Cats and Dogs

Are your kids fans of cats or dogs or both?  Whichever one is preferred, this Theme Day is sure to be fun as you celebrate those furry friends.  Use this as a Theme Day if you are thinking of getting a pet to do some research to prepare or simply have fun with this Theme Day to celebrate the pets you have or the animals your children might love.

Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.



There are many songs about animals see if any of your children’s albums have songs about dogs or cats on them.

For an easy song about a dog try BINGO.  Check here for the words and tune (if you don’t already know it):

For two more dog songs sing “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?”  (try here for lyrics: ) or sing “Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?” (try here for lyrics: ).

I couldn’t think of a cat song so I will focus on cats with the nursery rhymes below to be fair. If you can think of one let us know at


Read the nursery rhyme “Three Little Kittens.”  For some history on the rhyme and the words check here:

Another nursery rhyme with a cat in it is “Hey Diddle Diddle the Cat and the Fiddle.” (

Yet another cat in a nursery rhyme is “Pussycat Pussycat Where Have You Been.” (




You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Cats Coloring Pages” or “Dogs Coloring Pages” or print out my Fun Furry Friends Colouring Page.



Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook: Do you like cats and dogs?  What would you name a pet cat or dog if you had one?  Why would a cat be a great pet?  Why would a dog be a great pet?  What would be the most difficult thing about having a pet like a cat or a dog?


 Choose the level of your child:

¨     Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer

¨     Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.

¨     Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.

¨     Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response.  (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)

¨     Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).

¨     As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or a poem about cats and dogs.


Print out a Cats and Dogs Word Search:

 Easy Cats and Dogs Word Search or Moderate Cats and Dogs Word Search.


Check here for the answer keys:

Easy Cats and Dogs Word Search Key or Moderate Cats and Dogs Word Search Key.




Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books with cats and dogs in them.


Go to the library with your child to find some books about cats and/or dogs.


Go to the library on your own to find books about cats and dogs from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day.  Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (search for “Cats” and “Dogs” under “Children’s books”).  Reserve them if you can to save time.


Here are some nonfiction/learning titles about cats:


· A Pet’s Life: Cats, by Anita Ganeri, Heinemann Library, 2009—this easy reading book gives an overview of how to take care of a cat.


· 500 Cats, by Jill Rappaport with Lynea Lattanzio and photographs by Bob Carey, Collins, 2009—written from the point of view of a kitten this book is based on a real place called Cat House on the Kings that really is a sanctuary for cats and dogs in California.


· Cats: How to Choose and Care for a Cat, by Laura S. Jeffrey, Enslow Publishers Inc., 2004—Part of the American Humane Pet Care Library, this book is easy to read and would be an ideal book if you are looking to add a cat to your family.


· Everything Cat: What Kids Really Want to Know  About Cats, by Marty Crisp, NorthWord Press, 2003—This book answers 30 questions that kids may have about cats.



Here are some nonfiction/learning titles about dogs:


· DK Eyewitness Books: Dog, written Juliet Clutton-Brock, DK Publishing, Inc., 1991—This encyclopaedia like book  has a lot of information about dogs and would please grade school scholars but little ones will like all the photographs.


· Dogs: How to Choose and Care for a Dog, by Laura S. Jeffrey, Enslow Publishers Inc., 2004—Part of the American Humane Pet Care Library, this book is easy to read and would be an ideal book if you are looking to add a dog to your family.


· Everything Dog: What Kids Really Want to Know  About Dog, by Marty Crisp, NorthWord Press, 2003—This book answers 32 questions that kids may have about dogs.


· Please Take Me For a Walk, by Susan Gal, Alfred A. Knopf, 2010—I love the unique illustrations in this book (charcoal and digital collage) about a cute dog who gives many good reasons he likes to go for  a walk.


· Slim Goodbody’s Inside Guide to Pets: Dogs, by John Burstein, Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2008Written in frist person from the perspective of a dog named Chico, this informative book looks at the facts about the body of dogs.


Try this nonfiction title about cats and dogs:


· Cats vs. Dogs, by Elizabeth Carne, National Geographic, 2011—This easy reader book is full of interesting facts and lots of photographs.



Here are some picture books about cats:


· Cats Ahoy!, by Peter Bently and Jim Field, Macmillan Children’s Books, 2011—This is a rhyming story about cats who secretly become pirates and it explains why cats say ‘Me How?” (get it “MEOW!).


· I Love Cats, by Barney Saltzberg, Candlewick Press, 2005—This simple easy to read rhyming book about cats is colourful and fun.


· Skippyjon Jones, by Judy Schachner, Dutton Children’s Books, 2003—Skippyjon is a cute little Siamese kitten with a large imagination.


· Splat the Cat, by Rob Scotton, Harpercollins Publishers, 2008—Splat, the fuzzy black cat, is worried about his first day of school but with a little help from his mouse friend things turn out better than he could have guessed.



Here are some picture books about dogs:


· 10 Little Hot Dogs, by John Himmelman, Marshall Cavendish Children, 2010—This cute counting book is sure to amuse due to the illustrations of the funny little daschunds playing on a chair.


· I Love Dogs, by Barney Saltzberg, Candlewick Press, 2005—This simple easy to read rhyming book about dogs  is colourful and fun.



Here are some picture books about cats and dogs:


· Bow Wow Meow Meow: It’s Rhyming Cats and Dogs, by Douglas Florian, Harcourt, Inc., 2003—This book offers 11 poems about dogs and 10 about cats.


· A Cat and a Dog, by Claire Masurel and illustrated by Bob Kolar, A Cheshire Studio Book, 2001—My kindergartener liked this book as he was able to read the simple text about a dog and a cat who live in the same house and are not friends but learn to help each other.


· La Rue Across America: Postcards from the Vacation, by Mark Teague, The Blue Sky Press, 2011—LaRue the dog cannot believe his bad luck when his owner decides to help his neighbour out by looking after her cats while they are on vacation.


· Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Poetry, written by Joyce Sidman, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006—This is a unique book that uses concrete poetry (words that form pictures) to express the story of a cat and a dog who become friends.


· No Dogs Allowed!, word and pictures by Anne Davis, Harper, 2011—Grouchy Bud the cat does not like Cookie the dog and kicks him out of the house, but when friend Gabby the cat worries about Cookie, Bud realizes what he should do.


· Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival,  by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery and illustrated by Jean Cassels, Walker and Company, 2008—The story of a cat and dog that survived Hurrican Katrina is sure to inspire.






Materials: Blue paper, another colour or two of paper (for the umbrella – have your child choose the colour), stickers of cats and dogs (or magazine pictures of cats and dogs).


Step 1: Fold a piece of coloured paper in half (the umbrella) and fold it in half again.  Draw a quarter circle on one side of the fold and then cut.  When you unfold the paper you will have a symmetrical umbrella shape. You could also do this free hand if you choose.

Step 2: Have your child glue the umbrella shape about halfway down the sheet of blue paper so that there is room at the top of the stickers.

Step 3: Display or glue into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.



Materials: Old magazines that can be cut up, chid safe scissors, glue stick, damp cloth for sticky fingers.

Step 1: Go through old magazines with your children and search for photographs of dogs and cats.  Rip out the pages, cut the pictures out and put them in a pile.

Step 2: Have your child glue the magazine pictures of cats and dogs onto a piece of coloured paper.

Step 3: Display or glue into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.



Materials: buttons, felt cloth (from craft store) or you can use paper and glue, needle and thread (for older kids or adults) or white glue, googly eyes, other colors of paper or felt.

Step 1: Cut out a circle from the felt for the dogs head and a circle with triangle ears for the cat head. (I traced around a bowl using a pencil to make our animal heads.

Step 2: For the dog cut out two long ovals from another colour of felt to be used as the ears.

Step 3: Have younger kids glue the buttons onto their animal heads.  The buttons can be the noses as we’ve done but they could also be eyes as well. My eldest wanted to use a button for the cat’s mouth. 

Step 4: Teach older kids how to thread a needle and then demonstrate how to sew a button. You could use another piece of felt and an additional button and needle and thread to do so.  My eldest was so excited to use a needle and thread!  Have your older child sew the button(s) onto the felt head as eyes, nose or mouth.

Step 5: Have your kids glue or sew on any additional embellishments like the felt ears or googly craft eyes.

Step 6: You can also have your kids use markers to draw on details like whiskers or mouths.



Materials: An old (clean) left over sock (if your household is like ours you probably have a whole pile of socks that are missing their pair), buttons, needle and thread (optional for older kids) or white glue (or glue gun for adult use if your kids wont want to wait for the glue to dry), red contrition paper or craft foam, and any other materials you can think of to add on like additional craft foam or felt.  We used sticky back craft foam for the nose, ears and mouth which required no glue!

Step 1: Put your hand in the sock to determine how the face will be.  Shape a mouth by using your thumb as the lower part of the jaw.

Step 2: Cut out a red tongue from the construction paper or from red craft foam (we used sticky back red foam) and then glue or sew onto the puppet where your thumb is to make the mouth.

Step 3: Sew or glue buttons or googly eyes onto the puppet for eyes,

Step 4: Sew or glue felt or foam ears.

Step 5: Sew or glue a felt or foam nose.

Step 6: Let it dry if using glue and then use as a toy puppet.  Encourage your kids to make up a story for a puppet show.



Materials: Construction paper (we used two sheets of black paper glued together to make it stronger since we didn’t have black construction paper), cotton balls, white glue, black pipe cleaners, stapler, child safe scissors, pink paper, glue stick, hold punch and yarn, a pair of sunglasses to trace around and a pencil.


Step 1: With a pencil trace around a pair of sunglasses to get a basic mask shape onto the black paper.

Step 2: Cut out the shape adding cat ears to the top of the shape or floppy dog ears if you want to make a dog.

Step 3: Cut out some small eye holes.  You may have to adjust these to fit your child.

Step 4: Cut out a pink (or other colour) nose.  We also added pink triangles for the insides of the cat’s ears.

Step 5: Staple the cat whiskers (pipe cleaners) onto the paper (or omit if you are making a dog and instead draw on black spots.

Step 6: Glue cotton balls over the whiskers if you are making a cat or omit for the dog mask.

Step 7: Once the glue has dried you can hole punch two holes at opposite ends and tie two pieces of yarn through each hole.  Then you can tie the mask around your child’s head.  Let your chid have fun pretending to be an animal.



Materials: A paper cup (not Styrofoam or plastic—that won’t work), a hole punch, paint (and paint supplies like brushes, water in a jar, paper towels, old clothes to wear and paper to cover the table, a piece of wax paper to put paint on and for the craft to dry on), red paper or black pipe cleaners depending on what animal your child wants to make, child safe scissors, tape, yarn.

Step 1: Have your child decide what animal he/she would like to make and then decide on the colours of the nose and fur. Paint the paper cup the colour of the animal (we choose brown) and colour the bottom of the cup for the nose (we choose black).

Step 2: Set the cup aside to dry.  Once it is dry hole punch along the rim in two spots opposite each other.  This is where you will attach the yarn to tie it on your child’s head.

Step 3: Cut out a long oval for the tongue and tape it underneath the cup between the two hole punches.  Bend it slightly so the tongue sticks down. If you are making a cat mask do not attach a tongue but instead tape on or poke through pipe cleaners for whiskers.

Step 4: Cut two long pieces of yarn and tie each through a different hold punched hole.

Step 5: Have your child hold the cup over his/her nose and then tie the yarn into a tight bow around your child's head.  We found it stayed in place better if the yarn was tied over the years. Let your chid have fun pretending to be an animal.




For some fun act like a dog or cat and serve a simple snack in bowls on the ground! Place some dry cereal in a bowl and chow down and some milk in another bowl and lap it up!


For lunch serve hot dogs, of course!


Make Surprise Weiner Dogs by wrapping hot dogs in either refrigerated pizza dough or pigs in a blanket dough (we used Pillsbury) and cook in the oven.  Then cut a small hole to add a black bean for a nose (I usually have some canned black beans open in my fridge as I like to add them to salads but you could plan this Theme Day snack around a time when you will be using black beans for dinner like in a chili).  Then lay some sliced pieces of ham over for ears and draw two ketchup eyes using toothpicks.  We cut out cheddar cheese feet using a small round icing cutter and added a toothpick for a tail.



Shaggy Marshmallow Dogs: Melt a handful of chocolate chips in the microwave safe bowl in the microwave with a tiny bit of butter or margarine.  Melt at 30 second intervals and continue to mix until melted.   In another bowl place coconut.  Dip a marshmallow into the melted chocolate and roll around to cover it completely.  Then dip the chocolate covered marshmallow into the coconut and gently roll around.  You may need to spoon additional coconut over the marshmallow to ensure the whole thing gets covered in coconut.  Choose candies or raisins or nuts or chocolate chips etc. to decorate your shaggy dog.  We used a butterscotch chip for the nose, small cake candies for the eyes, small cake hearts for the tongue and sliced almonds for the ears.  Place in the fridge to harden or eat immediately if your kids don’t care if the chocolate is hardened or not!

Cat and Dog cupcakes:  Make your favourite cupcakes (we made Nigella Lawson’s cupcakes found online at and then iced with white frosting.  For the cat use marshmallows and M&M’s or other small chocolate candies, and pretzels.  For the dog use small chocolate cookies, M&M’s or other small chocolate candies, and red gummies.




Print out my HOW TO CARE FOR A PET worksheet and together as a family brainstorm and write down all the necessary things that must be done to care for a pet (dog or cat).



This site offers “A Kids’ Guide to Dog Care”:

This site is all about dog breeds:

For some sites that help you find a dog that is right for your family try these: and and


For Cat care check here:

This site is all about cat breeds:

To choose a cat for your family look here: and and




DOG DOG CAT:  Instead of Duck Duck Goose change the words to Dog Dog Cat.  This only works with a larger group though.

BRITISH BULLDOG: This game requires 4 to 10 players.  Whoever is “it” is in the middle of the backyard (or playing area) and on “GO!” everyone tries to pass to the other side of the yard without being tagged.  If you are tagged you then try to help catch the other players as they rush past the next turn.  Once everyone has been tagged, the last one tagged becomes the new “it” for the next game.


Have your child act like a cat or dog.  Talk about how each animal behaves and then see if your child can mimic those behaviours. If your child wants he/she can wear the mask(s) he/she may have made from the above crafts.


If your child has some stuffed animal cats and dogs or some plastic toy cats and dogs this would be the perfect Theme Day to take them out and play together.


Q: When does a mouse need an umbrella?

A: When it’s raining cats and dogs.



Who’s there?


Neil who?

Neil down and pet your dog.


Q:What is a cat’s favourite colour?

A: Purrrr-ple!



Who’s there?


Catsup who?

Catsup a tree and we can’t get her down.


Q: What did the dog say when he was on sandpaper?

A: Ruff!


Q: How can you tell if your cat has been using your computer?

A: Your Mouse has teeth marks on it.





Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with cats or dogs in them.


For young children try these titles:


· Barney: Furry Friends

· Blue’s Clues

· The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot About That

· Clifford the Big Red Dog

· Guess with Jess

· Kipper


For family movies try these titles:


· The Adventures of Milo and Otis

· The Aristocats

· Benji (I adored these movies when I was little)

· Bolt

· Homeward Bound I or II

· Shiloh or the sequel Shiloh Season

· The Cat from Outer Space (another old one that I loved as a child)




If you have a dog as a pet take him/her out for a family walk or ask a friend or family member with a dog if you can borrow their dog for an hour and take it for a walk.



Visit a pet store to see some kittens and puppies.

If your community is hosting a dog show or demonstration attend that.


Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Colouring Page

Photo: C Wright

Photo: C Wright


It’s Raining Cats and Dogs Picture

Dogs and Cats Collage

Cute as a button: Dog and Cat Craft

Dog Sock Puppet

Paper Cat Mask

Paper Cup Dog Nose Mask

Shaggy Dogs Marshmallow Treats

Surprise Hot Dogs

Cat and Dog Cupcakes

My favourite picture of my childhood dog!

(I called her Bat Dog in this photo)

Photo: C Wright

Family Brainstorm about Pet Care