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The History of Cats Explained
The world’s most popular pet is the domestic cat, there is believed to be close to half a billion domestic cats in the world today. The history of cats however starts way back before the modern twentieth century right to the beginning of known and recorded history. The ancient history of the domestic cat starts at the time of the ancient Egyptians 4000 years ago where they were regarded as sacred creatures.
Cats in Ancient Egypt
The domestic cats are thought to have come from the African Wild Cat. The breed was domesticated in ancient Egypt to control vermin which was harming crops and causing diseases. And like our fury friends now they were very good at catching mice and rats! The cats controlled the rat population which reduced disease and deaths and also allowed a larger supply of food for the poor. This therefore changed the quality of living for the Egyptians and cats become a sacred creature representing life. They were associated with the goddesses Bast, Isis and Pasht. By the time the Egyptian empire fell cats were revered as master hunters and were worshiped like gods by all Egyptians including the pharaoh. If an Egyptian killed a cat they were immediately given the death penalty yet the fear of the all mighty cat itself made this a rare occurrence. The pharaoh’s were mummified and buried with statues of cats. This represented good luck and safe companionship to the afterlife. Even today archaeologists are finding more and more hieroglyphics, statues and carvings of cats emphasizing there importance in Ancient Egypt. Some cats were even mummified and their bodies left to lay in tombs and shrines. It was illegal to sell a cat outside of Egypt as they were such an important asset to their beliefs and society. The history of domesticated cats started in Egypt where they acclaimed their first home, but like all cats they didn’t want to stay in one place to long!