The domestic cat is the most successful of all the species of cat and in most of the world our most popular pet.
The Ultimate Guide: House Cats sets out to reveal why the domestic cat has retained many features of its wild ancestry; such as its superb sprinting ability which allows it to reach 30 mph within seconds and its extraordinary sensory ability of touch.
The domestic cat is believed to have evolved from the Near Eastern wildcat, whose range covers vast portions of the Middle East westward to the Atlantic coast of Africa.
Because cats were venerated in ancient Egypt, they were commonly believed to have been domesticated there, but there may have been instances of domestication as early as the Neolithic from around 9,500 years ago (7500 BC).
Results of a genetic study in 2007 showed that all domestic cats descended from the Near Eastern wildcat and diverged around 8000 BC in the Middle East.
The leopard cat was domesticated independently in China around 5500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domesticated populations of today.
A 2017 study confirmed that domestic cats are descendants of those first domesticated by farmers in the Near East around 9,000 years ago.
As of a 2007 study, cats are the second-most popular pet in the U.S. by number of pets owned, after freshwater fish.
In a 2010 study, they were ranked the third-most popular pet in the UK, after fish and dogs, with around 8 million being owned.
- Release date2000
- Full runtime
- Director(s)Karen Partridge
- Production companyGreen Umbrella