This is a reference to domestic, stray and feral cats as there are no native wild cats on the island of Cyprus. There are probably more cats than humans on Cyprus in 2022. The estimated number of stray, feral and domestic cats on the island of Cyprus varies between 1.2 million-2 million on my research.
The human population of Cyprus in 2021 was 1.2 million. It is, therefore, likely that there are more cats than humans on this island.
In the world of cats, Cyprus is famous for one fact. It is the place where archaeologists excavated the current oldest known domestic cat dated at 9,500 years ago.
You may have read about this. This was a tamed and perhaps semi-domesticated wild cat who had a human caregiver and there must have been in a relationship because they were buried together. This wasn’t a classic domestic cat. It was probably a North African wildcat.
If that domesticated wildcat was one of the first on planet Earth, at that time there were far more humans than cats in Cyprus because they was just one domestic cat and that was the only cat because, as mentioned, there are or were no native wild cat species in Cyprus.
It seems to me that the domestication of the cat has gone through a gradual process when at one time there was an optimum number of domestic cats in relation to humans. We’ve passed through that time and now there are too many. I say ‘too many’ because there are too many unwanted cats euthanised a.k.a. killed at animal shelters and worse than that, there are an equal number of feral cats to domestic cats. That translates to around 90 million ferals in the US for instance.
A stark reminder of the failure of domestication of the cat if ever there was one. At the beginning of cat domestication there were no feral cats but then gradually as the cat-to-human relationship evolved and developed the number increased dramatically (it is still rising fast). The more domestic cats there are the more feral cats there are too due to human carelessness.
It would be nice to turn the clock back and start again to see whether humans could do a better job of cat domestication.
P.S. The large population of unowned cats in Cyprus is because of a failure to sterilise; carelessness. Laziness. Bad management. To the detriment of cat health. And a failure of the government to support TNR. They’ve known about the problem for years but suffer from acute inertia.