Cats are loving but mysterious creatures. It’s no secret that they’re not like us, and we’ll probably never fully understand them. But that’s part of what makes these amazing felines so special. It’s little wonder that cats are some of the most popular superstars on the internet, from Star Wars Cats, Keyboard Cat, to thousands of cat memes circulating social media. In fact, the phrase “cat videos” has become a go-to for fun stuff to watch online. If you love cats, take this fun trivia quiz and discover how much you know about them. Some of the answers may surprise you.
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When Did Cats Become Pets?
True to a cat's nature, the elusive feline took its time deciding whether to warm up to humans. Unlike dogs, cats lived for thousands of years alongside humans before becoming pets. DNA analysis suggests that early ancestors of today’s domestic cats spread from southwest Asia and into Europe as early as 4400 B.C. and started hanging out around farm communities. Rodents were attracted to crops and other agricultural byproducts, and so, about 8,000 years ago, cats became rodent patrol, a mutually beneficial relationship with humans.
Surveying the DNA of more than 200 cats, spanning the last 9,000 years, researchers found that two major cat lineages of Felis lybica contributed to the domestic feline we know today. Their genes have changed little from these early wildcats--though they've picked up up two more recent tweaks, the distinctive stripes and dots of the tabby cat. Then, as now, cats were cherished companions. As many as 74 million cats live in U.S. homes today.
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