How House Cats Originated From A Wildcat Species Over 10,000 Years Ago

Cats have always been shrouded in mystery. The average person probably doesn’t know much about the history of the domestic cat apart from the fact that they were worshipped back in ancient Egyptian times.

Luckily, world-famous cat expert Jackson Galaxy doesn’t just have the answers on how to stop cats from scratching up sofas, he also has information on the history of domestic cats, and it’s pretty lengthy!

Photo: YouTube/Ilse Orsel

According to Galaxy, the cats of today (Western, Exotic, and Eastern) can all trace their origins back to a single species of feline that lived over 10,000 years ago: the Near Eastern Wildcat.

As he shared in the video below, the Near Eastern Wildcat was the most populous species of cat that lived within the Fertile Crescent as of 130,000 years ago.

Photo: Unsplash/Agape Trn

Galaxy then added that a 2009 genetics study ended up revealing something quite remarkable: all of our modern-day cats are descended from the Near Eastern wildcat. He then went into further detail as he explained how this cat came to be the beloved feline that we know today.

Explaining the modern-day cat-human bond, Galaxy stated, “One of the things that made the species Felis so wildly successful was that as they evolved, they evolved to be one of nature’s most perfect hunters. This is what sets the stage for that human-animal mutually beneficial relationship.”

Photo: Unsplash/Oleg Ivanov

Besides this, he also touched on the different eras in human history in which our relationships with cats weren’t the best – like the “dark times,” as well as the history of how cats ended up in the New World, and finally, how they came to be our domesticated buddies starting back in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

He added, “Here we start to imagine what it is for a cat to be a pet. Cats were primarily workers, whether they be on ships or farms or anywhere like that. Where food supplies were threatened, there were cats. There came a point where they started to turn in their relationship with humans and become more ‘domesticated.'”

Check out part one of Galaxy’s cat history in the video below:

What do you think of this history lesson? Did you already know where domesticated cats come from? Let us know!

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