Unlike most animals who were domesticated by man, cats, you cat owners will not be surprised to learn, domesticated themselves. A study published in Science concludes that some 12,000 years ago cats, attracted by mice, who were themselves attracted by grain which man had just figured out how to cultivate, decided to settle down with us.
Unlike many domestic species, which were domesticated on several occasions in several locations, all cats are descended from the species Felis sylvestris. And that process of domestication began in the Middle East at the dawn of human civilization. (Read more cat stories.)