There were a variety of animals in ancient Egypt. Some animals were raised for food purposes while others were raised as pets. Ancient Egyptian pets were domesticated animals that were special to all ancient Egyptian families.
Many of the ancient Egyptian pets we know about were found within tombs of the pharaohs. The clay figurines found were of animals with intricate painted details like fur, faces, ears, noses, mouths and tails.
It was not uncommon to find mummified ancient Egyptian pets within a tomb. Although ancient Egyptians did not worship any type of animal as a god, some ancient Egyptian pets had significant meaning.
Cats were an ancient Egyptian pet that had a special meaning for family members. Figurines of cats were found in almost all of the tombs of the pharaohs.
Ancient Egyptians believed cats were mystical. They thought cats protected and watched over their children and homes.
In ancient Egypt cats were thought of not only as pets but as guardians. Ancient Egyptians petted, hugged and fed their cats well.
When a cat died in ancient Egypt, the family grieved the death like a human. Sometimes families mummified their dead cats.
Killing a cat in ancient Egypt was a crime. Cats were the symbol of the god Bast for their grace and poise while hunting prey.
Dogs were one of the most popular ancient Egyptian pets. Dogs were treated very well and beloved by family members.
Dogs were primarily used for protection against crime. Some families would name their dogs and other ancient Egyptian families would not name their dogs.
In general, dogs were allowed to roam the home freely both inside and outside.
Rich ancient Egyptian families might have a crocodile as a pet. Crocodiles were considered to be a sacred ancient Egyptian pet.
The animal represented the god named Sobek for its powerful and fierce nature. Ancient Egyptian families with crocodiles as pets had care takers that would feed the animal.
Crocodiles would live in a special courtyard that contained a pond.
Another ancient Egyptian pet were monkeys and baboons. These ancient Egyptian pets were a favorite of children.
Children would spend hours teaching monkeys and baboons tricks. Some monkeys were allowed to roam free within the home.
Others were restrained by a short leash around their neck. Monkeys and baboons lived within the home and courtyard where fruit trees were plentiful.
Horses were considered to be an ancient Egyptian pet for a rich family. Horses arrived in ancient Egypt around 1650 B.C.E. Horses were given names, a stable and plenty of food to eat.
Horses were groomed and bathed by their owners. Owners would ride or use their horse to pull a chariot as well as at special ceremonies such as weddings, parades and for warfare.