Dogs may be man’s best friend, but researchers say cats have been by our sides for millennia. A new study of cat skeletons spanning more than nine thousand years traced the spread of felines from their native home in the Middle East to various places around the world.
Scientists say compared to other mammals, cats haven’t changed much since becoming domesticated. Researchers say they’ve been domesticated for more than 10,000 years.
TRT World’s Chelsea Carter reports.
“It were the first farmers that invented agriculture, and this means they accumulated grains, probably more and more, larger and larger amounts of grains and these grains of course attracted rodents and the rodents attracted wild cats.” said Eva-Maria Geigl, Head of Research in National Centre of Scientific Research in France.
“In the second half of the second millennium BC you see in the iconography cats under the chair of noble people, the aristocracy, sometimes with the collar, sometimes without, but you see that the cat made it into the household, so into a domestic context.” she said.
The primary focus of the study was to track the ancient dispersal of cats across the Mediterranean. Various of cats and their domesticated lineage appears to have originated from modern day Egypt and Turkey. From there, wherever people went, cats followed.
Researchers say they’ve also found DNA evidence suggesting humans started breeding cats for their appearance in the 1800s.
What started as a symbiotic relationship has evolved to a domestic one in time. Some cat owners would even say their pet is the one in control. Today, it may seem like cat owners are the ones in control.
But sometimes you have to wonder, who’s really in charge.