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  • Writer's pictureVickie Foster

When Did Cats Become House Pets?

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

Your cat is descended from a long line of kitties going back in time to their wild ancestors. When did cats manage to become house pets? Read our blog for the feline story.

Despite their independent ways, cats have been domesticated friends of man for thousands of years.

Scientists have found DNA evidence that all cats are descended from a Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis sylvestris. Cats were domesticated in the near East, with Scientists speculating it could have been as much as 12,000 years ago.

The history of cats follows civilization and agricultural societies. Agriculture first flourished in the Middle East where they harvested grain.

As you can imagine, with grain came mice and with mice came… cats!

Wild cats wandered to settlements with grain storage. They were lured by the mouse prey, and humans were impressed with their pest control.

Scientists have found evidence of domestic cats in the archaeological records such a cat skeletal remains buried with a human dating back 9,500 years. No doubt this was a pet cat!

Of course, humans favored the cats that had the best traits. The many breeds of domestic cats evolved from there.

Today they number around 31 million in the U.S and are owned by 25 percent of households.


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