Origins of the Domestic Cat

Posted on June 28, 2007  Comments (3)

DNA traces origin of domestic cat:

The study suggests the progenitors of today’s cats split from their wild counterparts more than 100,000 years ago – much earlier than once thought. At least five female ancestors from the region gave rise to all the domestic cats alive today, scientists believe. DNA evidence suggests that, apart from accidental cross-breeding, European wildcats are not part of the domestic moggy’s family tree. Neither are the Central Asian wildcat, the Southern African wildcat, or the Chinese desert cat.

The earliest archaeological evidence of cat domestication dates back 9,500 years, when cats were thought to have lived alongside humans in settlement sites in Cyprus. However, the new results show the house cat lineage is far older. Ancestors of domestic cats are now thought to have broken away from their wild relatives and started living with humans as early as 130,000 years ago. The researchers focused on DNA in the mitochondria, the power plants of cells which supply energy and have their own genetic material.

Cool. Related: Cat HistoryDNA Offers New Insight Concerning Cat EvolutionMidichloria mitochondrii

3 Responses to “Origins of the Domestic Cat”

  1. CuriousCat: Rare Chinese Mountain Cat
    September 30th, 2007 @ 10:45 am

    “A total of eight images of the feline represent the first time the mountain cat has been photographed in the wild…”

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Genetic Research Suggests Cats ‘Domesticated Themselves’
    February 2nd, 2008 @ 7:00 pm

    “ancestors of today”™s tabbies, Persians and Siamese wandered into Near Eastern settlements at the dawn of agriculture. They were looking for food, not friendship…”

  3. The History of Domestic Cats | Cat Care
    October 22nd, 2016 @ 11:56 am

    […] Origins of the Domestic Cat […]

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