What Did Cats Look Like in Ancient Times?

Cats have been a beloved pet for centuries, but have you ever wondered what they looked like in ancient times? Let’s take a closer look at the history of cats and how they’ve evolved over time.

The Origins of Cats

Cats are believed to have originated in ancient Egypt around 4,000 years ago. They were considered sacred animals and were often depicted in artwork alongside Egyptian gods and goddesses. These early cats were not domesticated like modern-day cats, but rather, they roamed freely around the streets and temples of Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian Cats

Ancient Egyptians had a close relationship with cats and they played an important role in their daily lives. They believed that cats had magical powers and could protect their homes from evil spirits. As a result, many Egyptians kept cats as pets and even mummified them after death.

The appearance of ancient Egyptian cats was similar to modern-day domesticated cats, with short fur and pointed ears. However, they had a slimmer build and longer legs than today’s breeds. Some Egyptian cats had distinctive markings on their fur, such as stripes or spots.

Cats in Ancient Rome

Cats were also popular in ancient Rome, where they were used to control the rat population. Roman cats were larger than their Egyptian counterparts and had thicker fur to withstand the colder climate.

Cats in Medieval Europe

During the Middle Ages, cats were often associated with witchcraft and sorcery. They were seen as evil creatures that could bring bad luck, which led to widespread persecution of these animals. Despite this negative reputation, some people did keep cats as pets during this time period.

Medieval European cats looked quite different from modern-day breeds. They had longer legs and more angular features than today’s domesticated felines.

Modern-Day Cats

Over time, cats have been selectively bred for specific traits, resulting in the wide variety of breeds we see today. From the fluffy Persian cat to the sleek Siamese, there is a cat breed to suit every preference.

Modern-day cats have shorter legs and rounder faces than their ancient ancestors. They also come in a wider range of colors and patterns, thanks to selective breeding.


Cats have been a beloved companion for centuries, with a rich history that spans back to ancient Egypt. While their appearance has evolved over time, their importance as pets and protectors has remained constant. Whether you prefer a sleek Siamese or a fluffy Persian, there’s no denying that cats are one of the most fascinating creatures on earth.