Infographic on “What kind of cat did Cleopatra have?”
The infographic answers the question as best I can. It is not clear when the multitude of different domestic cat coats first emerged through natural selection (evolution) except for the classic (blotched) tabby which emerged in the 18th century. But as the domestic cat is a domesticated North Eastern wildcat which is a rather pale striped tabby all subsequent domestic cats must have been the same until, over time through domestic cat matings, a genetic mutation occurred to produce a coat that was not tabby. This would have been a spontaneous unplanned mutation. It would have been the kind of genetic mutation which is the reason for the creation of a number of cat breeds today such as the Scottish Fold and Sphynx.
It is difficult to determine the exact time when, for instance, bicolor domestic cats first emerged, as the genetic mutations that lead to the bicolor coat pattern likely occurred spontaneously over a long period of time.
However, it is believed that bicolor domestic cats have been present for many centuries, as depictions of cats with bicolor coats can be found in artwork from ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
But importantly all the depictions of domestic cats from Ancient Egypt to the best of my knowledge are mackerel tabbies. And they look larger than today’s standard domestic cats.
I am arguing that the new coat types in moggies probably emerged over the past 1,500 years or so.