In order to understand their instincts and the relationship of the domestic cat with human beings, it is essential to know where they come from, their ancestors, their origins and their history. Here we present a historical tour of the life of cats.
From ancient predatory mammals to present-day felines, the main evolutionary driver has been the need to feed off other animals and to survive the challenge of natural selection. Cats’ ancestors are not so different from those that existed 10,000 years ago, the moment in history when the <54>Felis silvestris or wild cat appeared.
If we make a tour of felines, their sorts and varieties, we can find the genetic or family relations of the present-day domestic cat:
Big cats: jaguars, leopards, tigers, lions and panthers; they share many behavioural aspects with cats, although the greatest difference is the habitat where they live.
Small cats: lynx, puma, ocelot, cat, and margay belong to the Felis genus. In fact, many are physically very alike and they have a great deal of genetic overlap, although their characters are not similar.
The similarities between wild cats and domestic cats are so plentiful that experts debate whether they are separate species or are varieties of the Felis silvestris. In fact, they can be crossed together, but it would be difficult to domesticate the resulting animal.