In the Fertile Crescent, a region that saw some of the earliest emergences of human civilization, cats and humans first developed their special bond 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.
Agriculture was one of these advancements. Rodents were drawn to grain storage as people gave up their nomadic way of life and created permanent settlements to harvest the land.
Middle Eastern wildcats took advantage of this new, plentiful food source by preying on the rodents and decided to remain in these early settlements, scavenging the trash that all human cultures inevitably produce just like neighborhood cats do today.
A new species of cat finally emerged over thousands of years that naturally settled close to humans. This species, which we refer to as the domestic cat, includes feral, stray, and pet cats.