A new study where researchers examine the DNA from the bones and teeth of more than 200 ancient cats has revealed far more about when and how cats found their way from the edges of civilisation into our homes, heart and ultimately the internet. 

Cats’ dispersal happened in two waves. 9,000 years ago, people successfully tamed wild cats for the first time, and a few thousand years later they were domesticated again. Along the way they partnered up with both early farmers and Vikings.

They might not be man’s best friend, as their canine housemates, but there’s nothing more ameeeowsing than when a cat gives you the honour of curling up on your lap, though they are purrrfectly capable of living outdoors and feeding themselves.

 


Materials provided by Nature. You can read the original research paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.