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 (41)
  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    9/09/2015 - 09:06 p.m.

    I think this is cool for cat owners to know because they get to learn the history of how cats became our pets and if possible, blow their minds about cats not being domesticated yet. This is a mind blower because for years, we used to believe that cats were already domesticated. Now, we figured out that cats may not be domesticated yet.
    Critical Thinking Challenge: Explain how rats led to cats as pets.
    Answer: Back when humans started to farm, there was a lot in their grain supply. However, the grain supply attracted rats and then wild cats were attracted. We started taking care of the cats to get rid of the rats.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    9/09/2015 - 09:26 p.m.

    Cats have been tamed because they are able to listen to you and they are able to learn about things like how dogs are able to do things. I think that these people are just over doing things like the cats don't know anything.

  • jadaj-
    9/10/2015 - 01:11 p.m.

    the rats where a problem to most people so they had the cats come to kill the rats and the people realize that the cats would be a great pet to get rid of the rats and to have a playful fun around.

  • ziont-orv-orv
    9/10/2015 - 01:14 p.m.

    Cats are worthless now that we have mouse traps and rat poison, and they are'nt domesticated and intelligent like dogs are. Cats ignore people dogs don't

  • katem-Orv
    9/10/2015 - 03:49 p.m.

    I argree with this article that cats have domesticated themselves. If you think about it, humans have been training dogs for centeries; but it is extremly difficult to train a cat. Or maybe the cats just don't want to be told what to do.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    9/10/2015 - 09:10 p.m.

    I didn't know that cats could recognize their owner's voices. The people started to experiment with cats and test what they could do. They found out a lot of things and they said that they didn't change much from their ancestors. They had learned a lot about cats and are developing their studies.

  • madelinew-1-bar
    9/10/2015 - 10:37 p.m.

    After cats began getting rid of the rat problem, we humans decided that they can be really useful, so many people began taking care of them. We've been keeping them as pets ever since.

  • natalier-4-bar
    9/10/2015 - 11:07 p.m.

    Rats led to cats as pets a long time ago when humans were farmers. According to the article, "We found our selves with grain stores(yay!) and a major rat problem (boo)." After the rat problem broke out the cats took care of the rats by eating them and that's how we, humans started to take care of them, which was the first step to the cats becoming house pets.

    Opinion: This article was okay. It was more so how cats became house pets other than how they aren't domesticated yet, that part only came at the very end.

  • nicolettem-2-bar
    9/11/2015 - 12:18 a.m.

    Rats led cats to being pets in the earlier days when we settled down and farmers were having problems with rats. So farmers 'called' the wild cats to come on in and to solve the problem and eventually we started to take care of the little cats and keep them as our own.

  • nicolettem-2-bar
    9/11/2015 - 12:28 a.m.

    Rats led to cats being pets when in the earlier days (the same time we started to settle down) farmers were having rat problems, so the farmers 'called the wild cats to come in and solve this problem.' Eventually, we started to care and allow these no longer wild cats into our homes.

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