Although humans have been the main subjects for mummification, animals were also mummified. Many of the mummies found were animals that might have been pets or used as offerings to the gods. Others were sacred and used for symbolism. Such animals included cats, monkeys, hawks, and even small insects such as the praying mantis. Often times, animal mummies were overlooked when it came to deciphering the Ancient Egyptian life. This has proved to be wrong and now many scientists and Egyptologist are taking a second look at these mummies.
The Egyptians loved pets and went to great lengths to keep them forever. Many of the common pets mummified were dogs, cats and monkeys. These animals were mummified and in most cases careful effort was used to preserve them. The pets were depicted on tomb walls and are shown eating food or sitting under the chair of the deceased. Other depictions show the pet retrieving wild game shot down by their owner.
Being preserved as pets, animal mummies were also used as offerings to gods. Some gods, such as Horus, who is represented by a falcon was also left offerings. Often times it was difficult to breed certain animals for sacrificial offerings so many were caught. If the proper animal could not be offered to the proper good, a false mummy was sometimes used. This mummy could have been made of other animals similar to the one needed, such as common birds or even mud. It seems the concept of giving to the gods was more important and early signs of fraud might have been evident.