The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs

Adopting, Training, and Caring for Pets

Guide to the Sims 4 Pets - Cats and Dogs Expansion

Owning a cat or dog in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Expansion doesn't add major gameplay changes mechanics-wise, they're just a great household addition. I say that as a pure gameplay guide writer, because it's not exactly easy to write about how owning pets works in terms of gameplay. This should help newer players to understand how to take care of a pet and the realities of owning one. Sims can have fun with pets, build relationships with them, and enjoy socializing with their companion animals. Caring for them is not much different than in reality - feed them, go to the vet, provide them love and make sure they're happy. Despite the differences between the two species and their behaviors in reality, a lot of what goes into caring for them is the same when it comes to owning pets in The Sims 4.

Getting a Pet

Adopting a Cat or Dog

Adopting a ghost pet
Adopting a Ghost Cat from the Brindleton Bay Pet Cemetery (see bottom of guide)

You'll find the option to adopt a cat or dog under the 'services' menu on your Sim's phone. There you can opt to pay $200 to have an animal care worker visit your home and show off up to three animals. You can use 'get to know' on them, learn their traits, and decide which of them you'd like to keep. You don't have to befriend them, and it seems you can adopt more than one. You may not want a stubborn dog, for they're hard to housebreak. Most breeds seem to have a trait they all come with, such as German Shepherds being smart. When you're done, talk to the animal welfare worker and select, 'end adoption evaluation'.





Adopting a Stray

When you meet a stray animal while out and about in the neighborhood, you can also adopt them that way - which is free. Get to know them a bit and befriend them, and once you're at 'good friends', you can invite them into the household under the friendly menu. A few treats and pets go a long way to securing an animal's friendship. There's a stray named Mayor Whiskers - including tophat - that wanders the town of Brindleton Bay whom you can adopt.

Pet Traits

Each pet can have up to 3 separate pet traits, all of which will impact their autonomous choices and behaviors. Some of them are useful for Sims, too, such as having a dog capable of searching. While a guide to what these do is forthcoming, it's worth noting in a basics-of-pets guide. You can learn a pet's traits by using the Get to Know social on them, found under the friendly menu. Interaction with Pets doesn't increase Charisma, because they don't know whether you're being a dork or not.

Caring for Pets

Pet Needs

Pets have all the same needs that Sims do. Or seem to. You won't see them directly, but the pet will tell you very plainly what's wrong if you pay attention to the social cues that appear over its head. You also have the option of clicking the pet, selecting 'pet care' and 'what's wrong'. A box will appear in the notification panel that tells you exactly what the pet needs.

Pets seem to need to eat about once a day. Fill a bowl with food for $5 (found under the kitchen tab in buy mode) and they'll eat when they're hungry. If you have multiple animals, you can buy an automatic food dispenser and set it to refill every x hours. This can save your Sim a lot of time if they're single. Try to make sure enough meals are dispensed each day.

Housebreaking Dogs & Litter Boxes for Cats

Teaching a dog to go outside (housebreaking) in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Pets Expansion
Housebreaking a dog is as simple as asking it to go outside. Thankfully you don't have to wait hours for them to do it.

When the pet needs to go, this is where the two species diverge. Dogs should prefer to go outdoors, and are gradually housebroken (potty trained) while cats will want a litter box. Litter boxes can be found in the bathroom in buy mode, and will naturally prefer this option. Again you can save time with a self-cleaning litter box, though they're more expensive. Cats who go on the carpet can be scolded, though stubborn animals are harder to train. You can eventually get a cat that goes 100% in the litter box. A small tip: make sure the arrow on the litter box in buy mode is facing a blank tile. Naturally, there are pathing requirements for pets despite the fact that cats can climb on top of the fridge.

A cat can't use the litter box in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Pets Expansion
Be mindful of litter box placement. This won't work, due to pathing mechanics in the game.

Neither adult nor juvenile dogs start knowing how to pee or poop outside, at least when they're made in CAS. Puppies will need help to go outside, so pick them up under the pet care menu. Walk your Sim outside and select 'put down'. Now you can find the option to ask it to go potty. Do this several times, and you'll get a notice that the dog has learned to pee outside. You can also reinforce this by scolding (mean) or lecturing (friendly) them after they have gone indoors. It is as yet unknown if treats reinforce good behavior, but they're only $5 so give it a shot. I've not yet successfully taught a puppy to go outside. I think they learn when grown up.

Other Needs

Giving a dog a bath in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Pets Expansion
Dogs get absolutely filthy over time, and must be bathed.

Animals like to have fun, just like humans do. They may end up in a bad mood if they're not provided with toys, unless your Sim plays with them directly. Cats and dogs also like affection, so interaction with other animals and their owners will satisfy that need. Dogs need bathed, though cats can and do take care of themselves. In order to bathe a dog, you'll need to have a bathtub. They can get rather dirty after rolling in their own 'puddles'.

Illness - Animal Sick? Take it to the Vet

A cat visits the veterinarian in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Pets Expansion
A cat gets a preventative shot from the vet, which will protect it from illness for two full weeks.

Pets can get sick, and when they do it's possible the illness will cure itself. However, some sicknesses are pretty bad. To take your pet to the vet, load up the map and select to travel to the Veterinarian clinic in Brindleton Bay. You can select your sick pet under 'travel with. Once you're there, use the terminal in the lobby to sign up for an appointment, then wait. It'll be in the $200 range to get a sick pet treated. You can also elect to get a preventative shot, like a vaccine, which lasts two full weeks and prevents illness altogether.

Veterinary Skill

A vet table in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Pets Expansion
Sure, let's do this right here in the living room, Lucy! A Sim can practice veterinary medicine on their pets at home.

Your Sim doesn't have to require the services of a Vet long-term. You can use the veterinary table and lab found under the Pets tab of build mode (under objects by function) to learn to practice veterinary medicine! Do not try this at home. Your Sim will unlock new treatments and treats that may help your animal in a number of ways, though they're unlikely to discover the mystery illness at an extremely low level. It's worth taking up for animal lovers - some of the items are very handy for pets at home though the equipment is rather expensive if you want the good stuff.

Pet Life Spans

Pet lifespans are modified by the game's global settings. They will not age if you've turned household aging off in the game menu.

LifespanPuppy/KittenAdult Dog/CatElder
Short1.5 Days12 DaysVaries
Normal3 Days24 DaysVaries
Long12 Days96 DaysVaries

Training and Misbehaviors

Cats tear up furniture in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Pets Expansion
Cats will absolutely shred the furniture and jump on counters. Teach them not to do those things.

Pets will eat poop, drink from the toilet or other animals' puddles, and cats will scratch the couch. In all, there are about a dozen misbehaviors you'll need to work out which depend on if it's a cat or dog. When you see the animal do this, you can use 'lecture' under the friendly menu or 'scold' under mean, in order to discipline that behavior. It's up to you what you allow your pet to get away with. Give cats a scratching post to help protect the furniture - they need it. Over time, as you discipline the pet, they'll gradually learn what not to do. You'll see a notice they've stopped doing that behavior, similar to housebreaking a dog.

Drinking from a puddle in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Pets Expansion
A dog drinking from a puddle. They also eat poop, which should be picked up and saved as great fertilizer.

This is a separate issue from training a dog. Dogs learn tricks, facilitated by the Pet Training skill, which is mostly focused on canines. It's a minor skill, in that it only features 5 levels. You'll learn a number of tricks and get better at teaching these tricks faster. It is possible to join a dog-training group (using Get Together's Clubs function) and gain bonus experience at teaching pets, while making friends with other Sims and helping your buddy to do the same.

Death & Pet Neglect

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Neglecting a Cat in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Pets Expansion
Neglected Animals are Taken by the Animal Welfare Worker

Pets can only die of old age. Fail to feed your pet, and a social worker will come. You'll see an exclamation point above the pet's portrait in the bottom left just before this is going to happen. It takes a very long time to get to this point, so most players should have no trouble unless they're deliberately neglectful or extremely distracted.

Brindleton Bay Pet Cemetery in the Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Pets Expansion
Brindleton Bay Pet Cemetery

When old pets die, they DO become ghosts just like Sims. There is also a Pet Cemetery in Brindleton Bay, although you cannot edit it. You may see ghost cats and dogs there if you visit at night. Find the cemetery by traveling to the island with the lighthouse and museum. It's in a rocky, forested area to the north.

Should you visit and build a relationship, which takes 1/4 the time it does to build a friendship with Sims, you can actually invite a ghost animal to join your household just like a stray.

Veterinarian: Making Pets Immortal

Players who pursue the Veterinarian Skill will find that high levels offer them the ability to craft age up and age down potions. What is more, players can also resurrect a ghost pet using the veterinarian form of ambrosia, craftable at max level. This is the only way to bring your pet back from the dead.

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Comments (37)

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New
AsheTheCatsays...
Hello I was wondering if Pets are able to eat Sim foods?
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Admin
Playlotsays...
Yes they can. Pet owners can lecture them about this causing the pet to eventually learn to not eat (steal) sim food. lol Pets can also eat the food that lands on the floor when toddlers throw their food. I actually kinda like my sims dog doing this as it's quite true to life. in rl, however I'd never allow it! Cats will jump onto counters and eat from plates of food left there and so on.
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New
Connorsays...
Been trying to find some info about this but can't find it anywhere.. what happens if your Sim dies and leaves the pet behind? What happens to the pet?
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Admin
Playlotsays...
Hmm, not 100% sure but I guess you will get the offer to continue your game file but with another household and the pet gets 'adopted' which is code for deleted.
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New
Camillasays...
I can’t bathe my dog!!!! It’s a large dog.
Grateful for any advice!
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Admin
Playlotsays...
Sell the bath you have and replace it making sure not to use the MoveObjects cheat. Click on the bath and choose the pet to bath and take it from there. If you're still having issues look at the bathroom layout, is it too small? Are there things on the wall/above the bath?
If the room is too small then you'll have issues, there needs to be space for the dog and the owner to perform the animations related to bathing a pet.
Also if you're using mods, take them all out delete the localthumbcache.package file from your The Sims 4 folder and test in a new game.
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New
Stargrlsays...
Since I’ve downloaded the Jungle adventures pack today I was wondering, is there like a pet daycare that your pets go to if you’re gone for long?
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Regular
Katiesays...
Hi! Yes you can still go on holiday, you can untick them from the travel list and a Nanny will automatically take care of them or take them wih you! You can put bedding, litter trays, food bowls and toys in your iinventory to take with you!!

However I have noticed a glitch, I went on holiday without my 2 cats and every 30 seconds or so I get a pop up notification saying “The Nanny will be taking care of Cinnamon and Pumpkin while the vacation is in progress.” And I’ve probably received this notification 50 or so times, often in quick succession... most likely a bug but does no harm other than being a tad annoying! :D
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Senior
Briansays...
Oh awesome, I was browsing through wondering the same thing. Nobody in their right mind takes a cat on vacation! The poor cat would be miserable and scared out of its mind.
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Senior
Briansays...
...And 8 hours before the family was to leave for Selvadorada, Mayor Whiskers kicks the bucket. I have a mod for more realistic grief, which on one hand leaves them hardly affected when a slight acquaintance dies, but Dad especially was fond of him and now gets to go on vacation with +8 sadness for 6 days.
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New
Aurorasays...
I just started playing Sims 4 Cats and Dogs....I thought I adopted two dogs...don’t see them anywhere. So i tried adopting another dog..can’t see that one either. What am I doing wrong?
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Admin
Playlotsays...
Maybe you just chose the animals for viewing. The initial computer 'ordering' isn't the actual adopting, that just brings the pets you've selected to your house so your sim can get to know them. Once the pets are in your house you can then interact with them and get to know them etc. also you then chose which one to adopt by clicking on it. Or if you didn't like any of them you can just end the adoption service and not adopt any. The adoption service will also end automatically after a set time.
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New
Antwain Spencersays...
I been trying to CAP with large dogs but every time I select the poodle,Chow Chow, or German Shepherd fur my game crashes.Why is that?
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Admin
Playlotsays...
It may be that your processor is below minimum requirements. There's many users with this issue that when they check the new minimum requirements are now below that. There is an EA Bug Report here and here are the minimum requirements for PC, Mac is on the same page if you need those.
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New
Rymsays...
Smilei love it
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New
Baileysays...
Okay so, I adopted a dog, the women came over and talked and she put down 7 dog crates. The dog never showed up and she won’t leave plus I can’t get the dog I want. Please help
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Admin
Playlotsays...
There is a bug report around this issue: Bug Report on Pet Adoption. Try traveling with your sim to a different lot or quitting and restarting your game.
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New
krissays...
Is it just me or is this pack seriously useless. The pets just take up space and loiter around they do nothing unless you give them a skill trait. I mean there's no benefit at all to this game. They really need to do an overhaul on this pack. I had to put them all up for adoption because I couldn't have anymore sims. Tongue
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New
kaysays...
I brought in two strays to get them healthy, happy, spayed/neutered, and then give them to a loving home. However, before I could spay and neuter the two they decided they wanted puppies. I waited until the two puppies were born and aged up to adults. Now, I just brought in another stray because he was sick and I felt bad. My problem is five dogs and one sim who has to work full time in order to pay for the dogs and other things is not working. I thought it was time to let them all go, but the problem I face is wondering if the adopting is like in the Sims 3. If I put them up for adoption, will they be able to go to a family? Or will they virtually just be deleted from the game?
Thank you. ~Distressed Kay.
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Senior
Playlotsays...
Not sure, I usually just ship them into another household using Manage Households. So try adopting them, I actually didn't know this was a feature in the game as I don't use this pack much, if you don't like the result then quit without saving and try something else.
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New
Lilsheepsays...

Can pets get shocked during thunderstorms?

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Admin
Playalotsays...

No, the only thing that can happen is they may get cold and wet, in which case they will simply go inside when possible and warm up.

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New
Wolfiesays...

What does leaving a Sugar Skull offering do?

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Admin
Playalotsays...

Doesn't do much tbh, it's more about completing the collection. You can buy skulls from the vendors in Selvadorada and then the wall case in buy mode to store them in. But making an offering to a skull will spawn in an NPC Day of the Dead Celebrators and you can ask for more skulls from them and so complete your collection.



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