How We Domesticated Cats (Twice)

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  • Published: 07 November 2019
  • A 9,500 year old burial in Cyprus represents some of the oldest known evidence of human/cat companionships anywhere in the world. But when did this close relationship between humans and cats start? And how did humans help cats take over the world? 

    Big thanks to these paleoartists for allowing us to use their wonderful illustrations:
    Julio Lacerda (who illustrated the Cyprus grave site): 252mya.com/gallery/julio-lacerda
    Ceri Thomas (who illustrated Felis silvestris lybica): alphynix.tumblr.com/

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: superiorjanitorial.pro/user/pbsdigitalstudios

    Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:

    Katie Fichtner, Anthony Callaghan, Gina Viglietti, Laura Sanborn, Jack Arbuckle, David Sewall, Anton Bryl, Ben Thorson, Andrey, MissyElliottSmith, The Scintillating Spencer, Zachary Spencer, Stefan Weber, Ilya Murashov, Robert Amling, Po Foon Kwong, Larry Wilson, Merri Snaidman, John Vanek, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Philip Slingerland, Eric Vonk, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Alex Yan

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    References: docs.google.com/document/d/1PrjxNeht0mNaC1ROZQtSd4vs6eFljlq0Wk0W4Twh7ZQ/edit?usp=sharing
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 3 711

  • Dirt Girl
    Dirt Girl  4 hours back

    Blake was very upset his cat peed in the laundry basket

    • cem gül
      cem gül  5 hours back

      Hooman: How we domesticated you?
      Cat: Yes.

      • Don Muffins
        Don Muffins  7 hours back

        If your cat is peeing on your laundry he might be anxious. I recommend watching some of Jackson Galaxy's videos, he really taught me a lot about understanding my kitty's needs!

        • Spencerrr
          Spencerrr  13 hours back

          Can we please get a video like this about modern Dogs

          • ögåmês
            ögåmês  14 hours back

            Of course I got a cats movie commercial as an ad

            • Mike Emmons
              Mike Emmons  15 hours back

              A simple video on the history of cats, and there is a war in the comments section. Pathetically stereotypical.

              • Syberclone
                Syberclone  18 hours back

                human companion was buried with it

                • swgeezer
                  swgeezer  21 hours back

                  I can't believe they made a very well produced scientific history of cats without informing people that domestic cats are THE main cause for declines in native songbird populations. When your kitty is outside, it's an invasive species, and collectively killing more native birds than ALL OTHER factors COMBINED!

                  At least in Australia, they are killing feral cats. If you make your cat stay outside, you shouldn't have one. I hope someone takes it away from you.

                  • Mike H
                    Mike H  22 hours back

                    The cats endgame? Watch Love, Death + 🤖 🤖 🤖: How to tame a cat, for the answer.
                    Hint: apparently the third time wasn't a charm.

                    • Kosmic
                      Kosmic  23 hours back

                      Long live our kitty overlords 😻

                      • Peluso
                        Peluso  1 days back

                        meow

                        • YK Chan
                          YK Chan  1 days back

                          We domesticated cats or cats domesticated us?

                          • Cody Petersen
                            Cody Petersen  1 days back

                            Can you do a video of Australia animals

                            • Ex Tyger
                              Ex Tyger  2 days back

                              Cats are superior to dogs.

                              • mintbluberry
                                mintbluberry  2 days back

                                Please do an episode on the history of eggs! (Both the shelled kind and the mammalian kind please!) 🐣

                                • Cocaine Minaj
                                  Cocaine Minaj  2 days back

                                  Awe kitties

                                  • Daniel Vazjav
                                    Daniel Vazjav  2 days back

                                    Talk about the strange creatures of every period in the Cenozoic era!

                                    • meesalikeu
                                      meesalikeu  2 days back

                                      one thing is for sure, cats domesticated the internet

                                      • Tizona Amanthia
                                        Tizona Amanthia  2 days back

                                        Meow.

                                        • Officer Meow Meow Fuzzyface

                                          Right Meow? That supposed to be some kind of joke at my expense? OFFENDED!

                                          • Dan Ness
                                            Dan Ness  2 days back

                                            I suspect that 8 month old cat did something that killed both of them and scattered seashells all over the floor.

                                            Just sayin.

                                            • Aydin Barnbrook
                                              Aydin Barnbrook  2 days back

                                              Honestly I think Schools would love to show this. Maybe even just get them to rewatch your videos or some of them. Honestly there are a lot better teachers on youtube than public schools. Your videos are perfect for elementary, kids would love to see this kind of stuff in my opinion.

                                              • Frεε Heart and Paw Necklace on my Profile

                                                Much gorgeous! 🐾💖

                                                • Weekly Dive Dose
                                                  Weekly Dive Dose  2 days back

                                                  Very interesting, but you’re wrong from the title...cats have domesticated us 😅😉

                                                  • wheelmanstan
                                                    wheelmanstan  2 days back

                                                    that's why cats are awesome, they still look like their ancestors, therefore still capable and amazing, with the exception of persians and munchkins which are man-made abominations, how's that even legal, it's sad

                                                    • Le Visionarium
                                                      Le Visionarium  2 days back

                                                      Humans DID NOT domesticate cats. Cats domesticated themselves.

                                                      • oOoHCGoOo
                                                        oOoHCGoOo  2 days back

                                                        Cats be havin' sex super quick. You'll here a quick RAWR!!! and then they're done.

                                                        • Desert Moon
                                                          Desert Moon  3 days back

                                                          They will never be fully domesticated they should stay in the wild where they belong

                                                          • AisforInterval
                                                            AisforInterval  3 days back

                                                            This might be an odd topic, but would it be possible to cover the evolution of diseases? Like the oldest known ailments found in fossils, to the mysterious emergence of the bubonic plague? Or if that's not enough to work with, you could cover the evolution of the immune system and allergies!

                                                            • G
                                                              G  3 days back

                                                              Please do an episode for when carnivorous plants ruled the earth

                                                              • rockguru14
                                                                rockguru14  3 days back

                                                                Me when I'm sober: PBS Eons

                                                                Me when I'm high: Bill Wurtz

                                                                • Polash Quadhi
                                                                  Polash Quadhi  3 days back

                                                                  Somehow USA has to find everything's origin in Egypt, even if you find it somewhere else you must find another one in Egypt.

                                                                  • linlin lixin
                                                                    linlin lixin  3 days back

                                                                    Sorry, but cats domesticated humans.

                                                                    • The Macz1
                                                                      The Macz1  3 days back

                                                                      Poor cat was murdered

                                                                      • KnowComment
                                                                        KnowComment  3 days back

                                                                        Just as a point of reference here regarding feral cats, when they were introduced to the Americas they wiped out several native species of bird. Wiped out as in extinct. With any other such introduction of a non-native species causing that much environmental damage we would have considered them a pest and had them eradicated. Just food for thought

                                                                        • Daniel Lewis
                                                                          Daniel Lewis  3 days back

                                                                          I want to go to Cyprus now

                                                                          • TornadoOfTerror _
                                                                            TornadoOfTerror _  3 days back

                                                                            These cats are so adorable TvT

                                                                            • binyamin2021
                                                                              binyamin2021  3 days back

                                                                              @PBS Eons, I know you already made a video on Ediacran life, but could you make a video talking about the divergence of animals and fungi (or holozoa and holomycota?)?! Thank you!

                                                                              • 1 minute ago
                                                                                1 minute ago  3 days back

                                                                                I hate cats

                                                                                • touraj azmoudeh
                                                                                  touraj azmoudeh  4 days back

                                                                                  but really DID WE?!!!

                                                                                  • Ch L
                                                                                    Ch L  4 days back

                                                                                    Much peed on my playstation

                                                                                    • Parker Addams
                                                                                      Parker Addams  4 days back

                                                                                      "we" domesticated cats. they chose this.

                                                                                      • Canzandridas Joe
                                                                                        Canzandridas Joe  4 days back

                                                                                        I started with PBS Space Time, and now I'm hooked to PBS Eons... I don't really know if I want or should check if there're more

                                                                                        • Balaji Ponnusamy
                                                                                          Balaji Ponnusamy  4 days back

                                                                                          Ancient human used cats to clean their mess within their settlements but what's happening today?

                                                                                          • King Tua
                                                                                            King Tua  4 days back

                                                                                            Can we domesticate crocodiles

                                                                                            • Nickolas H
                                                                                              Nickolas H  4 days back

                                                                                              Who else here is from Cyprus? We the kitty island of Europe. 😊🐱🐈

                                                                                              • HiWetcam
                                                                                                HiWetcam  4 days back

                                                                                                See the disgusting bent spine ‘ideal’ German Shepherd pic at time 5:00?

                                                                                                • Harry Lime
                                                                                                  Harry Lime  4 days back

                                                                                                  Cats are still kill for thrill animals. That has never been bread out of them. They kill to kill, not just to eat..
                                                                                                  Australia has a real problem with feral cats.. harmless animals in Australia that have lived there for thousands of years like the koala bear and the sloth are being wiped out by feral cats. it is not known how many species of indigenous animals that have lived in Australia for thousands of years have already been wiped out by the cat ...