How Cats became
"In the beginning, God created man, but seeing him so feeble,
He gave him the cat."
~ Warren Eckstein ~
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The Evolution of the Cat Part 2
Here in part two of our three part series on the
Evolution and History of the house cat, we will
take you on a short journey of how the cat became
(continued from page one the Evolution of Cats)
Driscoll believes, however, that it is unlikely that humans
were catching and taming cats.
"The cats just sort of domesticated themselves. People today
know that you can't keep a cat inside [without barriers],
and 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent you couldn't
just shut the window."
The theory is that when farmers started raising crops the
pests like gophers and mice were attracted to the food that
was stored. And this in turn attracted the first cats, which
were rewarded by the farmer for catching the pests. This is
probably what domesticated the cat.
Once cats had established themselves in humans' lives they
never left. In the end cats actually have lived better with
humans and in a way they have exploited and enjoyed us as
much as we have them.
There are some 600 million house cats in the world, study
co-author O'Brien added.
"Domestication was one heck of a successful natural
Once the cats domesticated themselves and found their place
in human society they actually became companions that
traveled with humans from place to place and spread
throughout the world because of the movement of human
"It's sort of analogous to the 'out of Africa' theory that
people talk about for humans," Driscoll said. "In the same
way, domestic cats from Europe are really the same as
domestic cats from Israel or China or wherever."
Some of the early archaeological findings have found that
domestic cats have been a part of human society from as far
back as ninety five hundred years, as was discovered in
The Evolution of the Cat -