A Comparative Study: Were Cats Domesticated Before Dogs?

A Comparative Study: Were Cats Domesticated Before Dogs?

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Were cats or dogs domesticated first?

A Comparative Study: Were Cats Domesticated Before Dogs?

One of the most intriguing questions in the history of animal domestication is whether cats were domesticated before dogs. This article delves into this topic, providing a comparative analysis based on archaeological and genetic evidence.

The Domestication of Dogs

Research suggests that dogs were likely the first animals to be domesticated by humans. This process is believed to have started between 13,000 to 30,000 years ago. The domestication of dogs began when wolves, attracted by the garbage produced by early human settlements, started to approach these communities. Over time, these wolves evolved into a more docile species that we now know as dogs.

The Domestication of Cats

On the other hand, cats were likely domesticated around 10,000 years ago in the Near East. The domestication of cats is believed to have started when humans began farming. The accumulation of harvested grains attracted rodents, which in turn attracted wild cats. Humans appreciated the rodent control provided by these cats and started to protect and feed them, leading to their domestication.


Based on the available evidence, it appears that dogs were domesticated before cats. However, both species have a long history of interaction with humans, and both have played significant roles in human societies throughout history.

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