The Domestication of the Modern Cat By Christina Applebaum Just when and where cats first became domesticated is something it has taken scientists a while to figure out. You might think that fossilized records would make that question easy to answer but domesticated cats and wild cats have very similar skeletons which complicates the matter. The island of Cyprus yielded some clues in 1983. Archaeologists found a cat's jawbone that was reported to be 8,000 years old. Since it didn't seem likely that people would have brought wild cats with them to the island it suggests that cats were domesticated over 8,000 years ago. An even older site at Cyprus was discovered in 2004 where a cat had been intentionally buried with a human made the assumption that the island's ancient cats were domesticated even more likely. It is believed that the domestication of the cat began when the first agricultural societies began to develop. When people were mostly hunters,dogs were very beneficial, and therefore dogs were domesticated before cats. Cats became helpful became when people began to settle down and harvest crops. With stores of harvests came mice. Wild cats were drawn to settlements by the abundance of prey in the storehouses. It wasn't long until people saw the cats value as pest control. Certain cats adapted to this new environment, spawning the many breeds of house cats known today. So in a sense, cats actually domesticated themselves.How appropriate!