Animals have been a major focal point of life at the White House since 1800, when President John Adams came to live at the Presidents’ newly built home with his pet dogs Juno and Satan. Whether White House pets were beloved family pets or played a pivotal role in foreign affairs, they helped to humanize the Office of the President in the eyes of Americans.

One of the most well-known White House pets was Socks the Cat. Socks was a stray tuxedo cat adopted by President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton when they lived in Arkansas. The image of Socks was a common and beloved sight in households across the nation and became a pop culture icon, appearing in books, television shows, and video games.

While not the first White House pet to gain popularity with the American public, Socks the Cat provided a rare glimpse into life at the White House in a way that no pet had before.

Socks the Cat