How We Domesticated Cats (Twice)

  • Published: 07 November 2019
  • 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):
    Ceri Thomas (who illustrated Felis silvestris lybica):

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

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  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 2 923

  • Anthony Weber
    Anthony Weber  3 minutes back

    Thanks little algorithm bot. You really know how to keep my on the site longer

    • klystron2010
      klystron2010  9 minutes back

      Those who read Sandman know the truth.

      • Dog42 Dog42
        Dog42 Dog42  12 minutes back

        And they still want to kill us

        • mikkel nyhuus
          mikkel nyhuus  13 minutes back

          A lot of maybes, possibilities and blurred lines. You don’t rightly know and thus you say so. I can respect that.

          • The Trashman
            The Trashman  14 minutes back

            Scottish wild cats are breeding with house cats and are creating a mix bread.

            • Rambo John
              Rambo John  21 minutes back

              Train your cat to go outside to do their business. It’s actually easier than training a dog.

              • JJ
                JJ  26 minutes back

                What type of cat at 0:19

                • Abu Ansar Al-Britani
                  Abu Ansar Al-Britani  27 minutes back

                  I'm skeptical of any "multiple origins" claims regarding highly specific technologies that can spread from one human group to another. It's being debunked in regards to the origin of agriculture(China down, mesoamerica and subsaharan still waiting to be shot down), and this will be no different.

                  • H Eck
                    H Eck  28 minutes back

                    The dude buried with his cat has a man bun 💀😭

                    • Hawkshadow56
                      Hawkshadow56  29 minutes back

                      What is the background music on here?

                      • Kimberly Edwards
                        Kimberly Edwards  30 minutes back

                        Can you do a vid on terror birds around the world plz.

                        • Jason Thompson
                          Jason Thompson  33 minutes back

                          I sure hope my elected officials will recognize that if we feed cats to starving 3rd world nations, we could end world hunger and have cat population control. An added benefit is because there will be fewer cats, there will be less cat droppings poisoning our atmosphere. Cats are trying to squeeze our life from us. Together we can put an end to this.

                          • La tara
                            La tara  34 minutes back

                            “Cats have achieved world domination” I’m scared

                            • Your mah Buddy
                              Your mah Buddy  41 minutes back

                              Can we domesticate humans too?

                              • Boris Chang
                                Boris Chang  42 minutes back

                                The comments here just repeat the same five or six things over and over.

                                • mylesgifford8988
                                  mylesgifford8988  43 minutes back

                                  Early people look it kills mice and looks adorable doing it lets keep it
                                  Me modern day look it kills mice and looks cute doing it lets keep it

                                  • ToriPeebs
                                    ToriPeebs  50 minutes back

                                    It’s so nice to think that ancient humans who had much less resources and knowledge on medicine than we do today still went out of their way and valued a cat enough to fix its broken bones😢💗

                                    • Michael Musgrove
                                      Michael Musgrove  59 minutes back

                                      Cats are not domesticated. They still hunt and kill everything they can, they ignore humans, poop wherever they want and are pretty filthy animals despite what cat lovers tell you. They coat themselves in their own saliva, walk around in their toilets, and destroy their and your environment.

                                      • Liam Merrick
                                        Liam Merrick  60 minutes back

                                        interesting to see what the cyprus small bird population is like

                                        • Luiz Marinho
                                          Luiz Marinho  1 hours back

                                          Did we tho

                                          • Heir
                                            Heir  1 hours back

                                            This is cool, but based off the definition of "domestication", cats are not domesticated but tamed. They do not depend on us for food or shelter, look at how easily a house cat turns ferrel.

                                            • Lucy Belcher
                                              Lucy Belcher  1 hours back

                                              My kitties are attached to my hip. If I'm still up working past bed time my little Charlie will follow me around the house crying until I lay down lol.

                                              • RelentLess Enterprises
                                                RelentLess Enterprises  1 hours back

                                                Humans try to domestic cats.. *twice*

                                                Cats: "Bruh 😂 nice try"

                                                • Arcanomic Mysterium
                                                  Arcanomic Mysterium  1 hours back

                                                  I wonder if they could export cats off the island like maybe let tourist adopt cats to take home. No idea how many people would take one or more but would definitely help reduce the population of cats by selling or just giving them to people from other countries.

                                                  • loveforthegame3
                                                    loveforthegame3  2 hours back

                                                    we must domesticate them more
                                                    There still evil

                                                    • Katherine Poindexter
                                                      Katherine Poindexter  2 hours back

                                                      somewhere in the world a cat is meowing the words "World domination...mooohooohaha".

                                                      • Trash Topia
                                                        Trash Topia  2 hours back

                                                        Ok boomer

                                                        • The Godless Pagan
                                                          The Godless Pagan  2 hours back

                                                          Lol Kelly is a legend

                                                          • Moses Brown
                                                            Moses Brown  2 hours back

                                                            I never knew Granny from Looney Toons has an African wild cat.

                                                            • IonicDerivation
                                                              IonicDerivation  2 hours back

                                                              When the name for Sylvester the Cat finally clicks... How did I not see that sooner? I've had cats pretty much my entire life, researched best care practices, etc. But, I never caught that.

                                                              • Eric Page
                                                                Eric Page  2 hours back

                                                                I like how he ends by saying that we humans took cats all over the world like, "Yeah, that was our free chioce!"

                                                                That's what the cats want you to think. 😉

                                                                • onrr1726
                                                                  onrr1726  2 hours back

                                                                  Dogs have masters cats have employees!

                                                                  • Love Always
                                                                    Love Always  2 hours back

                                                                    "Right MEOW" *laughs* 😂😂👏👌

                                                                    • Bill Barnews
                                                                      Bill Barnews  2 hours back


                                                                      • foe slow
                                                                        foe slow  2 hours back


                                                                        • 28 to 3!!
                                                                          28 to 3!!  2 hours back

                                                                          Bless up to the comment section coming back down below the next up videos 🙏🏼

                                                                          • Champ Touch
                                                                            Champ Touch  2 hours back

                                                                            Goddamnit I’m watching cat videos again????!!!!

                                                                            • tan j maz
                                                                              tan j maz  2 hours back

                                                                              ... cats just want food ... found dumb human ... cats smart ... people dumb ...

                                                                              • Cormac Phillips
                                                                                Cormac Phillips  2 hours back

                                                                                You m mention isotope dating in all your videos. Can you elaborate or even make a short on ?
                                                                                Or all of the different ageing techniques ?

                                                                                • DJ Metro
                                                                                  DJ Metro  2 hours back

                                                                                  Gratz on 1 mill subs, cool videos!

                                                                                  • FantasyPunch
                                                                                    FantasyPunch  2 hours back

                                                                                    Me trying to watch with my cat this video... my cat did not gave f*** about it o.o

                                                                                    • Exiverence
                                                                                      Exiverence  2 hours back

                                                                                      Cats > dogs

                                                                                      • des8893
                                                                                        des8893  2 hours back

                                                                                        Hmm. Surprised there was no mention of how cats are wiping out Australia's native wildlife. Let's hope they don't take over the world the way humans have: leaving a path of destruction.

                                                                                        • AgentFlea
                                                                                          AgentFlea  2 hours back

                                                                                          Your kitty doesn't respect you 😁 I'm pretty sure they look down on humanity lol

                                                                                          • 12 TO 6 ELBOWS
                                                                                            12 TO 6 ELBOWS  2 hours back

                                                                                            Dislike:this doesn't explain why my cats attack my feet like ninjas 😂😂

                                                                                            • jen W
                                                                                              jen W  2 hours back

                                                                                              Should be “how cats enslaved humans”

                                                                                              • Chris Clark
                                                                                                Chris Clark  3 hours back

                                                                                                I like this guys presentation style.

                                                                                                • the beauty of me is that i`m very rich

                                                                                                  Stop asking questions every 30 seconds, and start answering them!