A new study has confirmed that domestic cats have smaller brains and skulls than their wild ancestors.
The paper, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, replicated studies on cranial volumes in domestic cats from the 60s and 70s and found that domestic cats have smaller brains relative to European wildcats and the wild ancestors of domestic cats, the African wildcats.
To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers measured a total of 103 skulls from the collections of National Museums Scotland.
To measure the cranial volume of the skull, the cranium was filled with 1mm diameter glass beads, the beads were then weighed and converted into volumes by a conversion factor of 10ml of glass beads weighing 15.37g.
The study found that house cats have smaller cranial volumes than African wildcats, but both have smaller brains than European wildcats.
The authors of the paper inferred that domestication had an impact on cat cranial volume.