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Angela
21-09-16, 16:59
I don't remember if we've discussed this before...

"How cats conquered the world(and a few Viking ships)"

http://www.nature.com/news/how-cats-conquered-the-world-and-a-few-viking-ships-1.20643

The most interesting conclusion:

"Researchers know little about cat domestication, and there is active debate over whether the house cat (Felis silvestris) is truly a domestic animal — that is, its behaviour and anatomy are clearly distinct from those of wild relatives. “We don’t know the history of ancient cats. We do not know their origin, we don't know how their dispersal occurred."

I guess there's a lot more work to be done.

As to the first part of the statement, I suppose it depends what you mean by "domesticated". They certainly can live with us without harming us, they're very useful at keeping vermin away, and they can be lovely companions (says the owner of two dearly loved cats), but they're not like dogs. It seems to me they can return to their feral state in the blink of an eye, and they can still breed with wild cats.

"Cat populations seem to have grown in two waves, the authors found. Middle Eastern wild cats with a particular mitochondrial lineage expanded with early farming communities to the eastern Mediterranean. Geigl suggests that grain stockpiles associated with these early farming communities attracted rodents, which in turn drew wild cats.

After seeing the benefit of having cats around, humans might have begun to tame these cats.
Thousands of years later, cats descended from those in Egypt spread rapidly around Eurasia and Africa. A mitochondrial lineage common in Egyptian cat mummies from the end of the fourth century bc to the fourth century ad was also carried by cats in Bulgaria, Turkey and sub-Saharan Africa from around the same time. Sea-faring people probably kept cats to keep rodents in check, says Geigl, whose team also found cat remains with this maternal DNA lineage at a Viking site dating to between the eighth and eleventh century ad in northern Germany."

As Skoglund pointed out in the article, they need to use more than just mtdna to answer the remaining questions.

Have you guys ever seen pictures of cat mummys? I find the whole ancient Egyptian thing with cats fascinating.

https://storytellerscampfire.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/cat-mummy.jpg

Maybe part of it is because they're so beautiful and graceful:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/British_Museum_Egypt_101-black.jpg

I have the same earrings. :)

Bastet in semi human form:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/26/01/f2/2601f2761e85de3e5cd6f2474e50f41f.jpg

Of course, we still have Cat Woman too, equally beautiful. I've lost track of how many actresses have played her.

davef
22-09-16, 15:25
You should get a savannah cat! Its a hybrid between a regular typical house cat and an African serval. Its pretty cool; it's got spots across its body, is capable of GROWLING (like a lion) and (as one would expect) is way bigger and stronger in comparison to regular house cats! I think I read that they're pretty safe to own.

davef
22-09-16, 16:22
Here's one growling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rE3ckqZ2zc

Angela
22-09-16, 17:53
No thank-you. That would scare the you know what out of me...

Even regular house cats can be pretty fierce if necessary, however. See the hero cat:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw9AwaJaVGU

This is how my cats behave...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_195095373&feature=iv&src_vid=KPclyCUIaX0&v=zxeeysNrEvM

Cats, dog, kids, husband, all totally spoiled!

When my children were little I would often wake up with a stiff neck and cramped limbs because during the night the kids, the dog, and the cat, would all sneak into bed with us. Just add a cat sleeping half on my head and half on the pillow, and a dog burrowing in between me and children and you'll get the picture!

http://previews.123rf.com/images/wavebreakmediamicro/wavebreakmediamicro1307/wavebreakmediamicro130702806/20640603-Cute-family-sleeping-together-in-bed-Stock-Photo.jpg

Maleth
22-09-16, 18:06
You should get a savannah cat! Its a hybrid between a regular typical house cat and an African serval. Its pretty cool; it's got spots across its body, is capable of GROWLING (like a lion) and (as one would expect) is way bigger and stronger in comparison to regular house cats! I think I read that they're pretty safe to own.

Most cats do that growl if they feel the acquired a great meal and someone is going to take it away from them :)

@Angela. I love my cats because they do a good job keeping the mice away. They are very cute and cuddly too. I presume like dogs they must have pretty easy and in a way natural to domisticate

davef
22-09-16, 18:18
Yeah, a bit risky if you consider that the cat might "take after" its serval parent more and grow to a size that matches that of a full blooded serval! In fact, there's a handful of people out there who own the full beast! Based on vids, full bloods don't let their bigger size get in the way of being about as fast and agile as puny house cats.

Obviously given that they are closer to the wild, their dietary requirements might be a bit different, not to mention they would obviously have higher caloric requirements since they are bigger and stronger than house cats.

Angela
23-09-16, 05:04
Most cats do that growl if they feel the acquired a great meal and someone is going to take it away from them :)

@Angela. I love my cats because they do a good job keeping the mice away. They are very cute and cuddly too. I presume like dogs they must have pretty easy and in a way natural to domisticate

Yes, and we selected those animals in which that was more the case, I think. Perhaps we've just been at it longer with dogs, and that's why they are more "trainable". As much as I love my cats, they're not like dogs.

Mine, I'm afraid, do absolutely nothing for their keep because I had one beloved pet get hit by a car, and so now they're strictly house cats. Believe it or not, one of them lets me put him on a leash; I make it really long and attach it to my lounge chair when I'm outside. Otherwise, he claws at the screen door and yowls for hours. The other one, the female, is less needy. :) I don't walk him, but I'm sure I could. The other one is less trainable, although she can be guaranteed to close every light switch and open door in the house, why I don't know. They do growl if they're played with too roughly, and hiss too, but their voices are like a whisper compared to that half wild cat.


I do find them endlessly fascinating to watch. So do a lot of people, apparently. I read somewhere the other day that a lot of people watch videos of cats, especially kittens, playing, and they do it because it calms them. Even he-men aren't immune to their charms:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_793886591&feature=iv&src_vid=L6EwZWWRA-U&v=bG5fFI3eorg

Young men, in particular, love to torture them, even if in a gentle way, to make them do funny things.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EIbWjkimAs

davef
23-09-16, 05:21
You know more about young men than I do and I'm a young man! And I couldn't stop laughing at the last video you posted, especially at 1:46 when the young man in the video tricked the cat with the shadow of his hand, lol. I never owned a cat, but they are so funny when messed around with, at least to this young man lol

davef
23-09-16, 05:22
go to 5:40 as well, that was hilarious lol

davef
23-09-16, 05:27
WAIT GO TO 8:52 WITH THE BLOW DRYER LOL OMG that is HILARIOUS

davef
23-09-16, 05:38
Is this strictly a young male thing, or a young millenial male phenomenon?

Aaron1981
23-09-16, 07:12
Cats are absolutely amazing. Few people realize that they can be extremely affectionate and enjoy purring on your lap, it's very relaxing. I'm not a dog person because they remind me of city dwelling 'liberal elites'. All these liberal voters get these small yappy dogs that annoy the living daylights out of me. Gotta live in that condo and walk that miniscule, poorly bred, yappy dog that you just want to kick. Cats on the other hand - beautiful, majestic, and independent.

Maleth
23-09-16, 16:03
Yeah, a bit risky if you consider that the cat might "take after" its serval parent more and grow to a size that matches that of a full blooded serval! In fact, there's a handful of people out there who own the full beast! Based on vids, full bloods don't let their bigger size get in the way of being about as fast and agile as puny house cats.

Obviously given that they are closer to the wild, their dietary requirements might be a bit different, not to mention they would obviously have higher caloric requirements since they are bigger and stronger than house cats.

Is that cat in the video still a baby cat? Ooooo, I don't think I would feel comfortable with anything that grows larger then a normal house cat :/...and even those you need to learn their temperaments which is quite manageable in my opinion.

Maleth
23-09-16, 16:14
Yes, and we selected those animals in which that was more the case, I think. Perhaps we've just been at it longer with dogs, and that's why they are more "trainable". As much as I love my cats, they're not like dogsMine, I'm afraid, do absolutely nothing for their keep because I had one beloved pet get hit by a car, and so now they're strictly house cats. Believe it or not, one of them lets me put him on a leash; I make it really long and attach it to my lounge chair when I'm outside. Otherwise, he claws at the screen door and yowls for hours. The other one, the female, is less needy. :) I don't walk him, but I'm sure I could. The other one is less trainable, although she can be guaranteed to close every light switch and open door in the house, why I don't know. They do growl if they're played with too roughly, and hiss too, but their voices are like a whisper compared to that half wild cat

One reason why i prefer cats to dogs is that they are much more independent. Mine roam around in the yard terrace and roofs and even though they can they never venture to other gardens or the street, and only consider coming indoors when it gets cooler. I can even travel leaving them at home with someone just coming to feed them daily. Dogs for sure are a little more demanding, but then they say they are much more faithful to their owners. I had a cat that passed away last year at 16 years of age. She used to meow wildly, one after the other when she heard the garage door opening as i got the car in. I never recall ever hearing a cat doing that. My mum (who dislikes cats immensely) noticed that too and told me this cat is not normal :). They all have their very own funny characters.

Angela
23-09-16, 17:21
Is that cat in the video still a baby cat? Ooooo, I don't think I would feel comfortable with anything that grows larger then a normal house cat :/...and even those you need to learn their temperaments which is quite manageable in my opinion.

Me neither. :)

In terms of cats and dogs there are general temperamental differences by breed. When choosing a pet you have to keep that in mind, imo. I have a Wheaton terrier, which I chose after a lot of research because I wanted a dog who wouldn't shed very much, was a manageable size for a suburb (sorry Andrew, but it's cruel to confine a big dog into a small apartment or even a suburban yard), was smart and easy to train, and had a relatively easy going temperament. Even so, I deliberately got a puppy from private breeders whose dogs I knew because a neighbor had one. This woman adored the dog she got from that breeder. When he died her children bought her a puppy from a local pet store and it was really different in temperament...much less calm and manageable...more yappy in Andrew's terms. :) The dogs produced by "puppy mills" usually have those issues.

I would personally never own a Pit Bull or a Doberman, for example. A German Shepherd is another matter, but even there I would hesitate to get one if I had babies or toddlers.

It's the same with cats. I'm not fond of Siamese cats; they "vocalize" all the time and their "voices" are extremely loud. Plus, they're incredibly hyper, running around the room constantly. I had a Persian Blue as a young woman, a gift to me from a client, and it was beautiful, but they're independent even for cats, and whenever anyone else showed up it would skitter away and hide for the whole day. It also was prone to growling up a storm and hissing if you got anywhere near its food bowl. Now I have two "regular" cats I rescued from a shelter, and they're both lovely, different one from the other, but lovely.

All of that said, animals, like children, have to be socialized imo. With cats, in particular, you have to spend a lot of time with them from the time they're very young kittens, and when they transition into that adult cat stage when they can start to get very standoffish, I make a particular effort to keep them with me and to maintain physical contact. Otherwise, it seems to me from observing some people's cats, they can just become "boarders". You know, sort of like "adult" children. :)

@Davef,

You forget; I raised a young man, and his friends were and are constantly underfoot. :) There isn't anything about him I don't understand. Girls, including his sister, are a lot more complicated and opaque, imo.

I think it's a male thing, honestly, this "teasing" that can sometimes seem a little cruel to me. My father used to occasionally do it with our animals too, rough housing with the dog or cat until they growled, or snapped, in the case of the dog, or hissed and scratched in the case of the cat. I've said, "Stop it now, that's mean, stop bothering the poor thing" hundreds of times, probably. Don't misunderstand, the animal isn't hurt or mistreated, just teased, as in the video. As an example, the door to my closet has a full length mirror on the inside of it. My son used to love to open it if the cat was in my bedroom because he thought it was hilarious to see one of the cats run at it full speed thinking it was another cat only to smack right into it. It's the dumber of the two cats, obviously. Like I said, they aren't dogs. :) To be fair, a cat's eye sight at short distances is pretty poor; they go by movement and smell, not necessarily fine points of visual difference.

If you roughhouse with a cat like this you deserve to be scratched or bitten, in my opinion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLuc1x2y_M4

Dogs are very different in what you can train them to do, and in how much they understand. I think my dog is as intelligent as some toddlers. I'm convinced that she understands at least a dozen if not more words, whereas the cats are responding to tone of voice, really. If I say, do you want to go for a walk, she goes to get her leash and brings it to me. I won't bore you with dozens of stories, but she's like a person, a kinder, more considerate person. I don't doubt that your cat greets you, however; so do mine. When I pull into the garage I can hear only the dog, but when I step into the kitchen all the animals are there, and they stay there until they've all been petted. In fact, all three of them also trail me from room to room in the house, unless they're sleeping, and they sleep in my room. One of my cats tries to follow me when I go for a walk, as well. A lot, as with children, is how you treat them.

One of my friends sent me this about a year ago...a cat greeting its owner, a returning soldier:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx14ohE6nHs

Some more:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJlhj1FSeN8

davef
24-09-16, 05:02
I love messing around with dogs as well and setting off their aggression! I think it may just be an evolutionary trait that males have; we love to spar as it seems. I'll even bring up the fact that myself and a close friend of mine love to insult and poke fun at each other in some of the most vulgar ways imaginable.

davef
24-09-16, 05:07
As an example, usually when we discuss imaginary scenarios of us being chased by a giant (insert frightening ceature here) he would say how he would shove me towards the creature, thus giving him more time to flee because um, well....lol

Maciamo
24-09-16, 08:58
Interesting point about the difference in domestication level between cats and dogs. Actually, when we think about it, dogs are very special.

They are the only domesticated species that has been selected for neotenised (i.e. infantile) traits. Dogs are made to look and behave like puppies that never grow up into adults. Their development stops at the young teenager stage. That's why they remain playful, but also dependent on their human 'parents'. That's also why they make a great substitute for children, either for people who haven't got any yet (as a training before having them), people who can't or don't want kids, or once the kids have grown up and left home.

Dogs are the only animals that may not be able to survive alone in the wild (especially smaller kinds of dogs like Chihuahua and poodles; larger ones like German shepherds might still make do).

Dogs are also the only pets that have enough breeds to cover the whole gamut of human personalities, so that there will (hopefully) always be one that fit your needs.

What we mean by domesticated animals is normally animals that are no longer afraid of humans and have lost most of their natural aggression toward them. Yet most are still fairly wild animals that could survive on their own. That applies to horses, cows, sheep, goats, and cats. In the same category I should add swans, geese, ducks and other waterfowls that have grown so accustomed to humans feeding them that they are no longer afraid, readily come toward humans and beg for food. In facts many of those who are used to see people daily in parks won't budge if you approach them, unless you try to catch them. Some will eat in your hand or even steal food from your hand if you are not feeding them fast enough (which can be more scary for small children than the other way round). Pigeons are also less easily scared of random humans than cats (who will scamper at the sight of boisterous kids or even some unknown adult). The American squirrel, who has taken over most British parks, could also be considerated a domesticated animals, as not only do they not fear humans, but many will readily climb onto them if fed (but increasingly now just as a habit). Few people could classify pigeons or urban grey squirrels as domesticated animals, but they are just as domesticated as cows, if not more. (When is the last time you had a cow come to you beg for food and that she ate in your hand?)

What all domesticated animals share is the friendly contact and lack of fear of humans, usually because we feed them, but not always (sheep, horses and cows could survive just on grass). Only dogs absolutely need us to survive, both for food and for company (and some even for shelter). Dogs are beyond domestication. They have become family members, going with people everywhere, in cars and public transports, and following them on holiday, in a way that cats or any other animals just couldn't. Dogs are also the only animals that would risk their lives to save us (well, Labradors, St Bernards or Newfoundlands, not Poodles and Chihuahuas, obviously). There is joke that British people care more about their dogs than their own children, and when you watch them around their dogs there is a good chance that there is more than a ring of truth to it.

bicicleur
24-09-16, 10:02
It is indeed amazing how fast some animals became adapted to city life.
And the common ancestor of all todays dog races would be only 3-400 years old.
Nature and animals can change and adapt very fast.

davef
25-09-16, 04:49
This video rocks! I would love to own a cat with THAT growl! It's so...animalistic!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU1AsAAJen4

davef
25-09-16, 05:14
50% of his heritage descends from a parent similar to the creature in this vid fending itself from a pack of cheetahs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhgvxfIIA-M

Mayama
04-03-19, 14:49
WAIT GO TO 8:52 WITH THE BLOW DRYER LOL OMG that is HILARIOUS
Ah god, I almost fall from my chair from laughing)