Search
Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images
Animals

DNA Reveals How Domestic Cats Conquered the World

Today's prized show kitties and mixed-breed lap loungers trace back to felines that were deployed for rodent-eating duty on ships and farms.

D D omestic cats live on all continents except Antarctica, and thrive in Earth’s most remote regions. The evolutionary success of cats is unquestioned, and yet few major differences appear to exist between these furry dynamos and their wild counterparts.
The cat goddess Bastet, bronze statue. Egyptian civilisation, Saite period (XXVI Dynasty), 672-525 BC. | DeAgostini/Getty Images
Key to the global spread of cats were early shipping trade routes. | Martin Bahmann, Wikimedia Commons
A pair of mackerel tabby cats. | Wikimedia Commons