Apr

11

Which Came First, Dogs or Cats?

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So what do you think? Which came first, dogs or cats? It's generally believed that dogs were domesticated long before cats. But recently, growing evidence reveals that cats and humans have lived in harmony throughout the ages.

Most scientists agree that cats were domesticated by the ancient Egyptians about 6000 years ago. But we now know that this is not the earliest known case of cats and humans living in harmony. A cat and a human were found buried together on the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus. This grave was dated at about 10,000 years old. That's at least 4000 years earlier than the Egyptian cats.

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It makes sense because around 12,000 years ago, humans began to cultivate grains, store them in their villages and of course rats and mice were attracted to the stored grain. Wild cats sniffed out the rats and mice and moved closer to the villages to be near the steady food supply. The villages would have benefitted the wild cats - lots of mice and rats to eat, and protection from predators that hunted cats. Humans also would have benefited from the rodent control.

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One interesting thing about this grave on Cyprus is the fact that it was an island, how did the cats get there? Most scientists agree that the cats were brought to the island with the human settlers. And the cat and human to be buried together suggests the importance of the cat to the human. Cats must have had both secular and spiritual significance to the people of the time.

It is hard to know exactly which came first, dogs or cats, because none of us were there. But with growing evidence like this, the answer is getting closer.

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