cats or dogs?

Who became human friend first? Cat or Dog. Well to look into the concept of domestication. Besides the usage being the forerunner of domestication the other concept which was the tendency of people to manage and tame wild animals (Diamond,J.2002). Having a discussion with few of my friends on this topic certain ideas as for what could have been explanation that why dogs were domesticated first came in discussion.

The idea that humans were predominantly hunters and seeing the pack of wolf hunting must have portrayed the usefulness of them in hunting for humans. The wolves were social animal hence it could be possible for humans themselves to be made accustomed to the wolves as peer hunters and hence acceptable to them in first place. But humans having more evolved brain must have dominated the group and hence tamed wolf to hunt FOR them instead of WITH them.

The usefulness of animal as well as human tendency to dominate another animal must have played a role in domestication  of wolves and hence their domestication started quite early. The cats were on the other hand were never as such “domesticated”.

As per Carlos Driscoll the “cats domesticated themselves”. The cats are more submissive and mostly no symbiotic association with humans have been understood. Yet when humans started becoming settlers and agriculturalists then the usefulness of cat came into picture. They used to save grains from rodents and hence people must have allowed them to survive in the vicinity. I guess that is the reason that  the Egyptian civilization considered them sacred as them being sign of prosperity. More agriculture more food and no poverty and the household can afford to feed the cat! but it also seems true that there is no “domestication of cat” per se. As domestication would have a very important component from animal side and that is loyalty. Cats have never been considered loyal to there master (or do they ever consider anyone master?) which is so unlike dogs and horses or even falcon etc.

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One thought on “cats or dogs?

  1. Nice article! But early civilization (not sure about Egyptian) had no idea how to control pests like mice n all, even renowned philosophers claimed that only heavy rain can destroy those rodents (pre-Darwinian age m talking about), so as you mentioned cats domesticated themselves! Now the point is how n why we accept cats? I think, may be becoz of their ‘cuteness’ (beauty?) we had a soft corner for cats, specially the then Queens, and overtime we accepted their presence not for any purpose, i guess. And going to the history, we have actively bred dogs for our domestic purpose long back, like shepherd dogs or guard dogs (first part of ur article), on the other hand leopard cats (and also wild cat, (i) Felis silvestris) were bred in recent past. Whatelse, rest u have already mentioned nicely 🙂

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