What Kind of Pets Did Ancient Greece Have?

In ancient Greece, pets were not as common as they are today. However, some animals were kept as pets by the ancient Greeks. Let’s take a look at some of the pets that were popular in ancient Greece.


Cats were among the most popular pets in ancient Greece. They were highly valued for their ability to catch mice and other rodents that infested homes and farms. Greek mythology also played a role in the popularity of cats, as they were believed to be sacred animals associated with the goddess Bastet.


Dogs were also kept as pets in ancient Greece. They served various purposes such as hunting and guarding homes and farms. The Greeks valued their loyalty and intelligence, which is evident from various works of literature from the time.


Birds such as doves, pigeons, and partridges were kept in cages as pets by wealthy Greeks. These birds were prized for their beauty and singing abilities. They were often used for entertainment during banquets and social gatherings.


Fish were also kept as pets by ancient Greeks, particularly goldfish. These fish were kept in bowls or ponds and admired for their vibrant colors.


Tortoises were considered exotic pets in ancient Greece, especially those imported from Asia Minor. They were kept primarily for their unique appearance.


Although pet ownership was not as common in ancient Greece compared to today’s standards, it is clear that some animals held a special place in the hearts of the Greeks. From cats to birds to tortoises, these animals enriched the lives of those who cared for them just like our modern-day companions do today.

    Quick Recap:

  • Cats – highly valued for catching rodents and associated with the goddess Bastet
  • Dogs – valued for loyalty and intelligence, used for hunting and guarding
  • Birds – kept in cages for beauty and singing abilities, used for entertainment
  • Fish – particularly goldfish admired for their vibrant colors
  • Tortoises – considered exotic pets, kept mainly for their unique appearance