The origin of the domestic cat

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Fraggle Rocker, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Abstracted from today's Washington Post
     
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    In my experience, there are outdoor cats (who only come home to eat and sleep) and indoor cats (who only go out for a walk or poo).
     
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  5. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Our cat Zelda has ripped out every damn screen window we have. If I step on one more damn vole, shrew, mouse or bird on my way to get the paper, I'm gonna strangle it. Why does she think I want it!? Eat it already.

    Then she will sit there pitifully meowing, wanting back in to use the litter box.
     
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  7. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    I knew this since I read Kipling's The cat who walked by himself...

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  8. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    I've got one of each. My older cat, Monty (named for Inigo Montoya) spends most time outside (weather permitting) and devastates the local wildlife. My younger cat, Salieri (the guy who killed Mozart) likes to hang around inside all the time.

    Interestingly, the outside cat was bought at a pet store (raised indoors) and the inside cat was a stray kitten found by my sister in law under her porch.

    I also have a German Shepherd and four kids (just so you know I'm not some crazy cat person).
     
  9. valich Registered Senior Member

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    Dogs are thought to have been domesticated about 15,000 years ago and I see no reason why cats shouldn't be about the same. Within the Order Carnivora, the Felimoria (cat-like)-Caniformia (dog-like) split occurred smewhere between 50-43 million years ago. About a 100,000 years ago wolves started hanging around human encampments and feeding off the refuge and a few bones thrown here and there. I'm sure cats did the same.
     
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    IIRC there was a study a couple years ago that showed domestic cats having brains about 2/3 the volume of the brain of a comparable wild cat.

    So we may have a selection pressure here for stupidity. The ones that purred, instead of clawing and running, when the little girl picked them up to put hats on them, got to live in safe, warm houses.
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Wolves are scavengers as well as hunters. Their digestive system is adapted to eating what other predators leave behind of their kill. Including the prey animal's own digestive tract and its contents. Dogs need to constantly repopulate the bacterial culture in their intestines, which is why they eat garbage and even just plain poop.

    Cats have no such nutritional requirement. They are hunters, not scavengers.

    Other animals who did wander into our camps to clean up the trash include pigs and goats, only things didn't work out too well for them.

    And of course rodents, who for some reason we never count as "domestic."

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  12. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    ???lions are scavengers
     
  13. darksidZz Valued Senior Member

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    Cats are gods, they were worshipped as such in Egypt and told many slaves what to do. A cat is more powerful and shapely than another beast, it is strong :C~
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Sorry, I was referring to the subject of the thread, what we commonly refer to as the "cat," Felis domesticus. Or possibly as the result of this DNA analysis, Felis sylvestris domesticus. Not the entire order of felids.
     
  15. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    oh, you mentioned wolves so I went with tigers.
    my bad.

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  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I guess it was Valich who brought up wolves. But since wolves and dogs are the same species we're actually talking about the origin of the domestic dog so it's relevant to the topic. There is a strong parallel. Dogs domesticated themselves, being attracted by the garbage we leave lying around. Cats domesticated themselves, being attracted by the rodents who plague our granaries to this day. The FDA actually has a standard for the maximum allowable proportion of rat droppings ground up into our flour.

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