How We Domesticated Cats (Twice)

  • 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):
    Ceri Thomas (who illustrated Felis silvestris lybica):

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

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  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 3 720

  • Alex Cheng
    Alex Cheng  19 minutes back

    * How cats enslaved humans twice

    • Frεε Heart and Paw Necklace on my Profile

      Aww cutie! 🐱🐾

      • Frεε Heart and Paw Necklace on my Profile

        How gorgeous! 🐱💖

        • Frεε Heart and Paw Necklace on my Profile

          How cute! 💖🐾

          • pizzahands
            pizzahands  18 hours back

            The cringiest comment section on youtube

            • rachel fish
              rachel fish  1 days back

              Domestic cats are responsible for billions of wild animal deaths a year. Keep your little tiger inside!

              • george gladd
                george gladd  1 days back

                Can African wild cat and modern house cat still have fertile off springs

                • TooThrough
                  TooThrough  1 days back

                  Anothr case of sick humans, i.e. Egyptians, Greeks & Romans, tampering w nature to suit themselves...possible too that the so-calld 'house cat' has nevr ben 'domesticatd' bt rather has alwys ben jz wat it is nw--a slightly difrnt specie than lions, tigers etc, bt still in the feline fam. I wud hope the latter bcz 'domestication' seems unnatural, unethical & inhumane--2:35-55--3:45 says it all.

                  • Beyhan Ahmed
                    Beyhan Ahmed  2 days back

                    Cats aren't domesticated, they just do what they want.

                    • Dirt Girl
                      Dirt Girl  2 days back

                      Blake was very upset his cat peed in the laundry basket

                      • cem gül
                        cem gül  2 days back

                        Hooman: How we domesticated you?
                        Cat: Yes.

                        • Don Muffins
                          Don Muffins  2 days 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  2 days back

                            Can we please get a video like this about modern Dogs

                            • ögåmês
                              ögåmês  2 days back

                              Of course I got a cats movie commercial as an ad

                              • Mike Emmons
                                Mike Emmons  2 days back

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

                                • Syberclone
                                  Syberclone  2 days back

                                  human companion was buried with it

                                  • swgeezer
                                    swgeezer  2 days 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  3 days 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  3 days back

                                        Long live our kitty overlords 😻

                                        • Peluso
                                          Peluso  3 days back


                                          • YK Chan
                                            YK Chan  3 days back

                                            We domesticated cats or cats domesticated us?

                                            • Cody Petersen
                                              Cody Petersen  3 days back

                                              Can you do a video of Australia animals

                                              • Ex Tyger
                                                Ex Tyger  3 days back

                                                Cats are superior to dogs.

                                                • mintbluberry
                                                  mintbluberry  3 days back

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

                                                  • Cocaine Minaj
                                                    Cocaine Minaj  3 days back

                                                    Awe kitties

                                                    • Daniel Vazjav
                                                      Daniel Vazjav  3 days back

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

                                                      • meesalikeu
                                                        meesalikeu  3 days back

                                                        one thing is for sure, cats domesticated the internet

                                                        • Tizona Amanthia
                                                          Tizona Amanthia  3 days back


                                                          • Officer Meow Meow Fuzzyface

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

                                                            • Dan Ness
                                                              Dan Ness  4 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  4 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  4 days back

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

                                                                    • wheelmanstan
                                                                      wheelmanstan  4 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  4 days back

                                                                        Humans DID NOT domesticate cats. Cats domesticated themselves.

                                                                        • oOoHCGoOo
                                                                          oOoHCGoOo  4 days back

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

                                                                          • Desert Moon
                                                                            Desert Moon  4 days back

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

                                                                            • AisforInterval
                                                                              AisforInterval  4 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  4 days back

                                                                                Please do an episode for when carnivorous plants ruled the earth

                                                                                • rockguru14
                                                                                  rockguru14  4 days back

                                                                                  Me when I'm sober: PBS Eons

                                                                                  Me when I'm high: Bill Wurtz

                                                                                  • Polash Quadhi
                                                                                    Polash Quadhi  4 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  5 days back

                                                                                      Sorry, but cats domesticated humans.

                                                                                      • The Macz1
                                                                                        The Macz1  5 days back

                                                                                        Poor cat was murdered

                                                                                        • KnowComment
                                                                                          KnowComment  5 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  5 days back

                                                                                            I want to go to Cyprus now

                                                                                            • TornadoOfTerror _
                                                                                              TornadoOfTerror _  5 days back

                                                                                              These cats are so adorable TvT

                                                                                              • binyamin2021
                                                                                                binyamin2021  5 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  5 days back

                                                                                                  I hate cats