How We Domesticated Cats (Twice)

A 9,500 year old burial in Cyprus represents some of the oldest known evidence of human/cat companionships anywhere in the world. But when did this close relationship between humans and cats start? And how did humans help cats take over the world?
Big thanks to these paleoartists for allowing us to use their wonderful illustrations:
Julio Lacerda (who illustrated the Cyprus grave site):
Ceri Thomas (who illustrated Felis silvestris lybica):
Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:
Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:
Katie Fichtner, Anthony Callaghan, Gina Viglietti, Laura Sanborn, Jack Arbuckle, David Sewall, Anton Bryl, Ben Thorson, Andrey, MissyElliottSmith, The Scintillating Spencer, Zachary Spencer, Stefan Weber, Ilya Murashov, Robert Amling, Po Foon Kwong, Larry Wilson, Merri Snaidman, John Vanek, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Philip Slingerland, Eric Vonk, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Alex Yan
If you'd like to support the channel, head over to and pledge for some cool rewards!
Want to follow Eons elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook - eonsshow
Twitter - eonsshow
Instagram - eonsshow




  • Blake was very upset his cat peed in the laundry basket

    Dirt GirlDirt Girl4 hours ago
  • Hooman: How we domesticated you? Cat: Yes.

    cem gülcem gül4 hours ago
  • If your cat is peeing on your laundry he might be anxious. I recommend watching some of Jackson Galaxy's videos, he really taught me a lot about understanding my kitty's needs!

    Don MuffinsDon Muffins6 hours ago
  • Can we please get a video like this about modern Dogs

    SpencerrrSpencerrr13 hours ago
  • Of course I got a cats movie commercial as an ad

    ögåmêsögåmês13 hours ago
  • A simple video on the history of cats, and there is a war in the comments section. Pathetically stereotypical.

    Mike EmmonsMike Emmons14 hours ago
  • human companion was buried with it

    SybercloneSyberclone17 hours ago
  • I can't believe they made a very well produced scientific history of cats without informing people that domestic cats are THE main cause for declines in native songbird populations. When your kitty is outside, it's an invasive species, and collectively killing more native birds than ALL OTHER factors COMBINED! At least in Australia, they are killing feral cats. If you make your cat stay outside, you shouldn't have one. I hope someone takes it away from you.

    swgeezerswgeezer21 hour ago
  • The cats endgame? Watch Love, Death + 🤖 🤖 🤖: How to tame a cat, for the answer. Hint: apparently the third time wasn't a charm.

    Mike HMike H22 hours ago
  • Long live our kitty overlords 😻

    KosmicKosmic22 hours ago
  • meow

    PelusoPelusoDay ago
  • We domesticated cats or cats domesticated us?

    YK ChanYK ChanDay ago
  • Can you do a video of Australia animals

    Cody PetersenCody PetersenDay ago
  • Cats are superior to dogs.

    Ex TygerEx TygerDay ago
  • Please do an episode on the history of eggs! (Both the shelled kind and the mammalian kind please!) 🐣

    mintbluberrymintbluberryDay ago
  • Awe kitties

    Cocaine MinajCocaine MinajDay ago
  • Talk about the strange creatures of every period in the Cenozoic era!

    Daniel VazjavDaniel VazjavDay ago
  • one thing is for sure, cats domesticated the internet

    meesalikeumeesalikeuDay ago
  • Meow.

    Tizona AmanthiaTizona AmanthiaDay ago
  • Right Meow? That supposed to be some kind of joke at my expense? OFFENDED!

    Officer Meow Meow FuzzyfaceOfficer Meow Meow FuzzyfaceDay ago
  • I suspect that 8 month old cat did something that killed both of them and scattered seashells all over the floor. Just sayin.

    Dan NessDan NessDay ago
  • Honestly I think Schools would love to show this. Maybe even just get them to rewatch your videos or some of them. Honestly there are a lot better teachers on youtube than public schools. Your videos are perfect for elementary, kids would love to see this kind of stuff in my opinion.

    Aydin BarnbrookAydin Barnbrook2 days ago
  • Much gorgeous! 🐾💖

    Frεε Heart and Paw Necklace on my ProfileFrεε Heart and Paw Necklace on my Profile2 days ago
  • Very interesting, but you’re wrong from the title...cats have domesticated us 😅😉

    Weekly Dive DoseWeekly Dive Dose2 days ago
  • that's why cats are awesome, they still look like their ancestors, therefore still capable and amazing, with the exception of persians and munchkins which are man-made abominations, how's that even legal, it's sad

    wheelmanstanwheelmanstan2 days ago
  • Humans DID NOT domesticate cats. Cats domesticated themselves.

    Le VisionariumLe Visionarium2 days ago
  • Cats be havin' sex super quick. You'll here a quick RAWR!!! and then they're done.

    oOoHCGoOooOoHCGoOo2 days ago
  • They will never be fully domesticated they should stay in the wild where they belong

    Desert MoonDesert Moon2 days ago
  • This might be an odd topic, but would it be possible to cover the evolution of diseases? Like the oldest known ailments found in fossils, to the mysterious emergence of the bubonic plague? Or if that's not enough to work with, you could cover the evolution of the immune system and allergies!

    AisforIntervalAisforInterval2 days ago
  • Please do an episode for when carnivorous plants ruled the earth

    GG2 days ago
  • Me when I'm sober: PBS Eons Me when I'm high: Bill Wurtz

    rockguru14rockguru142 days ago
  • Somehow USA has to find everything's origin in Egypt, even if you find it somewhere else you must find another one in Egypt.

    Polash QuadhiPolash Quadhi2 days ago
  • Sorry, but cats domesticated humans.

    linlin lixinlinlin lixin2 days ago
  • Poor cat was murdered

    The Macz1The Macz13 days ago
  • Just as a point of reference here regarding feral cats, when they were introduced to the Americas they wiped out several native species of bird. Wiped out as in extinct. With any other such introduction of a non-native species causing that much environmental damage we would have considered them a pest and had them eradicated. Just food for thought

    KnowCommentKnowComment3 days ago
  • I want to go to Cyprus now

    Daniel LewisDaniel Lewis3 days ago
  • These cats are so adorable TvT

    TornadoOfTerror _TornadoOfTerror _3 days ago
  • @PBS Eons, I know you already made a video on Ediacran life, but could you make a video talking about the divergence of animals and fungi (or holozoa and holomycota?)?! Thank you!

    binyamin2021binyamin20213 days ago
  • I hate cats

    1 minute ago1 minute ago3 days ago
  • but really DID WE?!!!

    touraj azmoudehtouraj azmoudeh3 days ago
  • Much peed on my playstation

    Ch LCh L3 days ago
  • "we" domesticated cats. they chose this.

    Parker AddamsParker Addams3 days ago
  • I started with PBS Space Time, and now I'm hooked to PBS Eons... I don't really know if I want or should check if there're more

    Canzandridas JoeCanzandridas Joe3 days ago
  • Ancient human used cats to clean their mess within their settlements but what's happening today?

    Balaji PonnusamyBalaji Ponnusamy3 days ago
  • Can we domesticate crocodiles

    King TuaKing Tua3 days ago
  • Who else here is from Cyprus? We the kitty island of Europe. 😊🐱🐈

    Nickolas HNickolas H3 days ago
  • See the disgusting bent spine ‘ideal’ German Shepherd pic at time 5:00?

    HiWetcamHiWetcam3 days ago
  • Cats are still kill for thrill animals. That has never been bread out of them. They kill to kill, not just to eat.. Australia has a real problem with feral cats.. harmless animals in Australia that have lived there for thousands of years like the koala bear and the sloth are being wiped out by feral cats. it is not known how many species of indigenous animals that have lived in Australia for thousands of years have already been wiped out by the cat ...

    Harry LimeHarry Lime3 days ago
  • I live in cyprus and ı have 5 cats

    xenomorph özkan nxenomorph özkan n4 days ago
  • Is a cat actually "domesticated"? I mean, usualy we use "domesticated" on lifeforms, that have, from one point onwards, an evolution that is controlled by humans instead of nature and by this clearly differ to the non-domesticated variant by DNA. Humans domesticated wheat/corn and fruits and vegetables, horses and sheep and goats and dogs. But cats? If cats are domesticated, then the genepool of house cats would need to be different from the genepool of wild cats. Their genepool would need to be optimized for a life alongside humans. (Like dogs genepool is. Human took a wolf and cleansed the genepool from everything he doesnt like and then he picked very rare genetical traits that he liked and made them so common that every single dog has them. THATS what is called "Domesticated". Thats totaly different from "tame". "Tame" is = the animal has LEANED to exist alongside humans. "Domesticated" means, the animals DNA was altered to perfectly exist alongside humans. Thats why one usualy warns from "tame" wild animals. BEcause their DNA is still wild, they can suddenly turn back to wild behavior. Domesticated animals should have that behavior removed from their genepool. At least mostly.

    Wassoll DasWassoll Das4 days ago
  • Human cant domesticate cats cats domesticates humans

    EbuHasan sabbahEbuHasan sabbah4 days ago
  • 9500 years ago he had a boat !! How did he get to Cyprus

    BahrainBahrain4 days ago
  • Think about the 18 hundreds where cats will hunt rabbits and flay them for you oh wait that was 1997 for me

    scotttuftsscotttufts4 days ago
  • This story is just one big play on words.

    Photo FinishPhoto Finish4 days ago
  • Dumping grounds, just like the British dumping pigeons everywhere.

    Photo FinishPhoto Finish4 days ago
  • are you sure the cats did not domesticate humans ^_-

    frep youfrep you4 days ago
  • Cars rule the word

    Shadow RealmShadow Realm4 days ago
  • You guys got anything on the peopling of the Americas ?

    Agustin Mario QuirogaAgustin Mario Quiroga4 days ago
  • I have a question for a video! Why do some Asian peoples have thin eyes?

    LorkhanableLorkhanable4 days ago
  • Yes well, if they were 10 times larger our relationship with them would be somewhat different ...

    Peter WalkerPeter Walker4 days ago