This post first appeared on ProtectaPet here.
From wildcats to domestic pets, here is a brief history of our feline friends!
The domestication of cats is something that has been studied and analyzed for many years, and we now seem to have a good idea of when and why cats and humans began their relationship which would eventually grow and blossom into what it is today.
In 2022, there are around 373 million pet cats around the world, which is truly astonishing when you think about it!
The earliest signs of cats and humans interacting can be dated back to nearly 12,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East. It was here that farming communities developed a mutually beneficial relationship with the ancestors of the modern cat in which the cats would help catch and kill rodents that were a nuisance to the crops.
The people were extremely happy that the cats were massively reducing and controlling the population of pests and the cats were even happier to be fed!
Rather than a lightbulb moment that saw humans domesticate the cat, it seems the relationship between cats and humans was a very naturally occurring and organic relationship.
In the 21st century allowing your cat to free roam is very different to what it was then, with newer inventions, especially cars, posing a fatal threat to your kitty. To allow your cat to exert their natural behaviors while keeping them safe, consider ProtectaPet Cat Fencing, Cat Enclosure and Catio options!
The Egyptians were also famous for their relationship with cats! They saw cats as being connected to a higher power and their Gods often had feline like qualities. Cats had a very prestigious reputation in Egyptian Culture and were often showered with gifts and represented good fortune.
To kill a cat was seen as a crime punishable by death at some points in Ancient Egypt. There was even a cat cemetery found that was dug up in an area known as Middle Egypt, in which 300,000 cat mummies were found.
Whilst the Far East and Africa were busy respecting our feline friends, in the west cats were seen as being related to the devil and witchcraft. The medieval church is one to blame when it comes to the drastic shift in opinion towards cats as they readily encouraged their association with darkness and evil.
Fast forward to Victorian times, and Queen Victoria who had an affinity for Egypt and Ancient Egyptian culture, was compelled to have two of her own Persian Blues and also became a breeder herself. As a popular Queen, the high opinion she had of cats helped the image of them during this time. Among others, Victoria was a part of the shift in opinion of cats and jump to our modern world and the relationship between us is flourishing more than ever!
The interesting thing about our feline friends is that even after thousands of years, cats today haven’t changed all that much from their ancestral counterparts which maybe signifies that they have always been purrrrrfect and they didn’t need to heavily adapt because they’re naturally so independent and intelligent.
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I live, work, and breathe cats… And cat fur 😉