Cats are one of the most adored animals, but scientists don’t know much about their place of origin and how they concurred the world.
A recent study sheds some light on this matter, revealing information about the way that felines have spread across the earth. The researchers believe that the felines were helped by the Vikings and other ancient cultures. It is thought that the animals hitched a ride on boats and were taken in different places of the world.
The domesticated felines that we own today have roots in the wild cats that killed the rodents from the fields of the early farmers. They began to develop an affinity for humans around 12,000 years ago. Ancient cats were encouraged by farmers to come into their houses and this is how they started to be domesticated. The culture that loved cats the most was the Ancient civilization of Egypt. The Egyptians used to care so much for these creatures that they started worshiping them, giving them jewels and when they died, the felines were mummified just as if they were pharaohs.
The first cats were brought on boats so that they can hunt rats and mice on the ship.
“We found for the first time that in prehistoric times cats from the Near East accompanied people on their journeys, thereby conquering the Ancient World. They were the ancestors of our present-day domestic cats all over the world,” declared Eva-Marie Geigl, one of the researchers.
The scientist collected and analyzed samples of DNA remaining from felines that lived in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The animals could have lived from the 15,000 years ago up to the 16th century. The researchers found cats from northern Germany that had Egyptian DNA. This DNA was passed only on the mother’s side. The cats found in Germany lived between the VIII and XI century.
The Vikings did not treat the felines as the Egyptians. Even if they lived and traveled with them on ships, and helped them get rid of unwanted rodents, Norse people were not that impressed. It is believed that they even used the animal’s skin to stay warm.
Cats have been around the World for decades and even if they were treated badly by the Vikings, worshiped by Egyptians, and domesticated by farmers, they are still the most interesting and loved pets.
Image source: Wikipedia