The cat has been associated with humans for at least 9,500 years and is currently the most popular pet in the world. It is valued by humans for its companionship and its ability to hunt vermin and household pests. As a skilled predator, the cat is known to hunt over 1,000 species for food.
Until recently the cat was commonly believed to have been domesticated in ancient Egypt, where it was a cult animal.A study in 2007 found that the lines of descent of all house cats probably run through as few as five self-domesticating African Wildcats circa 8000 BC, in the Near East. The earliest direct evidence of cat domestication is a kitten that was buried with its owner 9,500 years ago in Cyprus.
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