September 17, 2021

Have humans really domesticated cats?

There is a saying that describes the difference between cats and dogs: you provide dogs with food, shelter, and protection every day. In the eyes of dogs, you must be God, otherwise, how could you be so good to yourself. But cats don’t think so. They think they must be God, otherwise how could humans be so good to themselves?

In the eyes of cats, humans may be just a long-term meal ticket. It will not completely obey humans, but still maintain a relatively high degree of independence.

Like dogs, cats are also one of the animals most closely related to humans, and they accompany humans as emotional companions. In ancient Egypt, people not only kept cats as pets, but even made them for them after their deaths. mummy.

Nowadays, there are more and more cat owners, but have you ever wondered why cats can stay in human society? More importantly, the history of humans domesticating cats has reached tens of thousands of years, but have humans really successfully domesticated cats?

Why do cats live with humans?

In the Paleolithic period, humans began to domesticate various plants and animals. The first animal domesticated was dogs. Their ancestors would search for food near human camps, and humans would discard bones they could not eat around the camps. As for some individuals with poor hunting ability, they will linger near humans.

Later, humans caught some wolves, among which they ate the larger ones and left the smaller cubs. In the process of getting along with humans, cubs can provide a vigilant role for humans. Slowly, some individuals who were less aggressive and able to provide alert stayed behind and were domesticated by humans into dogs.

Compared with dogs, cats appearing in the human world does not seem to be an active choice of humans, but cats have chosen to live with humans.

The reason why humans have domesticated cats is because humans’ habit of hoarding food attracts mice, and cats follow the mice to the camp where humans live and settle here. Humans discovered this skill of cats and began to get along with cats day and night, and even took them away when they moved. A human remains from 9,200-9500 years ago have been found in Cyprus, and there is the remains of a cat beside the human remains.

(Cats about 9,500 years ago)

In today’s view, it may not be so strange that cats are buried next to humans, but it should be known that there are no other cats in Cyprus. This means that as early as 9,200 years ago, humans have been with cats day and night, and cats Brought here.

Some scientists believe that the reason why humans like cats and bring them with them during migration may not be because of their ability to catch mice, but because they are very cute. Researchers believe that the cat’s big innocent eyes, naive face, and cry are very similar to human babies, which can stimulate humans’ desire for protection, so they stay with humans.

Have humans really domesticated cats?

Compared with dogs, cats are more ambitious. Researchers have studied the stray cats released into the wild and found that their hunting skills have not deteriorated, they can still quickly enter hunting mode, and successfully capture many birds, amphibians and small mammals.

The Smithsonian Institute of Conservation Biology and the US Fisheries and Wildlife Service found that the number of birds and mammals killed by domestic cats and stray cats in the United States alone reached 2.4 billion and 12.3 billion each year. , The number of birds and mammals killed by cats exceeds the sum of non-human causes of death.

The reason why cats have such a strong predator ability is actually very surprising. It should be understood that they have been domesticated by humans for tens of thousands of years, but they have not faded wild like dogs, but still retain their excellent Hunting ability. Of course, pet cats that have been improved by human breeds have lost the ability to survive independently, and they will soon die if they leave humans.

Experts believe that the reason why cats behave like this may be related to the fact that they live alone. In fact, cats are an alternative to human domestication. All animals domesticated by humans are social creatures, even dogs. Only cats are alone, and they rarely interact with other cats except during the mating period. It is precisely because of the characteristics of living alone that cats can take care of themselves, including hunting ability.

Because of this, some experts say: It is not humans who domesticated cats, but cats choose to live with humans.

Cat owners today

Today’s cat owners have lost the arrogance of previous domestic cats, and their hunting ability is almost zero. This is mainly because humans use backcrossing and crossbreeding in order to obtain good-looking kittens, pure coat colors, and sticky personalities. The means continue to breed new breeds, and whether the breed has the ability to survive in the wild is not in their consideration. Under this breeding method, many cats nowadays have no ability to survive in the wild.

For example, although the puppet cat is very immortal, its predation ability is too much different than that of the garden cat; hairless cats cannot survive in the cold environment, and they are dead if they are separated from humans.

Of course, no matter whether it is a breed cat or a garden cat, once you choose to raise them, do not abandon them, otherwise it will be harmful to the cat and the surrounding birds and mammals.

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