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Where Do Domestic Cats Come From?

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Do you give ancient Egypt credit for the domestication of cats? That’s what many people think! But, with some new evidence, it seems that cats became our cuddly counterparts a little further east and because of an emerging pest problem. Hosted by: Hank Green ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters -- we couldn't make SciShow without them! Shout out to Bryce Daifuku, Kevin Bealer, Justin Lentz, Mark Terrio-Cameron, Patrick Merrithew, Accalia Elementia, Fatima Iqbal, Benny, Kyle Anderson, Mike Frayn, Tim Curwick, Will and Sonja Marple, Philippe von Bergen, Chris Peters, Kathy Philip, Patrick D. Ashmore, Thomas J., Charles George, Bader AlGhamdi. ---------- Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/scishow ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/were-cats-domesticated-more-once http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/12/when-cats-became-comrades http://www.pnas.org/content/111/1/116 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-house-cats-158390681/?no-ist http://www.pnas.org/content/111/48/17230.abstract http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/11/genes-turned-wildcats-kitty-cats http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/07/cat_domestication_debate_over_hunting_tameness_docility_affection_feral.html http://www.livescience.com/48696-origins-of-cat-domestication.html http://science.sciencemag.org/content/317/5837/519 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0147295 Images: Egyptian Tomb Carvings: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sarcophagus_of_Prince_Thutmose%27s_cat_by_Madam_Rafa%C3%A8le.jpg Bastet:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bastet_Istanbul_museum.JPG Fertile Crescent: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fertile_Crescent_map.png African Wild Cat: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AfricanWildCat.jpg Wild Cat 2: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Felis_Lybica_Sarda_05.JPG Leopard Cat: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leopard_Cat_Tennoji.jpg Leopard Cat Night: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leopard_cat_India.jpg
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Text Comments (1126)
Steven K (2 days ago)
Benjamin Stevens (4 days ago)
There is a possibility that more ancient domestic cat origins still may manifest. It would be interesting to trace the genome of cats to find out if there was any successful interbreeding of various self-domesticated/ing cats from disparate locals.
Eman Name (6 days ago)
I love cats :) :) :) They're good people.
mary sunshine (10 days ago)
Only thing crazier than a cat is a squirrel. Uncle earl was right.
Rob Rosen (10 days ago)
Have there been any meaningful studies on the genome of Crazy Cat Ladies? I wonder when they first appeared and how far back can they be traced. Is there any evidence of continuing evolution,or is the behaviour and development static?
weehawk (12 days ago)
1:28 I was in the waiting room of my local vet several years ago when a woman brought in a cat with no carrier, no box, no harness, not even a pillowcase. The cat promptly freaked out and bit the woman all over her hands and wrists. The cat was quite easily contained in one of those disposable cardboard carriers, but the woman needed to go to the ER to get antibiotic shots for her hands.
jacky zhu (14 days ago)
ken winston (23 days ago)
I'm always amused when she turns up her nose at food when I know where her nose has been.
Robert Snider (23 days ago)
Of course cat videos were inevitable. Cats are hilarious. They have NO SHAME at all.
Ben Tarr (24 days ago)
Laser pens aren't actually good toys for cats and dogs. They have a psychological need to catch their prey, and feel it under the paws and whiskers. Not doing so can annoy them and stress them out.
Bobby Girl (24 days ago)
Cats are independent thinkers and won't submit to humans. They demand respect . They are cool and you're cool if you can hang with a cat
Christian Morales (25 days ago)
I hate cats. They're killing the small wildlife in my area. I actually hate people who don't take enough care of their cats and allow them to go wild.
WCUK Radio (1 month ago)
wild cat, domestic cat, It's all dinner to the Chinese.
Jacob Black (1 month ago)
Cat are the best how doesn't love cats!
Turtlee (1 month ago)
We didn't domesticate cats, cats domesticated us.
Phil Heaton (1 month ago)
Domesticated cat parents. Duh.
Christopher Brunty (1 month ago)
Silly humans we all know the real question is when cats dominated humans
Sarah Ní Gabhann (1 month ago)
Cat's natural "eyeliner", however you call it, does look Middle Eastern. Maybe this is where the Ancient Egyptians got their inspiration to use the cat-like kohl around their eyes?
Emmanuel Chua (1 month ago)
one the most informative vid on cat domestication I've watched so far. great work! 😊
Came from Wild cats when they decided let's go backwards😂
Terncote (1 month ago)
They came from domestic pussies?
Pașca Alexandru (1 month ago)
Nope. You've got it soooo wrong. Cats domesticated humans, not themselves or the other way around.
jb (1 month ago)
Please get him a glass of water.
Bobby Johnson (1 month ago)
Everyone know cats came from hell
adam burdt (1 month ago)
I don't think anyone has ever been around cats. They go wild in ONE generation. And will literally bite the hand that feeds them. Even if your domestic cat has kittens you can put them in a barn And then check on them and they will hate you. There's a few week window after they're born you MUST handle them before they become irredeemable
Funke Motor (2 months ago)
Mine came from a box in my driveway. He's owned me for 8 years now.
WIFIGHOST CRUISER (2 months ago)
They come from the pet store. Next question?
BornSerious (2 months ago)
Nasty animals, cats.
Flat FlatSpin (2 months ago)
lidette711 (2 months ago)
My cats only like me when they're hungry. Once they're full, they find a pillow or a soft mat, and sleep. :D
Alan Lee (2 months ago)
lidette711 they're using you and laughing behind your back. You need to come up with a plan.
eternal8song (2 months ago)
as I was watching this my tortie cat came over and snuggled with me. however it happened, I'm glad they got domesticated somehow.
When a daddy cat and a mommy cat love each other very much...
Luis Fernando (2 months ago)
leopard cat, wow I want it as pet now.
Glenn Griffon (2 months ago)
As I have always said for all of my life "No human being has *ever* adopted a cat. Cats adopt people. That's how it is, that's how it has always been since the beginning of time." And this true. Cat's domesticated themselves. We did not adopt the cat, the cat adopted us.
ProgHead777 (2 months ago)
2:12 "Which kind of means, that the rise of cat videos..." ...was part of the cats' plan all along. All those conspiracy theorists out there scared of alien lizard people? Yeah, it ain't the lizards you should worry about... ^joke
ProgHead777 (2 months ago)
So did Felis sylvestris get it's name from Sylvester the Cat from Loony Tunes, or vice versa? Maybe you think that's a dumb question, but since there are definitely species out there today which were officially, scientifically named after the likes of Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson, I really don't think it's a dumb question.
Khalil Razak (2 months ago)
Cats are the cutest, cuddliest, snuggle fur baby's.
bobby wright (2 months ago)
Oh god!! They thought they would’ve eaten cats?! That’s some old world form of hungry desperation!
bobby wright (2 months ago)
Sure seems like the island of Cyprus is where a lot of archaeological discoveries are made?
Gideon Young (2 months ago)
Can a person who’s deathly allergic to cats own a cat and eventually grow immune to cat allergies? (I’m a cat person who’s allergic to cats :( )
Brook (2 months ago)
Chinese eat cats NOPE!!
BornSerious (2 months ago)
Brook No, the Chinese don't eat cats; they only serve them.
pistol pete (2 months ago)
Cats >>>> dumbass dogs any day
Lucas Williams (2 months ago)
I thought Bengal cat breed came from the leopard cat?
biggrigga (2 months ago)
So what happened to the domesticated leopard-cats ?
sarmistha khatua (2 months ago)
this is the purr-fect food to feed my brain♡
Joseph Kepler (2 months ago)
If cats were domesticated outside of Egypt, they cannot have been too common. Translations from the hieroglyphs tell us that it was a crime to export cats & occasionally, military expeditions were launched for the explicit purpose of returning domestic cats to the Two Lands.
The Solemn Nut (2 months ago)
Cat choose their species partner. 🤔
Der Rabbit (3 months ago)
Maybe different cats came from different domestication dates
Defensor (3 months ago)
where is Olivia?😭
Socrates Raramuri (3 months ago)
"by this time we think humans had domesticated other animals"? Have you READ Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs & Steel?! 30 domesticated animals came from this region!!!... Kinda throws a wrench in yer presuppositions, don't it...
Jeffrey Tan (3 months ago)
Need a cull control on these cute animal in disguise they are the worst invasive species in the world .
BornSerious (2 months ago)
Jeffrey Tan Absolutely right!
Johnny Favorite (3 months ago)
I had always assumed that a portal to hell opened and out they came...
Tuhin Bagh (3 months ago)
Hank you getting chubby 😂
Chucky chucky (3 months ago)
Which became a heaven for all those pesky feminists hahahaha :p
Kitty Max (3 months ago)
james (3 months ago)
I'm a dog person who just watched a cat video. My dog is going to bite my ass!😭
Alejandro González (3 months ago)
is not like some cats belong to some humans, some humans belong to some cats
Wendelbo Wendelbo (3 months ago)
Your channel is so cool
Sean Brown (3 months ago)
They landed here on Earth about 3000 years ago. They came here to conquer and are invading human homes by the millions. Toxoplasmosis is a cat bio-weapon.
Megan (3 months ago)
LOLOL the suggested videos to the right of this video... ALL THE CATS!
Low Tech Zalvo (3 months ago)
cgcg0303 (3 months ago)
GOD, Duh!
tojioni21 (3 months ago)
I believe cats was domesticated from multiple areas of the world because there was so many different people in many different areas and the reason that we find this common ancestor is probably these cat was transported and bred with other domesticated cats all over the world
Putri Damayanti (4 months ago)
0:22 Credit of a picture of a cat : Gryffindor. Feels like Harry Potter reference...
Timothy Marinelli (4 months ago)
Any cat: "Gimme treat, hooman!"
Leroy Smith (4 months ago)
Great video i sub and like
mystery8guy (4 months ago)
hey im from Cyprus :) btw cats are free to roam around here and the place is full of them
Rads (4 months ago)
So basically cats chose to be with humans and we didn't get a say in the matter? XD
Phøbia Lÿnx (4 months ago)
I’m currently watching this next to my two snuggly cat pillows, surrounded by cat plushies, while my phone is in a cat shaped case. Life’s good.
Derrick Waters (4 months ago)
Cats evolutionary niche was to be friends with humans. Interesting..
Brian Sanderson (4 months ago)
Cuddly fir babys meow
Jose Salinas (4 months ago)
The African wild cat is the ancestor of the domestic cat.
John Creighton Crowley (4 months ago)
The Chinese "domestication" sounds far me like a symbiotic relationship that died out for whatever reason as opposed to what we call domestication today. I've had cats but not because of rodents in my millet.
Brigid Knumbthumbs (4 months ago)
These Egyptians Gods domesticated themselves.
Astolfo - Rider of MGTOW (4 months ago)
My cat is a useless lazy fat ass
Broku klux klan gaming (5 months ago)
1000 I am the 1000th comment
Broku klux klan gaming (5 months ago)
tiki torch (5 months ago)
I, for one, welcome our new feline overlords.
Fox D (5 months ago)
"Cats domesticated themselves" As any cat lover knows.
azado237 (5 months ago)
"I'm a strong, independent black cat and I don't need no human! I domesticate MASELF"
Judith Rios (5 months ago)
I wonder if it's true that cats were never mentioned in the bible...
NerdyGeeky (5 months ago)
Cats are so independent they domesticated themselves..
Carlton Carlton (5 months ago)
already wrong, we were domesticated by cats
Adam Khan (5 months ago)
Cat videos are the catalyst to world domination.
WormholeJim (5 months ago)
I know this, they come from Ulthar, which is a quaint little town tucked benath the plateau of Leng. For some reason they have taken a liking to us, for which we should be tremendously grateful.
vassilopoula (5 months ago)
Cats are cats always. They do what they want.
Crusader1815 (5 months ago)
And busybodies are telling us we can't keep Asian Leopard Cats as pets because they are "dangerous wild animals." Ridiculous.
ViraIshnia (5 months ago)
I've always liked the idea that cats domesticated themselves. "This human is around where I hunt dinner and seems to like me eating the small food that eats it's food. I wonder what would happen if I walked up to it and asked for more food." That or "this furry predator eats the rats that eat my grains. I'm going to give it more food so it stays around and because IT'S SO CUTE!"
Nsa Google (6 months ago)
I love how it says Palestine not Israel. As it should be :D
desiguy55 (6 months ago)
i inadvertently watched another cat video?
Sarah Masih (6 months ago)
10 points to gryffindor!
Dakota Bledsoe (6 months ago)
The fertile crescent is historically what nation? Say it with me... smh
Marcus walker (6 months ago)
That’s called convergent evolution two separate genomes in totally separate parts of the world that didn’t interact solve similar problems the same way thus look the same
jumpstart55million (6 months ago)
1:54...Just realized where Sylvester the Cat from Looney Toons got his name from..lol
We Make Bad Videos (7 months ago)
Cats are god. Cats are smart (if in the wild).
Dercio Silveira (7 months ago)
From Hell...
Christopher Ellis (7 months ago)
Cats used to hunt rick doves on cliffs, and still do, we used to live in the shelter of cliffs in the paleolithic ☆ bugger the neolithic ☆
Doenjang Stew (7 months ago)
Wait a second. Where do you come from? Do you know that?
Gurn Blanstein (7 months ago)
You are so interesting to listen to. Brcause of your presentation and personality, not just because of the content.

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