How We Domesticated Cats (Twice)

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, November 6, 2019
  • A 9,500 year old burial in Cyprus represents some of the oldest known evidence of human/cat companionships anywhere in the world. But when did this close relationship between humans and cats start? And how did humans help cats take over the world? 

    Big thanks to these paleoartists for allowing us to use their wonderful illustrations:
    Julio Lacerda (who illustrated the Cyprus grave site):
    Ceri Thomas (who illustrated Felis silvestris lybica):

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

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  • Balaji Ponnusamy

    Balaji Ponnusamy

     38 minutes ago

    Ancient human used cats to clean their mess within their settlements but what's happening today?

  • Casey Bourbon

    Casey Bourbon

     an hour ago

    This is great mainstream media PBS...Now I can eliminate one explanation of how cats were "domesticated."

  • King Tua

    King Tua

     2 hours ago

    Can we domesticate crocodiles

  • Nickolas H

    Nickolas H

     2 hours ago

    Who else here is from Cyprus? We the kitty island of Europe. 😊🐱🐈

  • HiWetcam


     2 hours ago

    See the disgusting bent spine ‘ideal’ German Shepherd pic at time 5:00?

  • Harry Lime

    Harry Lime

     3 hours ago

    Cats are still kill for thrill animals. That has never been bread out of them. They kill to kill, not just to eat..
    Australia has a real problem with feral cats.. harmless animals in Australia that have lived there for thousands of years like the koala bear and the sloth are being wiped out by feral cats. it is not known how many species of indigenous animals that have lived in Australia for thousands of years have already been wiped out by the cat ...

  • xenomorph özkan n

    xenomorph özkan n

     4 hours ago

    I live in cyprus and ı have 5 cats

  • Wassoll Das

    Wassoll Das

     5 hours ago

    Is a cat actually "domesticated"? I mean, usualy we use "domesticated" on lifeforms, that have, from one point onwards, an evolution that is controlled by humans instead of nature and by this clearly differ to the non-domesticated variant by DNA.

    Humans domesticated wheat/corn and fruits and vegetables, horses and sheep and goats and dogs. But cats?

    If cats are domesticated, then the genepool of house cats would need to be different from the genepool of wild cats. Their genepool would need to be optimized for a life alongside humans. (Like dogs genepool is. Human took a wolf and cleansed the genepool from everything he doesnt like and then he picked very rare genetical traits that he liked and made them so common that every single dog has them. THATS what is called "Domesticated". Thats totaly different from "tame".

    "Tame" is = the animal has LEANED to exist alongside humans. "Domesticated" means, the animals DNA was altered to perfectly exist alongside humans. Thats why one usualy warns from "tame" wild animals. BEcause their DNA is still wild, they can suddenly turn back to wild behavior. Domesticated animals should have that behavior removed from their genepool. At least mostly.

  • EbuHasan sabbah

    EbuHasan sabbah

     5 hours ago

    Human cant domesticate cats cats domesticates humans

  • Bahrain


     5 hours ago

    9500 years ago he had a boat !! How did he get to Cyprus

  • scotttufts


     7 hours ago

    Think about the 18 hundreds where cats will hunt rabbits and flay them for you oh wait that was 1997 for me

  • Photo Finish

    Photo Finish

     7 hours ago

    This story is just one big play on words.

  • Photo Finish

    Photo Finish

     7 hours ago

    Dumping grounds, just like the British dumping pigeons everywhere.

  • frep you

    frep you

     7 hours ago

    are you sure the cats did not domesticate humans ^_-

  • Shadow Realm

    Shadow Realm

     7 hours ago

    Cars rule the word

  • Agustin Mario Quiroga

    Agustin Mario Quiroga

     10 hours ago

    You guys got anything on the peopling of the Americas ?

  • Lorkhanable


     10 hours ago

    I have a question for a video! Why do some Asian peoples have thin eyes?

  • Peter Walker

    Peter Walker

     10 hours ago

    Yes well, if they were 10 times larger our relationship with them would be somewhat different ...

  • mr spring

    mr spring

     11 hours ago +1

    Do a video on evolution of ants

  • TANGT2


     11 hours ago +1

    I saw a feral cat in a plantation yesterday, I was happy to see cats living in natural habitats.