A major new study has been published on the historical genetics of house cats and their ancestors. The findings are very interesting, even though they confirm what most people had long suspected. First they show that all domestic cats are descended from one subspecies of wild cats, Felis silvestris lybica, native to north Africa and the Middle East (in the picture above). It seems that the first cats to live with humans began hanging around farming villages in the Middle East before 6000 BCE. Then in classical times cats from Egypt spread widely across Europe and west Asia; modern domestic cats are descended from those two groups. The study shows that cats found in human settlements remained genetically nearly identical to wild cats until the middle ages, when they began to be bred for different color types and so on.
So modern domestic cats are different from their wild ancestors. But they are much more similar to wild cats than dogs, horses, cows, or pigs are to their wild ancestors, and they lack the common suite of features (all based on neoteny, that is, looking more like babies) that is shared by other domesticated mammals.