• Question: What do you think cats will evolve to look like in the next 10000 years (if they still exsist)

    Asked by tjputler50 to Sofia, Tommy on 22 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Sofia Franco

      Sofia Franco answered on 22 Nov 2013:

      Ahahah love it 🙂 I guess we can only guess, since we cannot possibly predict it! I would say that however they evolve it needs to be advantageous for them or help them survive better 🙂 as they mostly now live in association with humans, I would say that there is a high probability that they will become cuter (since this is quite a useful skill to get food from humans!)! Though if I had to guess, I would say that what will play a big impact is how we select them artificially and which breeds become popular! Though most cat breeds are recent (less than 100 years), they mostly come from the domestication of wild populations just from 8 ancestral groups and not so much by artificial selection, as dogs, which were also selected by performance, while cats keep being selected by beauty and elegance! However as breeding intensifies, some diseases also become dominant and this is often something really important!

      This is of course just valid for cats in captivity! Wild cats will evolve depending on how the environment changes, and how they need to adjust to remain efficient predators, as well as if their prey changes, in which case, they need to find new strategies and this might lead to some adaptations or others. Also 10.000 years is not such a long time in evolution 🙂 in fact cats are tough to have been domesticated just that long ago and they do look pretty similar to what they look like today (at least in the paintings in Egypt of about 3.500 years ago!), but they have been around for way way longer and big cats (tigers and others) are known to be at least 6 million years old!