Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Bone find gives cats a historic role

Updated: 2013-12-19 15:21
By Ma Lie (

Cats may have played an important role in agriculture long before previously thought, according to new research.

Experts from China and the United States showed that the history of our feline friends in China dates back at least 5,300 years, Xi’an Evening News reported on Thursday.   

According to Hu Yaowu, professor of the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the research chief, researchers found eight cat bones which sheds new light on their ancient role.

The bones, found in Quanhu village ruins, part  of the Neolithic Yangshao and Longshan cultural ruins in Huaxian county, Shaanxi province, proved that cats were kept to protect  grain from rats some 5,300 years ago.

Up until now, cats were not considered to have been domesticated, Hu said.

The bone find suggests that China’s domestic cats, considered to have come from Europe during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25 – 220), had been around for much longer.