Cats and dogs have been domesticated for hundreds of years, but the process is still not entirely understood. What we do know is that cats were domesticated probably to deal with rodents, while dogs were domesticated to assist humans in hunting.
This blog post will explore how these two animals became our best friends!
This literature on animal domestication is not very clear exactly when human beings first started keeping dogs and cast them as pets. Based on early researchers, the domestication of cats is said to have begun so long ago, and there are no written manuals that expound on every progressive step undertaken. As a matter of fact, the domestication of cats begun eight thousand years ago. Ideally, cats were initially domesticated beginning up to twelve thousand years back.
Early human beings were predominantly hunters, and cats only became of great usefulness when man tilled the earth, eventually stocking the excess in granaries. With granaries and stores came the mice, and the moment when the first wild cats meandered into town culminated in what early proponents suggest a fascinating eventuality.
It seems that the cats were mesmerized by the plentiful rodent prey in the storehouses: as the residents were fascinated by the pest control. Could it be that the cats domesticated themselves? These concepts remain a mystery as it is said that the cats welcomed themselves in.
Further, over the period of time, humans began favoring the cats with more submissive traits, whereas others got adapted to the newfound environment. As a result, this eventuality leads to the breeds of cats we have today. Ancient Egyptian cats were adored, as evidently depicted by “Bastet,” an Egyptian goddess of love who possessed a cat’s head.
Their reverence on cats meant that if an offender would be culpable for killing a cat for no apparent reason, this warranted a death sentence. Moreover, the Romans also adored the cats as they were seen as a hallmark of liberty. For some reason, in the Far East, cats were valuable for their protection against rodents.
Empirical evidence in the study of the evolution of dogs is said that domestication was a concerted effort of man. The theoretical concept behind this entirety is that ancient man captured wolf pups from their designated dens, adopted them, gave them food, trained, and eventually tamed them.
Remarkably, the story behind this phenomenon is believed to be like a fairy tale as in modern times, nobody has even successfully domesticated a wolf, for that matter. Concerning that, other researchers have a different perspective that wolves-cum-dogs domesticated themselves. On their account, the process of dog domestication may have begun approximately at the end of Ice-Age over fifteen thousand years ago, when man was settling down for the first time.
The presence of residential villages coincidentally related to the fossil occurrences of dogs as we now know them. The idea of people settling in the same spot for a considerable period of time provided food leftovers for dogs to feed on. Things that man could not feed on eventually became foodstuff for other scavengers as they gathered by the dumpsite, attracting rats, jackals, and wolves-cum-dogs.
Early proponents believed in what there referred to as “flight distance,” a kind of behavioral feature that played a pivotal role in transforming the wild wolf into what we have now as domestic dogs. The transformation of self-domestication meant that humans began breeding dogs to assist them with hunting, herding, standing like guards, and carrying things around. Humans have intentionally bred dogs to be man’s best friends and a reverence pet in modern times.
In conclusion, Cats were domesticated for rodent control. Dogs were domesticated to be companions and hunting partners. Cats are solitary creatures while dogs thrive in social environments with other canines. This is why cats will often hunt alone, but a pack of dogs is more likely to work together on a hunt or find game. As we see the different advantages that each species offers humans, it’s no wonder they’ve become so popular as household pets around the world!