The Origin of Domestic Cats
It has been about 4,000 years since the first cats were domesticated.
The Ancient Egyptians were the first to have cats. However, they were used to protect food sources. Other ancient civilizations later began to domesticate the cat and took tame felines to Italy where they slowly spread around Europe. Eventually, they arrived in the New World with the Pilgrims. The shorthaired domestic cat spread across the world from Egypt while longhaired cats came later from Turkey and Iran. By the eighteenth century cats had become popular household pets worldwide. The domestic cat is thought to have evolved from the African wild cat because of its tabby markings. A cat whose ancestry is formally
registered is called a pedigreed cat or purebred cat. A purebred cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same breed. A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded, but may have ancestors of different breeds.
Cats of unrecorded mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic longhairs and domestic shorthairs or commonly as moggies, mongrels, or mutt-cats. The semi-feral cat is a cat that is not owned by any one individual, but is generally friendly to people and may be fed by several households. Feral cats are associated with human habitations and may be fed by people or forage in rubbish, but are wary of human interaction. The non-pedigree domestic cat, the Moggie is the most popular house pet today with the black and white Moggie being the most popular followed by the black cat followed by the Tabby cat. There are also 36 recognized breeds of pedigree cats around the world with the Siamese cat being the most popular. Most homes today that keep pets have at least one cat in residence.