Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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The Evolution of Cats

The pantherlike ancestor to the cat family first appeared in Southeast Asia, about 10.8 million years ago. Prior to the use of DNA studies in cats, it was difficult to trace the Felidae family history, because feline fossils are rare, and difficult to tell apart.

In 1997, Warren E. Johnson and Stephen J. O’Brien performed DNA analyses of 37 living cat species, which allowed them to divide today’s cats into 8 lineages.

The great roaring cats (lions, leopards, jaguars, tigers) were the first to branch off, about 6.4 million years ago. The ancestor of modern domestic cats was the last to appear, about 3.4 million years ago. A small wildcat species was first domesticated in the Near East 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.

As sea levels rose and fell, cats migrated to new continents and developed new species. It is estimated that cats migrated to North America from Asia across the Bering land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska about 9 million years ago. Later, several American cat lineages returned to Asia. With each migration, the cats evolved further and changed into an ever-growing array of sizes and types of felines. Based on the DNA and fossil evidence, the Johnnson-O’Brien team was able to demonstrate a series of at least 10 intercontinental migrations of cats over the past 10 million years, in which cat were able to colonize the world.

Written by Tiffany Lennox, DVM

References:
Scientific American 297, 68-75 (2007)

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Last updated: May 25, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

5. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Killarney Cat Hospital