Around 10,000 years ago, humans in the Middle East's Fertile Crescent transitioned from hunting and gathering to farming. They formed partnerships with cats, which aided in pest control. A University of Missouri study led by feline geneticist Leslie A. Lyons traced the domestication of cats to this period. Through DNA analysis of cats from the Fertile Crescent, Europe, Asia, and Africa, using markers like microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms, the study revealed that the Fertile Crescent was likely the first site of cat domestication. Cats accompanied humans during their global travels, resulting in diverse cat populations. These semi-domesticated cats maintained much of their natural behavior. This research supports Lyons' broader aim of using cats for biomedical research, with genetic tools aiding disease studies. The study highlights the genetic similarities between cats and humans and the potential for using cats to study diseases shared by both species.