Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9715739:

Merry Ukrainian Christmas 3 1, 5:36pm


In Sweden cats are recorded as far back as the 5th century - but then only sparsely, being brought here as pets.

It wasn't until Scandinavia got the black rats (who are not indigenous to our region but migrated here from the continent) in the 12th and 13th century that farmers and grain merchants turned to cats to hunt the rats that where eating out their grain stores.

By the 13th century cats are protected by law as they where seen as valuable property for their rat catching skills. Anyone killing an owners cats where fined for it.

By the 14th century they're found on basically every farm and there they have remained ever since - catching rats and rodents.

But since then we've also upgrade them to be pure house pets and companions of course.

I expect their history is much the same in Norway as it's been in Sweden and as such they where probably brought from there to Iceland as soon as they got the black rats over there as well.

Which would have been about in the same time as the rest of Scandinavia, as rats ability to stow away on ships depend on their size.

They couldn't very well stow away on the Vikings open longboats as they where spotted and killed.

It's not until the larger trading vessels like the cog's begin to traverse the seas in the early middle ages that rats can manage to cross them undetected deep in the bowels of the ships, spreading to new lands.