Did You Know?
In 1750’s cats came from Europe to America as pest controllers.
For a long time it was believed that the Egyptians domesticated cats around 4000 years ago. Geographically this makes sense because DNA evidence suggests that modern day domestic cats share a common ancestor with the African wildcat. However in 2004 a nine and a half thousand year old neolithic grave in Cyprus was excavated and revealed the remains of a cat buried with a human, which suggests humans kept cats long before the 4000 year mark.
Other studies have suggested that domestication of cats could have started as much as 12,000 years ago when agriculture boomed in the Middle East’s Fertile Crescent (a crescent shaped area of fertile land around Egypt and Syria).
It is thought that the increased agriculture brought in more vermin and the cats followed. This theory makes sense because even today feral cats will flock to and thrive in areas with a plentiful supply of food, whether that be a restaurant offering scraps or a farm with vermin to hunt.
It is believed that domestic cats were brought to Europe around 3000 years ago by Greek and Phoenician traders. Romans valued cats highly for pest control and the Roman Legions would have certainly taken cats with them as they moved through Gaul (modern day France) and eventually Britain.
By the 1500’s cats had regained their popularity and were about to make another huge leap. New world traders and explorers left Britain and Spain during the 1600’s and 1700’s which lead to the introduction of domestic cats in America.