Cat was only domesticated in one place, confirms a recent study.
All domestic cats in the world are descended from African wild cats, which were domesticated on the coast of the eastern end of the Mediterranean, i.e. the Levant.
It is the western edge of the oldest original home of agriculture, the so-called Fertile Crescent.
There, feral cats apparently hunted rodents from humanity’s earliest grain stores around 12,000 years ago.
International a group of researchers found out by comparing the genetics of wild cats and almost 2,000 domesticated cats from different parts of the world.
From domestic cats, they chose non-breeding domestic, country and stray cats. Among them, the antiquity stands out more clearly than in the purebred cats bred in the last couple of hundred years.
It has already been shown before by comparing the genetics that the cat was not domesticated separately from the local wild cats in China or Southeast Asia, even though agriculture was invented independently there very early on.
Now HeredityA study published in the scientific journal confirmed that the cat was not domesticated separately either in other regions of the Middle East or on the Indus River in Pakistan, where cultivation took place or where it spread from the fertile crescent.
From the Levant, domesticated cats first traveled with people to the nearby Mediterranean islands and the Nile valley, then gradually to different parts of the world.
Over time, they interbred to some extent with local wild cat species in Europe and East Asia, for example.
However, the resulting genetic differences are not enough to hide the common origin.