Abraham Lincoln and Cats – Presidents & Pets

1860s White House.jpg
Public Domain, Link

When asked if her husband had any hobbies, Mary Todd Lincoln reportedly said, “cats”. President Lincoln welcomed stray cats to the White House. During the darkest days of the Civil War, the company of his cats helped sustain him. He rescued three orphaned kittens at General Grant’s headquarters in Virginia. So the next time you do something nice for a cat, you are following in the footsteps of one of the greatest American Presidents.

Cute grey kitten.jpg
By Nicolas Suzor from Brisbane, Australia – Kittens!
Uploaded by Kaldari, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Of course Lincoln wasn’t the only President who loved his pets. President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Grace Coolidge kept cats, dogs, and even a pet raccoon. Grace Coolidge posed for her official portrait with her dog. Should Presidential families include their pets in portraits more often?

Grace Coolidge Official portrait.jpg
By Howard Chandler ChristyWhitehousehistory.org, Public Domain, Link

This entry was posted in American History, Cat and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Abraham Lincoln and Cats – Presidents & Pets

  1. shandie says:

    I really admire those people who chose to continue in giving love and attention to their pets despite of their busy schedule because their duties & responsibilities. And of course, pets should be in the portraits because they are part of the family too. 🙂

  2. Betsy Barnes says:

    I never knew this, great post! I love that he took in strays, very cool!

  3. Christy Peeples DuBois says:

    I love cats also and always have. If they want to include their pets in portraits I think they should.

  4. Melissa Parkin says:

    Great article!! As if Lincoln couldn’t get any cooler, the man took in strays! 🙂

  5. sheila ressel says:

    How cool was Lincoln?! I’d love to see more pets in presidential pictures.

  6. Amro Zed says:

    Nice ! but i love cats more than dogs 🙂

  7. Pam P. says:

    What an insightful post! I had no idea! 🙂

  8. Nyx says:

    love cats <3

  9. Nada Adel Sobhi says:

    Interesting post. I didn’t know that about presidents and pets, although it is a bit logic. Presidents are eventually people, and definitely one who treats animals well can be entrusted to treat his people well.

  10. Sarah L says:

    Yes, I think that Presidents should have their pets in at least one portrait.

  11. Jana Leah says:

    It’s great that Lincoln rescued strays.

  12. Courtney Kinder says:

    What a great post! What a cute little kitten. Thanks for sharing!

  13. debbie s says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how important animals are to us as human beings. Past present and most positively hopefully the future. Very interesting read 🙂

  14. Ashleigh Swope says:

    Everyone loves cats! I love Lincoln now haha

  15. amanda roach says:

    what a cuete kitten

  16. Beth Ann Tilley says:

    Great post, thank you! I didn’t know any of that.

  17. Irma J says:

    This is such a great post. I’m always fascinated by this things.

  18. Becky Richardson says:

    Had no idea Lincoln loved cats as much as he did. Such a fun bit of history. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Heather Strand says:

    That’s very interesting! I rescued my kitten, Bella, 9 months ago. <3

  20. Penny Olson says:

    Thanks for the post! I didn’t know this about President Lincoln.

  21. Bailey Dexter says:

    I love a back story or just interesting facts. Thanks!

  22. Jeane Campbell says:

    I find it interesting how we now expect our President to have a dog. Can’t remember one recently that had a cat… wonder if President Trump will get a dog or does he have one already? Wait and see.

  23. Michele says:

    This info about pets and presidents was so informative.. I plan on sharing it with my grandchildren.. thank you…

  24. Amy Green says:

    I think it’s always fun to learn about White House First Families. It’s neat to learn which families kept cats or dogs as their pets!

  25. Kim Holliday says:

    This post just gave me another reason to admire Abraham Lincoln.

  26. Rhi says:

    That is really interesting trivia. I love cats and it cracks me up that there have been cats in the White House.

  27. Sue @ Crushingcinders says:

    I love cats! I wonder what pets the new president will have.

  28. Leslie C says:

    Interesting post…I learned something new thx!

  29. Jan says:

    Great read thanks for that

  30. Lisa Ogle says:

    Very interesting, nice little tidbits I did not know.

  31. Mary Margaret Devine says:

    Why shouldn’t the President have pets? Pets lower stress and help keep people healthier. Also, I think that whether a person has pets says a lot about them.

  32. maria roselle mendoza says:

    very nice post. thanks a lot for sharing.

  33. Barrie says:

    Makes sense that presidents have pets. Pets calm people and help them relax!

  34. Felicia says:

    I love your love for cats

  35. Lena Smith says:


  36. Kelly says:

    A presidential raccoon, that is hilarious. I bet the furry friends can offer a support/love that is difficult if not impossible for a president to find elsewhere.

  37. DENISE SMITH says:

    this is something that i did not know about Lincoln i have 3 cats and 2 dogs we love animals

  38. Terry Poage says:

    I like to see what kinds of pets the Presidents have. I think this tells you a lot about a person.

  39. Addie says:

    I absolutely ADORE cats, and I had no idea that Abraham Lincoln loved them so much! I, too, rescued my kitty from the alley outside my apartment. It’s nice to know that there were kitties in the White House!

  40. Fee Roberts says:

    I’m following Lincoln. I rescued my kitty.

  41. Mike W says:


  42. MJ Symmonds says:

    Yes they should include pets in family pics. They are after all part of the family. Lovely post.

  43. Pamela Gurganus says:

    How interesting to learn this about Abraham Lincoln! Thanks for sharing this.

  44. clojo9372 says:

    How cool! I didn’t know President Lincoln liked cats! You learn something new everyday! 😀

  45. Kara Marks says:

    That is so interesting–I never thought about the older presidents and their pets.

  46. shannon fowler says:

    Thats so sweet! I never knew that about him. I love cats and all three were rescued.

  47. Kate Sarsfield says:

    This was a lovely posting. Grace Coolidge’s portrait is wonderful (love the shoes as well!).

  48. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

  49. Gloria Walshver says:

    My husband adopted a kitten from our backyard and brought it into our basement from the cold and snow. Besides the kitten we have a dog.

  50. Della Williamson says:

    Loved this. Love animals. And history. Great post.

  51. Jonella Moore says:

    I didn’t know this about President Lincoln! I love my 2 cats ❤

  52. Emily Endrizzi says:

    I heard that recently there was an incident where one of the Obama’s dogs bit a young lady in the face. Very unfortunate. Apparently, the woman was up in the dog’s face trying to kiss and hug it and the dog didn’t appreciate it.

  53. Dianne Casey says:

    Very interesting post. I was surprised to learn about Lincoln and his love of cats.

  54. Judy Thomas says:

    Very interesting post.I love cats.I like dogs but cats are love 🙂

  55. peggy clayton says:

    Just love cats and this was nice also the above post with the presidents and their pets that is so true I saw on the news a special on all the presidents and what pets they had. I really liked it

  56. Rita Wray says:

    I enjoyed the post, thank you. The painting is lovely!

  57. johnna smith says:

    I did not know this about Lincoln. Very interesting!

  58. John Thuku says:

    This is such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it.

  59. Tamara Brown says:

    The things you learn about historical figures…..very interesting

  60. Natalie says:

    I always like to read about the personal side of our Presidents!

  61. John Smith says:

    Abraham Lincoln just gets better and better. Thank you!

  62. Mary Preston says:

    What a fun post thank you.