How Did Cats Become Pets?

How did cats become a pet?

Throughout our lives, we have been taught and told many things. Some we have just accepted and some we have questioned. Did any of you here ever think as a kid, how did cats become pets? Why cats? When did a cat become a domesticated animal to keep, love, take care and cherish? Today from Review Tales, we will discuss this matter and hope that you enjoy reading it.

An interesting fact revealed by Jared Diamond’s 1997 book titled β€œGuns, Germs, and Steel,” states the fact that certain animals failed to be domesticated; it appears to have had some certain criteria in order to determine if the animal was suitable for such a thing. For example, the animal had to grow and mature at a rate that made economic sense. They had to not act out of sorts. Their social structure had to be strong, and they had to be breed well in captivity. It is no surprise that Zebras failed this test in the 19th century or Grizzly Cubs were found unsuitable. According to the author, only 14 animals passed the test of domestication.

Domestic Animal Sleeping Kittens Cute Cats Pets

Archaeologists have found evidence to suggest that Cats were domesticated around 9500 years ago. When it came to dogs, humans deliberately bred dogs to be more adorable and then the other animals came along after that. For instance, sheep and goats were domesticated around 11,000 years ago. Theories suggest that as men collected grain, it attracted mice and that brought cats into the place.

On a final note, cats can be essentially considered as the ultimate domesticated of animals but what strikes me is that we clean their litter, love them, follow after them, feed them and unlike dogs, they only come to us when they want to. It is no surprise to ask yourself, who really ended domesticating who?

Written by Jeyran Main

https://jeyranmain.com/

21 thoughts on “How Did Cats Become Pets?

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  3. Rachel says:

    Reading your article I got curious, so I researched a bit and discovered that indeed the time frame you give is correct. But there are two interesting points not mentioned. I got it from a national geographic article. Apparently DNA research showed that cats were not domesticated at all, they domesticated themselves. They were not picked by humans to get rid of mice. The mice went where the grain was, the wild cats followed the mice. The humans were where the grain was and so they met. The DNA shows that for many years there are hardly any genetic differences between wild cats and “domesticated” cats. Until the Middle Ages that is, when the first tabby coats appeared. Apparently a tabby was the only way to differentiate till the 18th century if a cat was domestic or not. Interesting in this context is that I read somewhere else that feral cats often show a tabby design after two generations. May that be their genetic signal for us to adopt them and to tell us that they are not really wild, but domestic?

    • Jeyran Main says:

      I love the fact that you went and searched for more information! Thank you for doing that. It certainly makes more sense of what may have happened.

    • simon7banks says:

      Scottish wildcats are grey tabbies and most wild cats have some kind of grey and black marking. The black cat would be a big curiosity when it first appeared and that might help explain all the myths.

      I’d missed your comment when I made mine, which agrees with what you say about the transition, though it is possible some cats were deliberately domesticated, yet ranged freely and could interbreed with wild cats. The genetic divergence might have happened when wild cats were exterminated or driven by habitat loss from areas where there were plenty of domestic cats. For example, in southern England there have not been wildcats for a very long time and cats would be either domestic or feral (of domestic origin).

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  5. Mike LePard says:

    The fascinating part is that cats really have no purpose except be cute. I mean, sure, they are sometimes successful hunters and help kill vermin, but dogs were bred to serve specific purposes. That never happened with cats. Until relatively recently, cats have remained in their original form. We never tried to make them do something else. When you consider other factors like a cats purr/meow is similar to the frequency of a baby crying it really does make you wonder who domesticated who.

  6. simon7banks says:

    Whereas wolves (the ancestors of dogs) were no use at all to humans until domesticated (indeed, they were hunting rivals and a threat when very hungry or meeting a child or weak human), so domestication must have started with someone taking wolf cubs, very likely to feed up for food, and then finding they treated the human as the pack leader, cats, as you say, will have been useful when wild as soon as humans kept stores of grain. Then they may have been allowed to give birth in human houses and so on by stages to the present. So the relationship started on a different footing. That was reinforced by the fact that many of the useful things dogs could do in the early days (helping humans hunt or protecting humans from enemies) required a human presence, whereas when cats were practically useful, and this is still true, it required no human involvement at all.

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