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Evolutionary Timeline of Domesticated Cats

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on 2 June 2014

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Transcript of Evolutionary Timeline of Domesticated Cats

Evolutionary Timeline of Domesticated Cats
With 600 million cats living as pets worldwide (Scientificamerican 2009) it is safe to say Cats are one of the most popular domesticated pets. In today's society cats are used for a sense of companionship and its cuteness. With no truly useful traits today how have earned this popularity?
Current Day
Domestic Cats in the 2000's
People feel special connections with cats and seek companions in them
The ability to hunt rodents is no longer an important trait favored for common house cats
Cats began to bond with prey
Diet changed to food scraps and artificially flavored cat food
Cats are bred for appearance
Cats began to be reintroduced as house pets
people took a liking to cats again most likely due to the appearance of the new fancy breeds of cats
20th Century flourish
Breeding For traits 1871
up until this point in time cats were only favored for hunting rodents
Natural selection bred cats that lived well with humans and could hunt
Britain began breeding cats using artificial selection to create "fancy cat breeds"
They also began displaying these new "fancy cat breeds" at cat shows
Domesticated cats were not seen very often until the 15th and 16th century
Sailors and explores kept cats on boats to control the rodent population and for companionship
Due to ships crashing and simply being left behind cats quickly spread around the world
Cats population began to rise
Cats on Deck 15/16th Century
superstition & the plague
During the middle ages people began associating cats with bad luck (superstitions) and Satan
Around the same time the plague began its horrors
People of Britain began to blame cats for the plague and slaughtering thousands of cats
The rodent population then increased due to their lack of predators
500 BC the emperor of china was given a domestic cat as a gift
Domesticated cats soon became a popular pet among rich
People began value domestic cats because they would attack vermin in houses
Cats for Royalty and the Rich
100 AD Cats spread from India and Japan to Britain
Cats spread from Egypt and China over to Japan and India
In the far east there were no wild cats so here domestic cats began to breed amongst themselves giving new varieties of cats
Cats then made their way over to Britain where they were highly respected
Britain enforced a law forbidding the killing of cats
The domesticated cats we see today originated from the african wild cat
Domestication was popularized 3,600 years ago by the Egyptians
They associated cats with 3 of their goddesses
killing of a cat was punishable by death
Egyptians & Origin
The Future of Cats?
So far cats have adapted shorter legs (most likely due to artificial selection and lack of need for long legs when indoors), smaller brains and a larger intestine (adapted to digest kitchen scraps). in the future cats will probably continue to be bred by artificial selection for their appearance. Cats with large eyes, fluffy coats and smaller bodies will be favored over others. this will lead to a new type of cat that may look something like this in adult hood:
Bibliography
Discroll, C. (2009, June). The Evolution of House Cats. <i>Scientific American Global RSS</i>. Retrieved June 1, 2014, from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-taming-of-the-cat/

Martin, A. (2009, May 26). The Evolution of Darwin 2008. <i>: Evolution of the Modern House Cat</i>. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://darwinevolving.blogspot.ca/2009/05/evolution-of-modern-house-cat.html

History of Cats | Timeline of Cats History. (n.d.). <i>History of Cats | Timeline of Cats History</i>. Retrieved June 1, 2014, from http://www.the-cat-guide.com/history-of-cats.html
By Adisson Dunn
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