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Domesticated dogs are considered the ancestors of a now-extinct species of wolf that had been domesticated years ago for the purpose of hunting. I found out from this site that domesticated rabbits come from a species in the Mediterranean raised for food.

I was wondering what kind of domestication process cats followed; if it was something similar to how dogs became pets, or if it was something different.

How did the domestic cats we have today come about?

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The domestication of cats was a multi-step process like that of the dog coming from wolves. It seems to have taken place in the Fertile Crescent region of ancient Egypt. The friendliest of the wild cats would make a living by hanging out near human dwellings and killing the rats and mice that they found there. The humans offered additional food as a reward for their service. And so it went.

Although domestication was evident about 10,000 years ago, genetic studies show that the "wild cats" that gave rise to domestic cats branched off from their even wilder brethren about 130,000 years ago. Here is an article DNA research identifies homeland of the domestic cat published in The Guardian in March of 2014 as a reference that will take you through the whole deal.

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