No one knows exactly when the ferret was first domesticated, though archeological remains of the ferret have been dated to 1500 BCE. Most estimates place it sometime around the domestication of the cat. Some say the ancient Egyptians had ferrets, but it is more likely that Europeans visiting Egypt saw cats, and thought using a small carnivore to protect grain stores was a great idea. The ferret was probably bred from the European Polecat (Mustela putorius), and some use the scientific name Mustela putorius furo. It is also possible that ferrets have the Steppe polecat (Mustela eversmanni) in their ancestry.