Cats Leave Ancient Egypt

Have you ever wondered where cats come from? No, not biology – everybody knows that. The history of cats.

You probably already know at least two things about it:

  1. Cats were worshipped as gods in Ancient Egypt.
  2. Romans carried cats out of Egypt. Perhaps you have also heard that traders and monks took them eastward, too, into Asia.

This is all true. Most people leave it at that, but I don’t understand why.

Those military roads and trade routes were the Internet of their time, and cats probably spread across it for reasons related to why they’re so popular online today. That must have been a fascinating process, and it’s certainly a mystery today (and a hot research topic).

How did cats spread out of Egypt?

I have found a few interesting bits of evidence from back then that may point toward some answers to that question.

The easiest way for me to describe these is with a timeline. It’s not the be-all and end-all comprehensive literature review–just some stuff I’ve picked up while researching the books.

I’ve had fun “herding” these cats. Hope you will, too!

Featured image: CleverGrrl, CC BY-SA 2.0.


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