The History and Domestication of Cats

TLDR Cats have a long history of living alongside humans, dating back to around 10,000 years ago. They were domesticated in ancient Egypt and have since been revered in various cultures. However, their hunting instincts still pose a threat to wildlife today.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Cats and dogs have different origins and ways of becoming domesticated, with cats having a history that dates back to wild cats.
02:14 Cats were domesticated by humans due to their ability to control pests that were attracted to stored grain.
04:09 Cats began their relationship with humans around 10,000 years ago when humans began adopting agriculture, and it is theorized that cats domesticated themselves by living alongside humans and providing a useful service in hunting pests.
06:09 The domestication of cats likely occurred in ancient Egypt around 4,500 to 3,500 years ago, where they were revered, mummified, and believed to have special powers.
08:08 Cats have been considered good luck in Japan and have been given a position of respect in Islam, but in the Middle Ages in Europe they were associated with witchcraft and burned alive, and it is possible that some Native Americans domesticated bobcats.
10:04 Domesticated cats still hunt and kill a large number of mice and songbirds, leading to the extinction of species in many places around the world, and in the United States alone, an estimated 75 million cats are responsible for the deaths of billions of birds and mammals every year.
12:08 Cats were not domesticated like dogs or horses, but rather lived alongside humans in a symbiotic relationship where they hunted pests on our behalf, and it wasn't until later that they were brought indoors and made part of our families.
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