Since cats were venerated in ancient Egypt, they were commonly believed to have been domesticated there, but there may have been instances of domestication as early as the Neolithic, from around 10,000 years ago (8,000 BC).
Some 10,000 years ago, somewhere in West Asia, an audacious wildcat accomplished the delicate transition from forest to village. There she felt safe from her many predators in the region, such as hyenas and larger cats, while the rodents that infested the settlers' homes and granaries were sufficient prey.
This scenario is backed by a genetic study from 2007 which revealed that domestic cats are descended from as few as five female of the African Wildcats subspecies (Felis Silvestris Lybica). From these five matriarchs all the world’s 600 million house cats are descended.