Origin of Species
Most authorities believe that the shorthaired breeds of domestic cat are derived
from the Caffre cat, F. libyca, a species of African wildcat domesticated
by the ancient Egyptians perhaps as early as 2500 BC and transported by the
Crusaders to Europe, where it interbred with the indigenous smaller wildcats.
The longhaired breeds may have sprung from the Asian wildcat, F. manul.
Over the centuries, cats have remained virtually the same in size, weighing about
3.6 kg (about 8 lb) when full-grown, and have preserved their instinct for solitary
"Cat," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2003
http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.