Presidential Pets On Parade!

“If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”

That famous quote is attributed to President Harry S. Truman. Indeed, searching the InterTubes turns up lots of First Dogs- but Socks appears to be the sole First Kitteh.


It’s President’s Day in the US. To celebrate, here’s a mini-selection of famous Presidential Pets!

Bill Clinton and cat n









Photo 1 of Socks (and President Clinton) from No Idea.
Photo 2 and 3 of Socks (and President Clinton) from the U.S. National Archives.
Photo 4 of Socks from The Washington Post.
Photo 5 of Bo and Michelle Obama from ABC
Photo 6 of Rex and President Reagan from Pupscale Grooming.
Photo 7 of Barney from
Photo 8 of Millie, President and Mrs. Bush from
Photo 9 of Checkers and Republican VP candidate Nixon from Reporter News.


  1. ithought lincoln had kitties.

    and i know teddy roosevelt did.

  2. I just recently read that Lincoln’ son Tad had a pet kitty at the White House.

    Also, I love Gerald Ford’s plaid pants….

  3. Awww. I love Socks! So cute!

  4. Lisa marie says:


  5. Andrew Jackson’s pet parrot (named Poll) had to be removed from Jackson’s funeral because it wouldn’t stop swearing. When the first guests arrived, it commenced with the vulgarities and let loose with an unending stream of profanities…Ha.

  6. Blue Footed Booby says:

    That’s really fitting. Jackson did some nasty stuff in office but man he was a character.

  7. twocityshibas says:

    *chortle chortle*

  8. fallengirl says:

    didn’t Amy Carter have a cat?

  9. Yes. And George W. and Mrs. Bush also had a black cat, in addition to Barney and Miz Beasley

  10. And there’s Pauline the Holstein cow which was President Taft’s pet:

  11. I found a list of presidential pets on Wikipedia, which means it may or may not be accurate:

    I had no idea that John Quincy Adams had an alligator and silkworms. Wacky!

    Love all the photos and videos, and I concur that Socks was one cute cat!

  12. I love so much that Ulysses Grant had a horse named Jeff Davis.

  13. Such an interesting list! Pigmy hippos, hyenas, bear cubs, lion cubs, wallabies…so many backstories to mine…

  14. kibblenibble says:

    Ever notice how happy and relaxed people look when they are photographed with their pets? Quite a contrast from the pictures that we often see of presidents.

  15. I had the same exact thought. Everyone has such soft, happy looks on their faces. The power of the Qte!

  16. Socks was not the only cat to live in the White House but I think he was the only one to not have to share the place with a dog.

  17. Socks was the best first pet of the modern era, proving once again that cats rule.

  18. Yeah, there have been some lovely presidential pets over the years, but Socks has a special place in my heart just for his sheer yes-I-am-the-master-of-this-house-you-got-a-problem-with-that demeanor.

  19. Well, technically Socks proved not to be a master of the house. The WP caption says the secretary in the picture ended up adopting Socks when the Clintons left the White House because Socks couldn’t get along with Buddy the chocolate lab.

  20. Buddy probably didn’t understand about Socks being boss.

  21. He was probably extremely jealous that only Socks got a book deal (er, I think but I could be wrong) and enough fan mail to get himself appointed Chief Executive Cat (sign on desk).

  22. Don’t forget Mr. Reciprocity, who was Benjamin Harrison’s pet possum!

  23. I always laughed and laughed when Nancy was being pulled around by that Big Black Dog(can’t remember the breed) Was so glad when she got the little King Charles.

  24. I loff that the Clintons had a cat. How awesome was Socks?? That pic of him in the car? Boom! And riding around on Bill’s shoulders… That is one confident-looking cat. :D

  25. Y’all forgot that the Clintons also had a chocolate lab named Buddy.

  26. I just love this post! Especially the picture of Ford reading with one hand and petting that beautiful lab with the other. But… did my eyes deceive me or was Mrs. Coolige holding…. a raccoon!!?? 2nd video at the :45 mark!

  27. In 1878, the Us ambassador to Bangkok, sent Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes a Siamese cat, the first in the US. Everyone immediately loved it and it had the run of the White House. Unfortunately, she died 9 months later of unknown causes–everyone in the W. House was heartbroken. Also, true that Amy Carter had a cat, Misty Malarky Yin Yang and Gerald Ford’s daughter Susan had a cat in the White House.

  28. AWW :D As a Canadian, I always love to see a cat in the White House :D

  29. <3 Reagan

  30. And his adorable doggie!

  31. socks was evidently polydactyl– and teddy roosevelt famously had a polydactyl cat while in the white house.


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