Were cats domesticated more than once?

Were cats domesticated more than once?

Nitesh | 2015/01/02

The rise of cats may have been inevitable. That’s one intriguing interpretation of a new study, which finds that early Chinese farmers may have domesticated wild felines known as leopard cats more than 5000 years ago. If true, this would indicate that cats were domesticated more than once—in China, and 5000 years earlier in the Middle East. It would also suggest that the rise of farming was destined to give rise to the house cat. “This is very important work that should have a great impact,” says Fiona Marshall, a zooarchaeologist at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri. Cats, she notes, largely domesticated themselves, and if this happened twice it could indicate that a whole host of animals—from donkeys to sheep—may have become domesticated with less human involvement than previously thought. &ldqu

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