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New Insight into Cat Domestication

New research provides insight into cat domestication.

Cats are mysterious creatures. Not much is known about how our furry friends became domesticated companions, but researchers may have unearthed some clues to get us closer to an answer. According to USA Today, scientists excavated a village in China that dates back to the Stone Age. The findings gathered there represent one of the oldest known records of cats benefiting for their relationship with humans. 

"What's really exciting about this study is it's the first evidence that shows us the processes by which cats came to live with humans," Fiona Marshall, the author of the study and a researcher based out of Washington University in St. Louis, told the source. "Clearly they were the animals of farmers."

At one of the excavation sites on a farming village in central China called Quanhucan, researchers found cat bones that revealed the animal ate a large amount of grain. Another sample of worn teeth showed the feline lived to an old age, which might suggest the cat was cared for by someone.

Previous findings from Cyprus revealed a wildcat was buried near a human dating back to 9,500 years ago. And 4,000-year-old Egyptian paintings depict cats resting underneath women's chairs. So there is much information left to be found to come to a definitive answer about cat domestication.  

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