The Common Housecat Originated from Felis Lybica

Where Did the House Cat Come From?

The common house cat that is so well-known today may have originated from a desert cat that once lived in Africa and Arabia. The history of the cat would have to go back even further than Ancient Egypt. Cats more than likely are descendants of an African wildcat named Felis Lybica, which was a desert cat that once lived in Africa and Arabia. Cats eventually migrated from Africa and the Middle East, sometimes with people or by themselves some how to other areas of the world. Felis Lybica interbred with Felis Sylvestris (European Wildcat) to become Felis catus. Felis Catus is the common house cat that is so well-known today.

With the advent of agriculture, grain was stored in great warehouses and rodents would get in and eat the grain which caused trouble for early farmers. Cats came around as there were more than enough mice for them to eat. Mice are natural prey for cats. The farmers, who grew and stored the grain were delighted to have the cats take care of their rodent problem--the cats were sort of a natural pest control. The cats helped take care of the mice by keeping their population down.

The Egyptians had a great reverence for the cat. The Egyptian goddess of love had the head of a cat. The name of the goddess was Bastet. Anyone convicted of killing a cat in ancient Egypt, would get the death sentence. Cats were highly valued in ancient Rome and the Far East, just as they were in ancient Egypt. During the Middle Ages in Europe, cats were demonized, and seen to be affiliated with witches and the devil. Many cats were killed as a result. Some believe that the killing of the cats during the Middle Ages helped a lot to spread the bubonic plague, which was carried by fleas which lived on the rats. The killing of the cats most likely did help spread the plague, which killed the majority of the population in Europe, which was ironic as the cats were not there anymore to keep the population of the mice in check.

Felis Silvestris Lybica

African Wildcat
African Wildcat | Source

Bessie and Sasha

Bessie with ghostly eyes
Bessie with ghostly eyes


Sasha also has green eyes, but is dark colored. She eats good, and eats dry cat food. I give her some canned food. She eats some of it, but I thought maybe she had been given dry cat food only, so she wasn't use to wet cat food.

Sasha is a friendly and warm cat. She likes to rub against a person's face. She is affectionate and I guess she is marking her territory, as well as Bessie. Sasha is heavier than Bessie, so she can't run and jump the way that Bessie can. Sasha is sweet and lovable, just like Bessie. Sasha and Bessie are nice cats,


I have two cats that live with me, and their names are Bessie and Sasha. Bessie is the older one that I got from an animal hospital when she was just a kitten. Bessie is about 10 or 11 years old now. She is a slender cat with gray and orange colored fur, and is a short-haired domestic cat. She has all of her claws. I adopted her from the animal hospital, but before I could take her home, she had to be spayed so that she could not have kittens. The vet did not want any unwanted kittens to be born. She has been ornery at times, and still is, but she's a nice cat. Her eyes are green. She likes to rub up against things, and myself, to be affectionate. She is a great companion and a comfort.

Bessie eats good, and she likes dry and wet canned cat food. She likes "Fancy Feast." She likes the new "morning" kind, too. Sasha eats some canned food, but not a lot. She must have always ate dry food. Bessie is finicky about some of the canned cat food as she won't eat it.

Sasha came to live with me and Bessie a few months ago. Sasha is five years old, plump, and a dark tiger-striped cat. She is de-clawed, and had all of her shots, and everything. She is a nice cat. She is warm and friendly. She vocalizes a lot, and so does Bessie. Bessie is ornery now and then, and didn't take it well when Sasha came. At first, Bessie just spat and hissed at Sasha, then, the two cats got into scuffles. They seem to get along better now, but every so often they still get into it, Bessie is always the one that starts it.

Bessie never saw any other cats, before Sasha came along. Whenever I took Bessie to the vet at the animal hospital where I got her, she would react violently. She would always growl, hiss, and was difficult to control. She has all of her claws intact, and would use them, so the veterinarian would have to be careful so that he wouldn't get clawed.

Felis Silvestris

European Wild Cat-Felis Silvestris
European Wild Cat-Felis Silvestris | Source

A Cat of Today: Felis Catus

Felis Catus-A Modern Cat
Felis Catus-A Modern Cat | Source

Some Cat Facts

1. Cats spend a lot of the day sleeping.

2. Many cats were killed in Europe during the Spanish Inquisition, which led to an exploding population in rats, which made the effects of the black death much more severe.

3. In the middle ages cats were associated with witchcraft. Many cats were tossed into bonfires and flung from church towers on hot days.

4. There are 230 bones in an adult cat--an adult human has 206 bones.

5. There are foods that should never be given to cats, which are: onions, garlic, green tomatoes, raw potatoes, chocolate, grapes, and raisins. Milk can cause upset stomachs and gas in cats and kittens. Medications like Tylenol and aspirin are highly toxic to cats. Many common household plants are toxic to cats, as well. Feeding cats dog food or canned tuna that is meant for humans can cause malnutrition in cats.

6. Cats have no sweat glands on their body. Cats can only sweat through their paws.

7. Cats have scent glands around their face, and carry their scent on their feet and around their tails. Cats like to rub against people and things to be affectionate, and to mark their territories.

8. Cats were introduced into the Americas by Europeans in the 1700's, to control pests, for example: mice and rats.

9. The Persian cat is the most popular breed of cat.

10. Cats were worshiped in Ancient Egypt, and after they died they were mummified and entombed or buried. (Cats did a lot better in Ancient Egypt, than in the middle ages in Europe, where they were tossed into bonfires, etc.)!

A Nice Cat from Youtube

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Comments 14 comments

Perry the Cat profile image

Perry the Cat 4 years ago from Mouskin, Texas

No one expects THE SPANISH INQUISITION! I am an abyssinian, decendent of the cats worshiped by Egyptians. We would have the run of the temples of Bastis, eating yummy offerings, playing with the priestesses, climbing the statues. The Spanish Inquisition was performed by Christian Europeans. What is it about Westerers and Christianity that makes people crazy?

gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

I don't know. People must have been superstitious back then in the days of The Spanish Inquisition. Nice comment-thanks.

Perry the Cat profile image

Perry the Cat 4 years ago from Mouskin, Texas

Happy to do it. I mean, really, who remembers we were gods. Actually we know we still are. It's humans who forget...

gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

Humans did forget. Thanks for the comment. Maybe they didn't remember it in the middle ages? They sure killed a lot of cats in Europe in the middle ages.

Perry the Cat profile image

Perry the Cat 4 years ago from Mouskin, Texas

Yes, it was our holocaust

gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

I totally agree, Perry the Cat.

maggs224 profile image

maggs224 4 years ago from Sunny Spain

Back in 1967 I lived in Singapore, and I had two cats, bot had their tails intact when I got them.

However, within a few weeks both cats had their tails broken so that they had a kink in them.

I had noticed that a lot of cats had crooked tails but when my cats turned up with their tails broken I asked about this (no Google back then) why so many cats had crooked tails.

I was told that the Chinese thought that the cat was a perfect animal and so that all the places in heaven were not occupied by cats they broke their tails to make them imperfect :(

I like your cats Gail :D

gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

That's really sad for the cats to have their tails broken like that. Thanks, maggs224.

alahiker28 profile image

alahiker28 4 years ago from the Deep South

I hated cats until I recently inherited one when my daughter moved. Now I've fallen in love. Such personality! Thanks for sharing about your felines.

gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

Thanks for your wonderful comment. Its a wonderful thing that you've fallen in love with your daughter's cat that you inherited. Cats do have great personalities. Your welcome.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great hub ;I loved it and look forward to so many more.


gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

Thank you, Eddy. Cats are very interesting and fun to read about.

Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 3 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

I think executing someone who harms a cat sounds good!

gail641 profile image

gail641 3 years ago from Mason City Author

Yes, people should always be good to cats and treat them well. Cats are good and not connected to the devil or to anything bad.

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