Is it true that cats haven’t been domesticated yet? (Thinkstock)
Is it true that cats haven’t been domesticated yet?
Lexile

You asked us, "Is it true that cats haven't been domesticated yet?"
 
We started cozying up to cats about 9,500 years ago, around the same time we settled down as farmers.
 
All of a sudden, we found ourselves with grain stores (yay!), and a major rat problem (boo).
 
Cue the wild cats who took care of the rats, and we ended up taking care of the fur balls.
 
These days, our house cats generally depend on us to keep their bellies full and a roof over their heads, but historically, we haven't had much control over their breeding.
 
Unlike cattle, horses or dogs, who we've bred with specific traits in mind, we've never really played matchmaker with cats, so they haven't changed much from their wild ancestors. In fact, they're genetically indistinguishable from feral cats today.
 
Some people would even say their domestication is incomplete, or that they really just domesticated themselves, which is why it's not surprising that a recent study out of Japan found that although house cats recognized their owner's voice, it was a rare kitty who actually bothered to respond.
 
Yeah, that sounds familiar. Aloof. But crazy cute.
 
For more stories like this, I refer you to Munchkin.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Explain how rats led to cats as pets.
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (31)
  • howell-nelson,kairo-cas
    9/09/2015 - 07:43 a.m.

    Rats used to run rampant in peoples houses so they used cats to catch the mice.Once they caught the mice the people that got the cat just kept them. The article makes me feel as though cats even though they could be wild choose to stay with the owner and remain domesticated

  • kairik-nar
    9/09/2015 - 06:29 p.m.

    Oh my gosh! This story is really close to my heart because I love cats. They helped kill rats for the family and became a part of many lives to come, including mine.

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    9/09/2015 - 08:20 p.m.

    It is kind of weird how humans keep certain animals as pet, such as dogs and cat which are very common, yet when someone wants to keep a pet hedgehog or kangaroo people freak out. Honestly, I agree with the people who say kangaroos and hedgehogs shouldn't be pets, but what about cats and dogs? They are animals too and should also live in their nature habitats, but presently it would be impossible to return them to the wild after they have adapted to many years of being pets.

  • rabb,eric-cas
    9/10/2015 - 07:47 a.m.

    Rats led to us having cats as pets by us having stores and rats coming in and as they come in the cats would take care of the rats. I think that this story is very interesting because a lot of people have cats now and days as pets but the cat is not fully domesticated yet.

  • konarska,ivana-cas
    9/10/2015 - 07:49 a.m.

    Rats led to cats being pets because, when people started getting rats in their house they would get a cat to catch it. After having rats for awhile people just decided to keep them. In my opinion it doesn't really matter if cats have been domesticated yet or not, they live with us anyway and they're cute to have.

  • aliviab-ste
    9/10/2015 - 04:37 p.m.

    Humans developed a rat problem when they started farming. As a result, people brought cats into their homes so that they would eat the rats and solve the problem.

  • bullis,alyssa-cas
    9/10/2015 - 05:34 p.m.

    As much as we think rats love cheese they also love grains. We ,humans, brought in wild cats to get rid of them. Over time cats became accustomed to humans and became our beloved pets. Though it's not official that they are domesticated they pretty much have domesticated themselves.
    I believe cats are a great pet to have. They are love loveable, cuddly, and great neck and feet warmers. I do agree cats have domesticated themselves to live with humans and that they saved us a lot of time. Who knows how we could have messed them up with our thoughts of how things should be if we domesticated them.

  • melissaj-Ste
    9/11/2015 - 01:08 p.m.

    Unlike dogs, Cats are actually carnivores. They depend on meat, whatever it is, like their ancestors and wild cousins of the jungle and safari. Personally, I love cats and I find them interesting, but I am allergic. I never really thought that we had not completely domesticated cats. CRAZY!

  • solanopolo,heylis-1-cas
    9/11/2015 - 01:59 p.m.

    I think that I do not like I had not much information about cats I would like to explain his theory and say more because you think that cats are not fully domesticated.

  • dominguez,britney-cas
    9/12/2015 - 11:01 a.m.

    Wild cats would hunt the rats that would reside if grain stores. Humans probably got smart and thought to keep the cats and give them shelter and food in return, hoping to train them. I found it amusing how the study in japan had those results, cause my cat will come if I call her name.

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