After having compared the genomes of domestic cats to those of wild felines, researchers have concluded that there was some form of domestication that took place. This conversation as it appears is linked to change of the genes for memory, fear and kitty threats.
These are findings that can as well be used to explain some cat behaviors such as hypercarnivorous diet and low light activity, reports IFL Science.
The past 9,000 years have seen cats become closer to human beings. They have become our best friends with whom we can cuddle and be proud of. Their stare at us invokes unexplainable emotions within us that only the one experiencing can explain. That innocent look… oh my! But did you know the first cat breeds began emerging some 150 years ago?
Our major reason for having welcomed the cats is because we needed them to call rodents in the house. “We hypothesized that humans would offer cats food as a reward to stick around,” says Wesley Warren of Washington University.
How Did We Ever Tame Cats
In a research done to understand the domestic cats and their wild counterparts, Warren and colleagues compared Cinnamon’s genome with the genome assemblies of 22 purebreds from six other domestic cat breeds. In order to ensure they got a comprehensive biology picture of the situation, they also made comparison with other four mammals: humans, cows, dogs and tigers.
Their study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the domestication process required the cats to become less fearful of new locations and individuals.
The study also provided evidence that the domestic cats “recently split off from wild cats, and some even still breed with their wild relatives. So we were surprised to find DNA evidence of their domestication.”
Their shift from wild life to domestic life was stimulated by the promise of food from human beings.