The Story of Cats is a documentary tracing the evolution of cats into the subtle and fierce hunters they are today and looks at how they spread across the world.
This episode is part one of a two-part mini-series and looks at how our feline friends first evolved in the vast forest of Asia before gradually spreading all the way to Africa.
It explains how they became bigger to survive the cold, developed extremely tuned senses to hunt prey and even how the likes of lions became social enabling them to dominate the open grasslands.
Other cats featured in this episode are the mighty tiger, the clouded leopard, cheetahs and also some of the lesser know species.
Cats of all types have fascinated man before the dawn of civilisation, being equally revered and feared.
Their graceful movements, agility, speed and affinity with the night means they had a big impact on many cultures and civilisation, you only need to look at any ancient Egyptian ruin to see an example of their profound influence.
This two-parter takes an detailed look at how they evolved and examines the clever evolutionary tricks that give them the edge.
Next week the series will look at their move to the Americas and the rise of the domestic cat.
Watch The Story of Cats, Part 1: Asia to Africa at 8 PM on PBS.