Cats have been around
for 40 million years but have only been living alongside humans for the past
The ancient Egyptians were the first to bring cats into buildings to guard their valuable grain stores from rats and mice. Cats were so good at their job that they had become sacred by 1,000 B.C. The Egyptians worshipped a goddess called BAST, that had the head of a cat and was surrounded by kittens.
Traders brought cats
from Egypt to Europe, the Far East and China around 2,000 to 3,000 years
ago. Cats reached Japan in 999 A.D. and were to feature extensively in
They did not reach America until 1749, but there are now 55 million of them.
The above is only a brief glimpse at the history of our feline friends.....if you want to know more, why not go to our Cat Books page and take a look at our recommendations for further reading.
Cats were introduced to the UK by the Romans to protect their grain stores. They were also useful during the Black Death in the 1300's when many people were killed by Bubonic Plague - cats helped kill the rats that carried the disease-spreading fleas.
In the 1400's cats became linked with sorcery and magic. Black cats were thought to be evil.
In the 1800's cats came back into favour - Queen Victoria owned two cats, and many households used them as 'mousers'.