It's easy to think of cats as the aloof and nonchalant roommates in our homes, acting like they don't need us. But the truth is, apparently the cat population is only as large as it is because they have been following humans around for thousands of years. Even though the ancient Egyptians worshiping the felines has a lot to do with their continued population growth, it turns out that cats may have been domesticated due to the dawn of agriculture.
A 9,500-year-old burial from Cyrprus was found to have remains of a cat, suggesting their domestic nature turns out to be a lot older than originally thought. The first "cat-boom" seems to have started back when the farming of grain started due to increased rodent populations. The wild cats started flocking to the easy meals and over time the humans started to like having them around.
This information is interesting to scientists because they now know that cats had two separate population booms. The first being when agricultural farming became popular and the second when boat travel became common. They were able to find out that there were cats on Viking ships to once again help protect the food stores from rodents.
What this all means is that cats traveled continents to be with humans. They were able to genetically connect cats from Bulgaria, Turkey and even sub-Sarahan Africa to those mummified in Egypt. You can read more about the study here, but at least next time your cat is being particularly anti-social you will know that deep, deep down they really do like being around you!