why is my cat Oscar born like he was

Why are housecats smaller compared to tigers and lions. I dont understand if they are related to lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards how did they get to be smaller. Also why are they all these weird colors and patterns. How did cats get to be made to be so small and who did it and how did they do it

The domestic housecat is thought to be a descendent of the African wildcat, a small wild cat common in Egypt that, incidentally, looks a hell of a lot like a domestic housecat.

Bear in mind that, compared to Lions/Tigers, domestic housecats are about as genetically different as its possible to be while still being cats, having speciated over 10 million years ago. Cat evolution.

What did they breed the African wildcat with to make housecats look like they do. Did they find a midget leopard or tiger?

God, I hope so. That would be sweet.

They didn’t cross-breed African wildcats with any other species. They selectively bred African wildcats to get the desired characteristics. In addition, natural selection probably favored some traits over others as cats adapted to their new niche - that of companion animals to humans.

Bolding mine.

Must have been the North Koreans. Mayhaps, the Chechens.

“little” is the socially acceptable term

Heck, yes! :slight_smile: I think I am not permitted to have domestic pets in my rented flat, but I doubt there’s anything to stop me keeping a beautiful mini tiger or two.

Thanks a steaming pantload! I’ll be locking my bedroom door every night now in hope that The WEB won’t be able to get through it. :mad:

It is down to evolution:


Well I just asked my long haired tabby and he said lions and tigers look that way cos Donald Trump had some spare hair pieces. Whadda ya gonna do?!

Let’s start from the beginning: Why would you expect that housecats would be the same size as tigers? I mean, are you surprised that humans are bigger than lemurs, or that dolphins and blue whales are different sizes?

I am also curious why cats are so varied in breed, look, fur length, markings, etc. The variety is staggering. Did people really put as much selective breeding effort into cats as dogs? Seems unlikely.

on a side note, I want a Bengal Cat.

Well, cats are not nearly as varied as dogs, but I am sure plenty of selective breeding effort has been put into cats in the thousands of years over which they have been domesticated. Selective breeding of small domesticated animals is not very hard. All it takes is patience, really. Look at the wide range of varieties that people have produced by breeding pigeons selectively, and I am reasonably confident that pigeons have not domesticated for nearly as long as cats have, and that far fewer people keep them. (Charles Darwin learned a lot of what he knew about selection from hanging out with pigeon breeders. It was a popular hobby in 19th century England.)

as has been said, the people involved in domesticating the African Wildcat selected breeding mates based on desirable traits; docility being one of them. as generations went on, other traits appeared (different coloration, etc.) that people also selected for.

I mean, it’s the same reason a yappy little chihuahua (like all dogs) is still genetically a gray wolf.

Oh, not fair! Cat have much more dignity and self-respect than to wear Trump hair. :eek:

Lions and tigers are related, in the sense that they had a common ancestor. Similarly, the african wildcats are related to lions and tigers, having a common ancestor. But both of these divisions happend by natural evolution, long before humans got involved.

Most likely, wildcats were drawn to humans to take advantage of leftover food. Humans have always been keenly interested in animals. Even very young babies are drawn to animals, it’s instinctive. It’s likely that humans fed the cats intentionally to attract them just out of curiosity or because they’re cute.

Over time, as cats that were friendlies to people got the most food and had the most babies, cats evolved from a wild species to a domesticated one. People weren’t intentionally “selecting” nicer cats, that happened automatically.

But once cats became part of the household, some people started breeding them to bring out desired traits, just as with dogs. We’ve bred a lot more variation into dogs than cats. Perhaps one reason is that while cats are domestic, they’re not trainable to be “work cats” the way dogs are, and breeding dogs for particular work may have led to a lot more variations in breeds. That’s just a guess on my part, though.

One hypothesis is that granaries attracted rodents, which then attracted wild cats. Humans appreciated the cats protecting the grain, and so did things to encourage the cats to stick around.