Researchers speculate cats congregated near farms to feast on the abundant rodents attracted to stored grain and farmers tolerated the feline exterminators. The human-feline bond was definitely in place 4,000 years ago as evidenced by Egyptian pyramid wall art depicting cats cavorting with humans.
Whether cats began the road to domestication 4,000 years ago or earlier, their genomes have changed little since they split from wild felines. The sound of kibble plunking in a bowl or the aroma of tuna being released by a can opener may quickly get your cat's attention, but like his wild cousins, he can still stalk a mouse or bird to get an unscheduled meal.
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