If you are a pet dog or cat lover, you likely know the bond that humans and pets share. No matter the season or stage of life, there is something about the connection of a pet cat or dog and their owner that is rarely shared in other animals.
If you have ever wondered how cats and dogs first become the pets you know and love, you aren’t alone! The team at Pets Are Therapy has done a little digging to get to the root of the incredible friendship between humans and animals.
The story of how dogs and cats were domesticated finds its roots in the earliest years of humanity – and showcases how our furry best friends have always had our back! Read on to learn more about the history of pet dogs and cats.
The History Of Cats & Humans
So when did the first cat decide to take up residence with a human companion? It is believed that felines were first domesticated and brought into the daily lives of humans nearly 10,000 years ago.
Near East art, written materials, and architecture heavily feature the image of cats interposed with humans – showing the impact that the first pet cats likely had on their owners! In fact, recent DNA evidence has been discovered shows the presence of cats on ancient Egyptian farms- likely a friendship sparked by companionship and the plentiful presence of tasty rodents on Egypt’s farmland! Cats were so popular among those in the Near East that the people worshipped a cat god, and requested that they be buried with their cats when they passed away.
The first cat believed to have been domesticated was a descendent of the wild feline Felis silvestris lybica. Incredibly, the over 600 million domesticated cats around the world can trace their ancestry back to only a few females of Felis silvestris – showing just how hearty these domesticated cats truly were!
How Were Cats Domesticated?
If you know a cat, you know that nobody can truly domesticate a cat! In fact, felines are one of the only species that is known to have domesticated themselves and joined in daily life with humans when people stopped traveling to find food.
Once early human farmers began to cultivate the land, the availability of grain and crops drew mice, rats, and other rodents to farms. Naturally, cats began to emerge from nearby forests, drawn not by the crops being grown but the rodents themselves!
Once farmers discovered that cats were a great natural rodent repellent, they began to feed and protect the cats in return. The cats decided to stay with their newfound protectors, and the rest is feline history!
The History Of Dogs & Humans
While cats were likely the first animals to domesticate themselves, man’s best friend is believed to have been domesticated by man for protection and hunting purposes. Dogs and humans have a long history ranging back just as long as cats – if not longer!
Today’s household dogs can trace their ancestry back to Canis familiaris. This first domesticated dog was likely an ancestor of the Eurasian Gray Wolf, which hunted the lands of Asia nearly 15,000 years ago. New genomic studies have shown that the first dogs may have partnered with humans in remote parts of Nepal nearly 16,000 ears ago!
No matter where humans began to spring up in tribes and villages, there was likely to be a Canis familiaris or two wandering the streets, looking for a bite to eat from a friend.
How Were Dogs Domesticated?
So how did the mighty wolf – the king of the forest – become a playful and furry best friend? It’s believed that the early Canis familiaris was domesticated by early hunter-gatherers who roamed the plains hunting prey. Seeing that where humans gathered and hunted often led to a meal, dogs quickly joined the pack and scavenged for whatever the humans left behind.
The loyal friendship between dogs and humans may have begun with a bark. As the early dogs traveling with the hunters began to bark at the sound of approaching predators, humans would have time to respond to a potential attack. In return for their loyal guardianship, humans began to feed and protect the dogs in their groups.
Today’s furry best friend may be hunting for scraps under the table, but hey – it’s in their nature!
Find High Quality Products For The Pet Dog & Cat In Your Life At Pets Are Therapy
Ever since the first dog and cat were domesticated, these furry companions have brought joy and friendship to millions of individuals and families. Whether it was on a hunting field 15,000 years ago, or on the couch in 2021, dogs and cats have become a part of the human family – even if they have a few extra paws!
If you are looking for high quality products that your pet dog or cat will love, look no further than Pets Are Therapy! Our online catalogue features the best in dog and cat products – from pet supplies and toys to clothes and more! With new products being added all the time, you never know what you will find online at our store and tips about dogs, cats, and other pets. Visit us online today!
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