These 8,000-Year-Old Bones Prove Cats May Have Arrived In Europe Earlier Than Previously Assumed

sonyachny - - illustrative purposes only

Cats, our favorite cuddly companions, may have arrived in Europe earlier than previously assumed. In recent months, domestic cat bones that are roughly 8,000-years-old were found in Serbia and Poland.

The latest discovery has pushed back the timeline of cat domestication by several thousands of years.

Until now, it has been thought that cats arrived in Europe sometime between the 3rd and 7th centuries A.D.

However, they actually appeared earlier than that in the Balkans and further north from Asia Minor. There are five known species of wildcat, and all of them are very similar.

They can also interbreed, which has made it even more challenging for experts to determine when and where cat domestication first occurred.

In the past 20 years, it has been established that the Near Eastern wildcat is the common ancestor of all house cats.

These felines were domesticated about 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East.

Many scientists have suggested that cats domesticated themselves because they were drawn to the rodents that ate the crops of early farmers. Of course, the farmers appreciated their pest control skills.

Around 3,500 years ago, another domestication happened in Egypt. This population of cats was more friendly to humans.

sonyachny – – illustrative purposes only

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