the Cat in ancient Egypt
Cats (domesticated form: Felis sylvestris libyca (bubastis)) are attested already in the 8th and 7th millennium BC in the Near East. In Egypt remains of cats have been found in cemeteries of the Naqada Period (Brunton/Caton-Thompson 1928: 94). It is not possible to distinguish domesticated and wild forms from skeletal remains. The domestication (better: taming) of the cat seems to have started only in the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC). Earlier depictions (an uncertain example: UC 14323, from Koptos) perhaps only show wild animals. Apart from their usefulness in combating rats, mice and snakes, they were kept as pets (especially well attested on many tomb paintings in the New Kingdom).
cats in religion
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