The development of the African wildcat into today's domestic cat began about 10,000 years ago in the Near East. When humans became sedentary and had to secure their food with the help of agriculture and grain storage, mice and rats were not far away – the cat's favorite prey. And people appreciated it when cats hunted them down.
Thus, cats and humans became closer and closer. The cat began to lose its shyness – until it moved in with humans, accompanied them as a mouser on ships, or conquered the whole world as an exterminator. That had consequences for the animal world. In particular, on islands where there were no such predators before, cats have contributed considerably to the extinction of, for example, ground-nesting birds.
While the African wildcat is still a loner today, our domestic cat has become much more social over time – on the condition that it has many good experiences with other cats in the first months of its life.
Only when hunting does the domestic cat remain a loner.
height and weight
30 to 35 cm,
2.5 to 8 kg
15 to 20 years
African wildcat (Felis lybica lybica)
has been a pet for
time of activity
usually adapts to humans
min. CHF 600 per year
min. one hour per day