If you’ve been wondering where cats originated, where are they native to and how they’ve impacted wildlife, read this article. It will explain the history of domestic cats and their range. If you’re interested in learning about their impact on wildlife, check out these other articles:
Origin of domestic cats
The DNA of modern house cats can reveal the origin of domestic cats. This evidence suggests that domestic cats originated in the Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East. This region is rich in wildcats and was once inhabited by people. Archaeological evidence also points to the presence of cats in ancient China and the Middle East. During the Middle Ages, cats lived in caves in this region. Today, the region has several species of cats.
While it is difficult to determine when the domestic cat evolved, some historians believe it originated from a spotted or striped species. While this theory has been challenged in the past, it is still considered a valid basis for the classification of domestic cats. While Linnaeus made this mistake, the publication of Fauna Suecica (1746) is still considered an important reference in zoological nomenclature.
Range of domestic cats
The home range of domestic cats varies according to the habitat and the availability of food. The home range of male cats is generally larger than that of the females. The females, on the other hand, tend to clump in groups around a shelter. The males, on the other hand, tend to move to the outer regions of their home range. Female cats usually have one or two queens in their home ranges, which leads to smaller home ranges for male cats.
The home ranges of domestic cats vary between one and 300 hectares. The size of the home range is associated with several factors, including the availability of food, predation risks, and ownership. The home range size of owned cats was bigger than that of unowned cats. The home range size also varies by sex. In areas with fewer human-made structures, cats may live in smaller home ranges. In areas where human-made structures are common, domestic cats often use forest edges.
Impacts of domestic cats on wildlife
Domestic cats are a significant threat to wildlife. Their presence alone can disrupt ecosystems and cause a variety of harms. Furthermore, domestic cats can carry rabies, plague, and the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can kill a fetus if it infects a pregnant woman. Thus, it is imperative to reduce the number of cats and keep them in cat-proof enclosures. In addition to preventing wildlife from being harmed by domestic cats, pet owners should also make removing stray cats a priority.
Although there are no concrete studies of domestic cats’ impacts on wildlife, there are several studies that show a negative impact on birds. In a 2001 study, cats were identified as one of the main threats to some species on a small island. However, other studies warn against unintended consequences, as eliminating cats could result in an increase in rat populations, which in turn may harm native bird species. This situation only compounds the problem.