Domestic cats are descended from wild forest cats representatives of the species, although it is still most biologists consider them to this kind and is considered a separate subspecies.
The period of domestication dates back to the Neolithic Revolution, which occurred about 10 thousand years ago.
Biologists are still not agreed,whether to refer domestic cats to a separate species or not. For a long time the most common and favorite among people pets considered members of the species of forest cats, forming a separate subspecies, along with bands such as the Omani cat, wild cat, Caucasian leopard cat and others. Despite some differences in appearance and behavior, all these groups actually belong to the same species, because they can interbreed and produce healthy offspring.
The same applies to domestic cats: Once in the wild and feral conditions, they can find a mate among their wild counterparts and continue the race, allowing them to rank the same species.
Nevertheless, some biologists suggestallocate a separate species of domestic cats on the grounds that they are separated by a vast gulf of their brothers is difficult to imagine that smooth sphinxes or blunt fluffy Persian cats belong to the same species as the sleek, aggressive and wild forest cat.
History of domestic cats
Thus, the ancestors of all domestic cats wereforest cats - small predatory mammals living today in Africa, parts of Asia and northern Europe. It's fast, cunning, fearful and aggressive animals.
They, in turn, evolved from the older members of the genus of cats and have close family ties with the dune cat - a little animal, resembles a small lynx.
Several thousand years ago was inhabited by forest catthe Middle East and at first tried to avoid meeting with the representatives of the human race. During the Neolithic Revolution, people have learned to grow plants, and grain reserves began to attract rodents to human habitation. It is believed that small mammals small animals pests followed predatory cats that hunted them.
Gradually the person and the cat began to cooperate: neighborhood was beneficial to both. The domestication of animals occurred around 10,000 years ago, probably in the area of the so-called Fertile Crescent, where the first permanent settlements were formed, and the beginnings of human civilization.
Genetic studies revealedthe origin of domestic cats more precisely: all members of the household subspecies occurred on the maternal side of several steppe cats. Steppe cats - a subspecies of forest that stood apart from the other predators of this species is about 130,000 years ago. These animals lived in the Middle East, it is their domesticated ancestors of modern humans.