly suspected to be involved in witchcraft has become widespread. That is why a cat massacre took place in Europe and hundreds of thousands of cats were slaughtered. Most people hypothesized that this cat slaughter has led to the increase of the rat population in Europe, which in turn caused the rise in the Bubonic plague spread 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 huge leap. During the 17th and 18th centuries, new world explorers and traders left Britain and Spain to introduce domestic cats in the United States.

The Present Cat

Cats have become very popular and at present, there are about 8.5million pet cats in the UK. They are considered to be the most popular pet worldwide.

A lot of households have a dog but a lot of cat owners show their love by having multi cat households. At present, there are more than 100 domestic cat breeds and people continue to develop new breeds.