How Cats Became Domesticated

Geo Beats
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Have you ever wondered how house cats became domesticated? Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics show humans taking care of cats around 4 thousand years ago, and the latest find from an archaeological dig in China is reportedly the earliest evidence of cats directly benefiting from associating with humans.

Have you ever wondered how house cats became domesticated?

It is a historical mystery with few clues scattered around the world.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics show humans taking care of cats around 4 thousand years ago, while in Cyprus the remains of a cat buried with a human have been dated to over 9000 years old, suggesting a relationship of sorts.

The latest find comes from an archaeological dig in China and is reportedly the earliest evidence of cats directly benefiting from associating with humans.

Eight cat bones found in the Stone Age farming village of Quanhucan, in Central China, were analyzed and two of them turned out to be over 5 thousand years old.

The cats are believed to have benefited from hanging around the farming village because the grain storage containers attracted rodents, which probably made a great meal for the cats.

According to an analysis of the bones, the cat’s diet was high in grain, which is unusual for a carnivorous feline, and one set of bones indicated the cat died at an old age.

This suggests a direct benefit to the wild cat in staying close to the settlement, although one scientist suggests the animal was not cared for like a pet, with its bones unceremoniously tossed in a trash pit. The find however, makes this village the oldest known location of the first step to feline domestication.

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