How Cats Became our Feline Overlords (ft. It’s Okay To Be Smart)

Check out how cats became our favorite little murder machines. Buy the CAT CAT T-shirt here:
To learn how dogs and humans got together, watch the companion video over at It’s OK To Be Smart: – be sure to subscribe while you’re there!

Thanks also to our supporters on

If you want to learn more about this topic, here are some keywords to get your googling started:

Puma: The big cat with the largest home range.
Felix silvestris: The wildcat that is the direct ancestor to all modern house cats.
Bastet: Egyptian cat goddess.
Pseudaelurus: A prehistoric cat that is the common ancestor to all modern felines.


Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Sarah Keartes
Script Editor: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)

Video Illustrator: Qingyang Chen (@QCvisual)
Video Director: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Video Narrator: Joe Hanson (@DrJoeHanson)
With Contributions From: Ever Salazar, Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:


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Hu, Yaowu, et al. “”Earliest evidence for commensal processes of cat domestication.”” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.1 (2014): 116-120.”

Montague, Michael J., et al. “”Comparative analysis of the domestic cat genome reveals genetic signatures underlying feline biology and domestication.”” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.48 (2014): 17230-17235.

O’Brien, Stephen J., and Warren E. Johnson. The evolution of cats. Scientific American 297.1 (2007): 68-75.

“The Lion in the Living Room”” – Abigail Tucker (Public library:

Vigne, Jean-Denis, et al. Earliest “Domestic” Cats in China Identified as Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). PloS one 11.1 (2016): e0147295.

Human-cat burial image provided courtesy of Pr . Jean Guilaine excavations

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