It probably goes without saying that both the wild ancestor of our domestic cats and our human ancestors come from the same area on the planet which means that we are programmed to prefer the same ambient temperature range.
Research indicates that the human’s preferred thermostat setting at home is between about 17°C to 23°C. The research also indicates that the nearest match on the planet to this temperature range is in Kenya or Ethiopia. Specifically, it is found at the East African Rift shoulder (and the foothills of the Himalayas).
Today’s human is affected by the enduring effects of 5 million years of evolution in East Africa. In Kenya and Ethiopia there are mild temperatures and humidity levels which are perfect for humans in terms of comfort and it is within this range that the human body functions most efficiently.
It is believed that the North African wildcat otherwise known as the Near Eastern wildcat was first domesticated in a place described as the Fertile Crescent. This is somewhere near Syria. However, no doubt wild cat domestication took place in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Nowadays the distribution of the African-Asian wild cat (an alternative description of the North African wildcat) covers large parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia but also includes Kenya and Ethiopia.
The point that I’m making is that both humans and their domestic cats originate from the same place in terms of our ancient history which is why we both enjoy the same ambient temperature at home.
The research found that people’s preferred thermostat settings are based on primaeval memories of our ancestors’ days in the Kenyan Hills. Wherever people settle they adjust their home climate to match the place where humans originally came from and this is the highlands of East Africa.
The research took place in America. It concerned 50 homes across different climatic regions. The aim of the study was to find out the kind of animals that might be supported in our “artificial home ecosystems”. In other words, they were asking the question as to whether our preferred ambient temperature suits the large range of pet that humans like to live with. It certainly does with respect to our cat companions.
The research is published in the journal Royal Society Open Society. I believe it is also published in the book The Cradle of Humanity by Professor Maslin.
P.S. A thought: if any adjustment is required for the domestic cat in terms of ambient temperature it is upwards which is one reason why they like to sleep next to us or on us.
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