Wednesday, 25 June 2014

How The Domesticated Cat Came About

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to learn about the average domesticated feline, and how they came into being.

The history of our domestic cat starts with her descent from wild cats, the 5 different species are, the Sardinian, the European, the Central Asian, the subsaharan African and the Chinese desert cat. Each of these derives from a subspecies of F. silvestris. DNA suggests that all domestic cats come from the five founder cats from the Fertile Crescent region.

There are two difficulties in determining when and how a cat was tamed, one is that, domesticated cats will interbreed with feral cats, the other is that their sociability. Domestic cats are identified by their small size, especially compared to their feral cousins.

According to Sarah Hartwell an eminent cat researcher, one theory is wild cats were first drawn to settlements by small rodents who came to feed in their agricultural stores. Humans could have tolerated or encouraged cats to stay around and guard those stores against vermin.

The oldest evidence for a domesticated cat was on the Greek island of Cyprus, where numerous animal species including cats were inducted into society in 7500 BC. Further, at the Neolithic site of Shillourokambos, a cat burial was located next to a human one, dated around 9500-9200 years before present day.

The next one is in the 6th millennium BC Ha├žilar, where female sculptures were discovered carrying cat like figures in their arms. There is great debate about where these creates where in deed cats or something else.

Up until recently, many sources thought the domesticated cat became more widespread after the Egyptians took its part. One recent paper states a cat skeleton discovered in a pre dynastic tomb in Hierakonpolis could be evidence for a domesticated feline.

So there you have it my lovelies, my watered down version on the history of our beloved felines. 

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