Before DNA, determining the ancestors of cats was very hard. The fossils of cats were very hard to tell apart because they only differ in size, but along with DNA, scientists in 2006 were able to confirm a lineage of cats. Around 9 million years ago, cats in Asian areas traveled to North America by the Beringian land bridge. Later, the cats that had migrated went back to Asia. Each time they migrated, cats would adapt to their surroundings and evolve into new species; one that would later become the common house cat. In 1997, Dr. Warren Johnson and Dr. Stephen O'Brien predicted that most cats fell into 1 of 8 lineages. With mitochondrial DNA and other DNA samples, they were able to put every single cat species into a lineage and compiled the DNA evidence and fossil evidence to create one big evolutionary tree. The lineage of the ancestors of the domestic cat appeared around 6.2 million years ago. Scientists decided that the ancestors either never left Asia or returned from America using the land bridge. Felis libyca, a cat that lived in North Africa and Asia, is considered the main ancestor of domestic cats today.
Foxes and Cats: Cats and foxes have completely different lineages. But foxes have striking similarities to cats. For example, the structure of cats and foxes are very light and help them be stealthy and very agile. They both also have retractable claws and reactive long whiskers. Another way they are similar is their hunting technique. Cats and foxes both rely on their slinky movements and quick sprints to catch their prey. Both are solitary hunters as well. They came from different ancestors, but through convergent evolution have resembled each other in many ways.