House cats (domestic) have been around the barnyard, so-to-speak, for thousands of years. Just where the lineage began is still up for
debate but some intriguing theories are beginning to emerge. The current thinking is that the first wildcats began their journey toward
house cat about 130,000 years ago. As far as geneticists can determine the migration began out of the now Israeli and Saudi Arabian deserts.
Some of the wildcats journeyed south while others went east.
From this original hypothesis further genetic work has more closely identified the house cat as being closely related to the sub-species of
Near Eastern wildcat or Felis silvestris lybica. Although the dating of these theories is speculative at best there have been some interesting
finds in the archeological record. People being buried with their cat's dates back over 10,000 years and the cat's natural aggressive tendencies
being used to human advantage go back almost as far.
House cat domesticated
House cats are, of course, loath to be classified in the domestic category but in a particular sense they are of a domestic variety. In more
current times, this may be demonstrated in the rodent control that they provided as far back as ten thousand years ago. Oddly enough, this is
about when the predominant human culture began to take up farming grain and had piles of it around the village.
Through this symbiotic relationship cats understood where they could find a steady source of food and stuck with it. House cats as they are today
would be an obvious conclusion from their beginnings around the villages. Still house cats are not as tame as one might think. Even with all the
genetic changes that have been left behind from their wild forbearers there is still quite a bit of the Near Eastern wildcat in the house cat, and
even more in the wild cats of today.
House cats are sometimes thought to be a lazy thing that just sits around the house and gets fat. Interestingly, this is far from the truth. Rather
it may be the human involved that makes the cat this way. Even a well cared for house cat retains many of its wild instincts. Kneading its claws is
just as much a wild tendency to sharpen them as a physiological one to aide in growth.
Even if the cat is held inside they do still have a certain want to get outside and find other cats. House cats do tend to like packs is a certain
sense and mating is a primary reason. In this regard, any owner that does not want their house cat to mate with a wild cat, or other animal, should
be very wary about letting them roam too far.
Annoying tendencies from the past
Some of the annoying tendencies that we, as humans, deal with when it comes to cats are just genetics doing what they do. Digging, urinating in
all the "wrong" places or bringing home birds are all behaviors that the cat is following because they were programmed genetically to do so.
Being upset about the annoying habit is not going to solve anything. Modifying the behavior so it can continue in another place is a better way
to cope. The behavior will never go away, because it has been there for hundreds-of-thousands of years and there is little reason for it to change
for just you.
If a house cat gets a bad rap it is likely that it is coming from an uninformed person. Let them know about the lineage of a house cat and they may
think differently. House cats come from a strong lineage and should be thought of as such.