Cats’ Eating Habits Indicate They’ve Been Domestic Since Late Neolithic
Who doesn't love cats? We share our living spaces with them almost anywhere. Now, it is even more clear that we were together for a really long time.
A common idea on cats' characterization is how reckless and individually idiosyncratic they happen to be and that hasn't changed since they've started to live a domestic life. Well, it turns out that we've been calling them "friends" since Late Neolithic period, the study published by PNAS, National Academy of Sciences shows.
It all started thanks to farmers
Dr. Krajcarz revealed that cats sharing their habitats with humans dates back to 4,200 to 2,300 y BCE, in where we call Poland now. Implying cats have migrated from Near East to Central Europe, the research states that cats' attention was drawn by farmers and their settlements.
Unlike the farm animals tamed by humans, cats were not the kind to be domesticated. Instead, they developed a commensal relationship with humans. To be more specific, the crops called for the rodents and rodents for the cats.
You belong with who you eat with
The researchers analyzed what these so-called wild cats had eaten using a stable isotope method, which is basically detecting elements such as carbon and nitrogen, taken through their diets and found in their bone collagen. The elements, in fact, unfolded that their diet included protein and carbohydrates in some cases, the study explains.
Researchers also made a comparison regarding the less amount of nitrogen found in cats' bones than dogs' and humans'. The findings led them to suggest that cats were not fully dependent on humans, but were sharing their habitat with them.
We cannot still be one hundred percent sure if the cats were in fact domesticated or what shaped their relationship with human beings. One thing for sure is that we will most probably continue to share our personal space with felids.