How did cats evolve to where they are now?
Modern domestic cats, or house cats, all descended from the same species of wild cat, Felis silvestris lybica. Members of this species began associating with humans around 10,000 years ago in the Near East, a region around modern Turkey. This was around the same time as early agriculture began, and cats likely helped control populations of rodents who would eat stored grain. These cats spread with humans as they moved into Europe and Asia. Another group of the same wild cat ancestors became associated with human cities in Egypt, where they enjoyed an honored status. Farther north, Vikings also became fond of cats and took them on ships where they would hunt the rats that would eat stored food and chew rope. This tradition of using cats to control rats on ships extended to later explorers and eventually cats colonized every continent except Antartica, living alongside humans.
According to genetic evidence, the modern genome of domestic cats is very similar to their wild counterparts. Any selective breeding for coat color and other traits did not happen significantly until the last thousand years or so, and even these effects are minimal. Unlike domestic dogs which display a huge variety of traits that are different from the wolf population they originally descended from, domestic cats have been little changed by association with humans. This evidence leads scientists to question whether house cats are properly considered domesticated at all, or whether they just live with humans for mutual benefit.