- Unlike other domestic animals, the cat is self-domesticated.
- The development of agriculture around 4000 BC provided ready prey for wildcats.
- To take advantage of the abundance of rodents, the wildcats had to learn
to live near humans.
- The African wildcat is the ancestor of the domesticated cat;
genetic studies have shown the similarity of the cat to the African wildcat.
- It is unclear when cats made the transition from wild animals to pets;
perhaps as early as 4000 BC (around the Nile delta and possibly the
- By 2000 BC, the cat appears in hieroglyphics.
- The first known artwork showing the cat in a domestic scene
dates from around 1950 BC from Beni Hasan.
- In order to make the transition, those animals which were least fearful and most
placid came to dominate because they could best tolerate living with people.
- Kittens that have contact with people will not develop a fear of humans when
- But the most pedigree cat that is raised without human contact will revert
back to its wild state.
- After all, today's pets remain close to their wild ancestors; virtually nothing
has been added or taken away from the wildcat's nature.
The Encyclopedia of the Cat, Bruce Fogel, DVM,
DK Publishing, Inc., New York, 1997, pp. 20-21.