How We Domesticated Cats (Twice)

PBS Eons
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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: usvid.net/u-pbsdigitalstudios
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References: docs.google.com/document/d/1PrjxNeht0mNaC1ROZQtSd4vs6eFljlq0Wk0W4Twh7ZQ/edit?usp=sharing

Science & Technology

Published on


Nov 6, 2019




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Comments 3 714
pizzahands 12 hours ago
The cringiest comment section on youtube
rachel fish
rachel fish Day ago
Domestic cats are responsible for billions of wild animal deaths a year. Keep your little tiger inside!
george gladd
george gladd Day ago
Can African wild cat and modern house cat still have fertile off springs
TooThrough Day ago
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 Day ago
Cats aren't domesticated, they just do what they want.
Dirt Girl
Dirt Girl Day ago
Blake was very upset his cat peed in the laundry basket
cem gül
cem gül Day ago
Hooman: How we domesticated you? Cat: Yes.
Don Muffins
Don Muffins Day ago
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 Day ago
Can we please get a video like this about modern Dogs
ögåmês Day ago
Of course I got a cats movie commercial as an ad
Mike Emmons
Mike Emmons Day ago
A simple video on the history of cats, and there is a war in the comments section. Pathetically stereotypical.
Syberclone 2 days ago
human companion was buried with it
swgeezer 2 days ago
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 2 days ago
The cats endgame? Watch Love, Death + 🤖 🤖 🤖: How to tame a cat, for the answer. Hint: apparently the third time wasn't a charm.
Kosmic 2 days ago
Long live our kitty overlords 😻
Peluso 2 days ago
YK Chan
YK Chan 2 days ago
We domesticated cats or cats domesticated us?
Cody Petersen
Cody Petersen 2 days ago
Can you do a video of Australia animals
Ex Tyger
Ex Tyger 2 days ago
Cats are superior to dogs.
mintbluberry 3 days ago
Please do an episode on the history of eggs! (Both the shelled kind and the mammalian kind please!) 🐣
Cocaine Minaj
Cocaine Minaj 3 days ago
Awe kitties
Daniel Vazjav
Daniel Vazjav 3 days ago
Talk about the strange creatures of every period in the Cenozoic era!
meesalikeu 3 days ago
one thing is for sure, cats domesticated the internet
Tizona Amanthia
Tizona Amanthia 3 days ago
Officer Meow Meow Fuzzyface
Right Meow? That supposed to be some kind of joke at my expense? OFFENDED!
Dan Ness
Dan Ness 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
Very interesting, but you’re wrong from the title...cats have domesticated us 😅😉
wheelmanstan 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
Humans DID NOT domesticate cats. Cats domesticated themselves.
oOoHCGoOo 3 days ago
Cats be havin' sex super quick. You'll here a quick RAWR!!! and then they're done.
Desert Moon
Desert Moon 3 days ago
They will never be fully domesticated they should stay in the wild where they belong
AisforInterval 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
Please do an episode for when carnivorous plants ruled the earth
rockguru14 4 days ago
Me when I'm sober: PBS Eons Me when I'm high: Bill Wurtz
Polash Quadhi
Polash Quadhi 4 days ago
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 4 days ago
Sorry, but cats domesticated humans.
The Macz1
The Macz1 4 days ago
Poor cat was murdered
KnowComment 4 days ago
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 4 days ago
I want to go to Cyprus now
TornadoOfTerror _
These cats are so adorable TvT
binyamin2021 4 days ago
@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 4 days ago
I hate cats
touraj azmoudeh
touraj azmoudeh 5 days ago
but really DID WE?!!!
Ch L
Ch L 5 days ago
Much peed on my playstation
Parker Addams
Parker Addams 5 days ago
"we" domesticated cats. they chose this.
Canzandridas Joe
Canzandridas Joe 5 days ago
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 5 days ago
Ancient human used cats to clean their mess within their settlements but what's happening today?
King Tua
King Tua 5 days ago
Can we domesticate crocodiles
Nickolas H
Nickolas H 5 days ago
Who else here is from Cyprus? We the kitty island of Europe. 😊🐱🐈
HiWetcam 5 days ago
See the disgusting bent spine ‘ideal’ German Shepherd pic at time 5:00?
Harry Lime
Harry Lime 5 days ago
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 ...
xenomorph özkan n
I live in cyprus and ı have 5 cats
Wassoll Das
Wassoll Das 5 days ago
Is a cat actually "domesticated"? I mean, usualy we use "domesticated" on lifeforms, that have, from one point onwards, an evolution that is controlled by humans instead of nature and by this clearly differ to the non-domesticated variant by DNA. Humans domesticated wheat/corn and fruits and vegetables, horses and sheep and goats and dogs. But cats? If cats are domesticated, then the genepool of house cats would need to be different from the genepool of wild cats. Their genepool would need to be optimized for a life alongside humans. (Like dogs genepool is. Human took a wolf and cleansed the genepool from everything he doesnt like and then he picked very rare genetical traits that he liked and made them so common that every single dog has them. THATS what is called "Domesticated". Thats totaly different from "tame". "Tame" is = the animal has LEANED to exist alongside humans. "Domesticated" means, the animals DNA was altered to perfectly exist alongside humans. Thats why one usualy warns from "tame" wild animals. BEcause their DNA is still wild, they can suddenly turn back to wild behavior. Domesticated animals should have that behavior removed from their genepool. At least mostly.
EbuHasan sabbah
EbuHasan sabbah 5 days ago
Human cant domesticate cats cats domesticates humans
Bahrain 5 days ago
9500 years ago he had a boat !! How did he get to Cyprus
scotttufts 5 days ago
Think about the 18 hundreds where cats will hunt rabbits and flay them for you oh wait that was 1997 for me
Photo Finish
Photo Finish 5 days ago
This story is just one big play on words.
Photo Finish
Photo Finish 5 days ago
Dumping grounds, just like the British dumping pigeons everywhere.
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