A new study traces the genetic changes that has made it possible for cats to snuggle up with humans¬†and purr for treats. These genetic¬†changes have altered the cat’s motivation to seek rewards and have lessened their fear of new situations, said study co-author Wesley Warren, a geneticist at the Genome Institute at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Essentially once cats figured out they could get humans to do their dirty work, they decided it was more beneficial to be around humans rather than stay aloof and fend for themselves. After all, when was the last time you saw a cat capable of opening a can of tuna fish on its own?

To read more about this study that shows how cats have evolved over time to become more tolerant of humans, click here.