Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Famous Presidential Cats in the White House


Many presidents have had dogs. We’re all well acquainted with the Obamas’ lovable Portuguese Water Dog, Bo, but what about the other animals and pets, like John Quincy Adams’ silkworms or Theodore Roosevelt’s and John F. Kennedy’s veritable menagerie of animals? (Imagine Josiah, Teddy Roosevelt’s official First Badger!) Most importantly, what about all those First Cats through the ages? Join Hartz in chronicling some of the White House’s finest presidential cats as these kittens and tabbies have made their way into the history books.

1. Martin Van Buren’s tiger cubs.

The eighth president of the United States(1837-41) wasn’t only one of the first presidential cat people, but he also owned the largest. According to The Purring Post, Van Buren was a pet parent to two tiger cubs, a pair of gifts from the Sultan of Oman. Van Buren was “eventually pressured (by Congress) to move them out of the White House and donate them to the local zoo.”

2. Abraham Lincoln’s tabby cat, Tabby.

Technically the pet of his son, Tad, Lincoln held a deep affection for Tabby, reportedly feeding the cat with a gold spoon during dinners, according to The Purring Post – delicious 19th century cat treats? As a testament to this president’s often-acknowledged love of animals, a story says that, when asked about her husband’s hobbies,Lincoln’s wife Mary replied with just “cats.”

3. John F. Kennedy and Tom Kitten.

Caroline Kennedy owned a cat named Tom Kitten who wasn’t allowed to stick around Kennedy in the White House after the president was diagnosed with cat and dog allergies later in his term.

4. Bill Clinton and Socks.

Certainly one of the most photographed of White House pets, Sock’s iconic visage was often seen slinking around Clinton’s shoulders or peeking over presidential podiums. According to MustLoveCats.com, Socks not only hosts the children’s version of the White House’s website, but current Secretary of State and former First Lady Hillary Clinton even ghostwrote a children’s book about the dynamic presidential cat. Topping even that, Socks made a guest appearance on the popular sitcom Murphy Brown, says TV.com.

This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.

Which presidential pet is your favorite?