The Varied Ways of How to Get a Pet in The Sims 4

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Author: Nicole
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There are multiple ways to bring pets into the lives of your sims, for every type of player!

How to Get a Pet
How to Get a Pet in the Sims 4!

If you’re an animal lover in real life you probably want your sims to have animals in their lives, too. Pets have been shown to improve our lives in a number of ways and it’s no surprise that they’re a popular and highly requested/expected concept to see in the Sims franchise games. Whether you’re looking for vanilla animals or modded options, here’s how to get a pet in the Sims 4.

Vanilla Gameplay (PC/Mac, Xbox, Playstation)

We’re going to start off with the vanilla options on how to get a pet that are available to us through DLC, which has its pros & cons. The best thing about Pack content is that it’s available on all platforms, and integrates into the game seamlessly. On the other hand, DLC costs money and there are multiple packs to purchase if you want all the available content.

1. Cats & Dogs Expansion

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By far the largest and most robust option, the Cats & Dogs EP brings our favorite 4-legged friends to the world of The Sims 4. Cats and dogs can be added to your sims’ households in multiple ways:

  • CAS: Pets can be created right from CAS and work just like sims do so they can be made from scratch, created via genetics, or downloaded from the Gallery.
  • Adoption: Sims can choose to adopt a pet through their phone. They can pick up to 3 animals to meet and/or keep, which will be brought to them for a visit by an adoption agent.
  • Strays: If your sim hits it off with a stray animal, you can choose to adopt them directly by clicking on the animal and selecting “Adopt.”

2. My First Pet Stuff Pack

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This Stuff Pack was controversial because it essentially acted as an expansion to an expansion, as you couldn’t fully enjoy the content without having Cats & Dogs as well. The pack contained furniture that coordinated with stuff from C&D as well as pet food bowls and clothing that were inaccessible without the EP.

As far as new content is concerned, the pack brought tank pets into the world of the Sims 4. Tanks are available in Build/Buy Mode and are stocked in Live Mode similar to the fish tanks. Unlike fish tanks however, these pets require attention to thrive. They will need food, clean bedding, and interactions with sims in order to remain content.

The tank options are somewhat limited, offering 4 different rodents to choose from. If sims neglect their pet it’s possible for the critter to fall ill and pass on Rabid Rodent Fever via bite. If left untreated, sims with Rabid Rodent Fever will die and spend their afterlife forever humiliated as their ghost takes the form of a giant hamster foaming at the mouth.

Because of the controversy surrounding this stuff pack, we’ve rated it the worst one in the Sims 4. See the rest of the rankings here.

3. Cottage Living Expansion

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Cottage Living is also known as “the farm pack” because it brings farming to TS4, in both produce and animal form. This pack adds new domestic farm animals as well as wild creatures that your sims can interact with and befriend.

By purchasing a coop or shed in Build/Buy Mode your sim can add multiple chickens, cows, and llamas to their household. Though not exclusively pets, sims can form relationships with these animals and interact with them in fulfilling ways if they so desire. Both shed and wild animals can even be given clothing that your sims purchased from the Creature Keeper and if you have the Nifty Knitting Game Pack, your sims have the option of crafting the clothing themselves.

There are wild foxes, rabbits, and birds that your sims can befriend, though they cannot be adopted or added to a household. Technically foxes exist in an adoptable form, but they’re actually just dogs from Cats & Dogs with a unique fur design and voice (the same can be said for raccoons, but they’re cats instead of dogs).

4. Other Packs/Misc

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There are multiple critters & creatures throughout the Sims 4 franchise that don’t technically count as pets but can still satisfy that want in players if they have no other options. For example:

  • Fish are available in the base game with more varieties added in several packs. Sims can choose to stock their fish tanks with a limited selection of animals, or they can catch their own. The more skilled your sim is at fishing, the better chances of snagging a rare or especially cool looking fish.
    • Fish also come in a large coffee table from My First Pet Stuff though they’re not interactable and serve as decor more than anything.
  • Frog spots are scattered throughout the different Sims 4 worlds and if your sim has more than 1 in their inventory, they can be bred and crossbred as well. You can also just display them in their tanks where they will need no attention or care. They serve as collectibles in the game and because they don’t need any attention they make a great “pet” for young/busy sims.
  • Similar to frogs, there are 5 different live alien species without needs that can be collected from space that are kept in tanks. Your sim has to be pretty handy and great at rocket science to collect them.
  • If you have the Outdoor Retreat Game Pack, sims can catch & keep interesting insects and mythical creatures such as dragonflies, bees, dust spirits, and Will-o-the-Wisps. These bugs are also considered collectibles.
    • Bees are also found in the Sims 4 Seasons Pack, exclusive to beehives that sims can use to gather honey. Your sim cannot develop a relationship with bees but their attitude will be affected by how they’re treated.
  • The Sims 4 Island Living added dolphins that mermaid sims can call and interact with. You can play with them, pet them, talk to them, and even send them to fetch things for you if your relationship is good enough.

Custom Content & Mods (PC/Mac only)

Animals are a popular subject for custom content creators and luckily this gives players a whole lot more to choose from. Though CC is inaccessible for console players, it has the advantage of being mostly free. Let’s touch upon a few different types of mods you can use to bring pets to your sims.

1. Recolors/reskins of existing vanilla creatures

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TheKalino has made nearly two-dozen mods that supplement the in-game critters from My First Pet Stuff and Cottage Living. Sheep, pigs, squirrels, ducks, and more can be found in their downloads along with new tank animals including reptiles.

2. Expanded options for in-game vanilla “animals”

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Modder IlexSims makes mods that bring more functionality to existing game content, and they’ve made a series of mods that make the collectible creatures more interactable. Fish, frogs, aliens, and insects all get a mod that allows your sims to feed them, and they’ll get a buff for doing so. Check out their Feed your Pets mods here.

3. Small Pet mods


We’ve actually already done a piece specifically on mods for small pets, including a few we’ve already listed above. There’s a whole lot more, though! From deco pets to Base Game-compatible chicken coops, there’s something for everyone. Take a look!

Upcoming Content – The Horse Pack?

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A leak for the next Sims 4 Expansion Pack reveals that we’ll likely be seeing horses sometime soon. Though not a lot is known so far, it’s suspected that this pack will be a full-on expansion which means that the included horses are likely to be complex animals similar to (or even more advanced than) cats and/or dogs. Horses alone don’t really seem like enough to carry an entire EP so it’s possible there will be other creatures appearing as well, but until we get an official announcement the best we can do is speculate.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, there are a lot of ways you can acquire pets in the Sims 4. No matter if you use console or PC, or official DLC or mods, there are options to bring the joy of animal companionship into the lives of your characters. We hope you found some new information here, and that your sims get lots of love from their pets. Happy simming!

Your Author: Hi! I'm Nicole

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I've been playing The Sims since the first game launched way back in 2000 and have been using CC for over 20 years. As a creative person with an interest in design, The Sims games have always been a great outlet for me whether I'm creating a cool sim, trying a new build style, or dabbling in CC making. The Sims really is a wonderful medium for all sorts of creative outlets and I'm happy to share my enthusiasm with other like-minded players!

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