In which continent did the domestic cat originate?

The domestic cat did not originate on a continent. It originated in the Middle East which is described as a transcontinental region in Afro-Eurasia. I guess that the area does not have the shape or the geography to be described as a continent. A continent is described as one of the world’s main continuous expanses of land. The impression is that the Middle East is in the middle of other parts of the world (hence its name) and therefore is not defined well enough to be a continent. That’s a personal viewpoint.

Syria is in the fertile crescent
Syria is in the fertile crescent, the place where the first domestic cats existed.
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Just to be clear, the domestic cat originates in an area which is now called Syria and the surrounding areas, which is ironic because Syria has been destroyed by a very long war and included in that destruction is the death of very many domestic cats.

First domestic cat in Cyprus grave
First domestic cat in Cyprus grave. Photo in public domain.

The oldest record of a domestic cat that humans have discovered was found in Cyprus (see above). The cat was a domesticated African-Asian wildcat. The scientists believe that the cat was domesticated because it was buried with its owner. Therefore the owner must have requested that he or she be buried with his cat thereby indicating a close relationship.

Middle East
Middle East. Image: PoC.

It has been decided that this cat found its way to Cyprus on a ship from the mainland east of Cyprus which is the general area where the domestication of the cat first happened. So, the domestic cat does not originate on a continent but in an area now described as the Middle East and we think that it happened around 9,500 years ago.

Although there is a possibility that archaeologists will dig up another domestic cat which can be dated to an earlier era. Certainly, the dog was domesticated around 20,000 years ago, it is believed. This is because the dog was and still is a utilitarian animal more so than the domestic cat which is now more or less exclusively a companion.

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