Years before they conquered the Internet, cats colonized our sofas. But they haven’t spent the last ten thousand years just snoozing. A new study reveals that tamed cats swept through Eurasia and Africa carried by early farmers, ancient mariners and even Vikings. The researchers analysed DNA from over 200 cat remains and found that farmers in the Near East were probably the first people to successfully tame wild cats 9,000 years ago, before a second wave of cat domestication a few thousand years later in ancient Egypt.
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Cat domestication: From farms to sofas. Nat Ecol Evol 1, 0202 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0202