Origin of the cat: where do they come from?

origin of the catThey are the kings of the internet and one of those animals that do not cause indifference… and one of the questions that generate a lot of curiosity is where cats come from. Have you ever wondered about it? Let’s find out!

Along with dogs, cats have become the companion animal par excellence. For this reason alone, it is worthwhile to investigate a little to find out where they come from and how they have become faithful companions and friends of humans.

Origin of the cat: where do our feline friends come from?

All cat breeds come from the same species, the Felis catus.

Stephen O’Brien and Warren Johnson, both geneticists, conducted a study in which they compared the DNA of 30 genes from every extant feline species with data collected from fossils and molecular analyses.
The intention of the researchers was to schematize the relationship of all the felines to see how the feline communities of the 5 continents are linked.

This study revealed some really interesting data, among them:

  • There are 37 species of felines grouped into 8 different lineages. each with its own characteristics and particularities.
  • In the Oligocene (this is the 3rd geological epoch of the Paleogene, in the Cenozoic Era), the felids were divided into two subfamilies, the class
    Nimravidae
    and the class
    Felidae
    . The latter includes the
    Proailurus
    from which during the Miocene arises the
    Pseudaelurus
    which fed on herbivorous prey found in the steppes and savannas.
  • Thus, scientists agree that the Pseudaelurus cat is the common ancestor of the cat.
    Pseudaelurus cat is the common ancestor of the cat we know
    we know today.
  • As a curious fact, it lived in Asia some 11 million years ago, migrated to Europe 9 million years ago and later reached America.
  • As humans settle down, agriculture begins to develop. This leads to the need to store crops. But this storage attracts numerous animals for which these products are a delicacy, thus becoming a serious problem for humans who cannot find an effective solution. This is where the ancestral cat comes into play, attracted in turn by small rodents. Thus begins the cat-human relationship with a nexus that benefits both species.
  • It is thus concluded that the relationship between cats and humans arose between 19,000 and 32,000 years ago.

And now that you know how these cute little animals have become our friends and life companions, we leave you with this video with 100 curiosities that will make you fall in love with them even more.

 

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