The Sims 4 Guides

The Sims 4: How to Add a Pet to Your Family

TS4 pets guide

Find the perfect animal companion for your Sims!

how to get a pet sims 4

With The Sims 4 Growing Together coming very soon and a free base game update adding infants to the game, families are at the forefront of Simmers’ minds. However, no family is truly complete without a pet. Luckily, there are a variety of unique and interesting pets, both in the base game and in DLC packs, to complete your Sims families! We’re going to show you how to get a pet in The Sims 4!

How to Get a Pet in The Sims 4: DLC Packs

You’ll have the most immersive experience with pets if you own some DLC packs. Check out all the different animal companions your Sims can have in various expansions and game packs! We tell you how to get a pet in The Sims 4!

Cats & Dogs

Cats and Dogs - The Sims 4 Pets

Of course, we’ll start with the obvious: cats and dogs! The world’s two most popular pets and for good reason! Unsurprisingly, cats and dogs come with The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs expansion pack.

There are a few different ways to acquire a cat or a dog. They can be created directly in CAS, right down to their breed, unique fur markings, and even clothing. This is the best option if you really want to customize the perfect pet to your liking. Sims can also adopt a pet through the phone or computer. A pet social worker will bring the pet over to your house for your Sims to meet. They can spend some time getting to know the pet to see if they’re a good fit for the family before deciding to adopt them.

If your Sims live in Brindleton Bay or have the Cat Hangout or Dog Hangout lot trait on their home lot, they will also see stray pets wandering around the neighbourhood. Interact with them and befriend them. Once befriended, they can be adopted into the household.

Raccoons and Foxes???


It might be a strange way to get a pet in The Sims 4, but yes, Sims can own a pet raccoon or fox. Kind of. They also come with The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs expansion pack. The catch? They’re basically still just cats and dogs.

Raccoons are a breed of cat that can be selected in CAS. Foxes are a breed of dog. They have all the same customization options as cats and dogs. Also, players can change their voice to make these “breeds” sound more like a raccoon or a fox.

CAS is the main way to acquire a raccoon or a fox but there is a small chance you may find one available for adoption as well when you adopt a pet through the phone or computer.

Foxes also appear as wild pests in The Sims 4 Cottage Living but these foxes cannot be kept as pets.

Cows & Llamas

how to get a pet sims 4

If your Sims are looking for larger pets to take care of, look no further than cows and llamas! Both of these animals come with The Sims 4 Cottage Living expansion pack! They are super easy to acquire, too! Just purchase an animal shed, place it on your lot, then click on it to purchase a cow or llama for the shed.

Cows and llamas make great, lovable pets. Also, they come with the added bonus of providing wool and milk for your Sims to sell or use in knitting, cross stitch, and cooking!


how to get a pet sims 4

Additionally, The Sims 4 Cottage Living offers chickens if your Sims prefer to have some smaller, more feathery animal companions. How to get a chicken pet in The Sims 4? All you need to do to get some chickens is purchase a coop, place it on your lot and buy a few chickens for it. If you purchase both a rooster and a hen, you may find hatchable eggs you can incubate in the coop to hatch more chickens.

Chickens are very fun, social creatures to keep as pets. Also, they provide your family with fresh eggs every day which you can sell or use in cooking.

Bunnies & Birds


While bunnies and birds can’t be kept as house pets, Sims can place a bird stump or a bunny stump on their home lot and befriend them. They come with The Sims 4 Cottage Living.

Sims can gift bunnies and birds to become their friend. Befriended bunnies and birds will bring gifts for your Sims and help you in your garden. Bunnies will eat weeds and birds will eat bugs so you don’t need to weed or spray the garden yourself.



Rodents come with The Sims 4 My First Pet Stuff pack. They are pretty adorable little critters who get up to all kinds of mischief. From throwing dance raves in their habitat, setting off small explosions, and even going on vacation and bringing back postcards for your Sims, they are certainly not boring pets! Also, they can be befriended and kids can study them to do their homework.

To acquire a rodent, purchase a rodent habitat that houses a rodent of your choice (a hamster, rat, hedgehog, or the voidcritter Bubalus) and place it on your lot.


Sims 4 Realm of Magic - Familiars

Sims looking for a more magical pet can become a spellcaster and acquire a familiar in The Sims 4 Realm of Magic! To obtain one, become a spellcaster and purchase one from Caster’s Alley in The Magic Realm. Click on it in your inventory to bind it to your Sim as their familiar. Also, they’re part of the Magical Artifacts collection.

There are a variety of familiars to choose from and your spellcaster Sims can summon them at will. They will hover behind your Sim and follow them around. They’re both encouraging and powerful creatures! They will give you little pep talks whenever you learn a new spell, potion, or gain a spellcaster rank or magic point. Also, your familiar will resurrect your Sim if they die so they offer protection against spellcaster overload.



Bugs aren’t exactly our idea of a fun pet to own but if that’s your thing, The Sims 4 has you covered. Several different DLC packs come with creepy crawlies for your Sims to collect and raise.

Outdoor Retreat comes with an insect collection. The insects are not interactive pets but they can be kept and displayed in a little terrarium like a pet. To acquire them, vacation to Granite Falls and explore the world for insects to catch.

Eco Lifestyle goes a step further and allows you to raise beetles, worms, and crickets in your own insect farm. Purchase an insect farm for your lot and fill it with your bug of choice. Feed and nurture them to harvest them for bio fuel or… food. Gross.

Also, The Sims 4 Seasons offers honey bees for your Sims to raise. While they pack a nasty sting and are rather high maintenance, they are very useful pets to have. Place them in a garden and your bees will pollinate your plants, helping them to evolve in quality more quickly. They also provide honey and beeswax (with Eco Lifestyle) for selling, cooking, and crafting. To get them, just place a bee hive on your lot!

Dust Bunnies

Dust Bunnies in The Sims 4

Okay, hear us out! You shouldn’t overlook dust bunnies because they’re absolutely adorable! They come with The Sims 4 Bust the Dust Kit and honestly, the kit is worth the $5 price tag for the dust bunnies alone. When a house gets too dusty, dust bunnies will start to appear around the house. You can pick these weird, wonderful little critters up, pet them, name them, hug them, and become their friend. If you do become friends with a dust bunny, you can officially befriend it and that dust bunny will stay in the house as a pet even after you vacuum up all the dust. Why keep a dust bunny around? They can find all kinds of valuables for your Sims, including simoleons!

To get a dust bunny, let your house become dusty enough for them to spawn. Then interact with one until you can befriend it!

How to Get a Pet in The Sims 4: Base Game

Simmers are a little more limited with pets in the base game. Most of the base game pets aren’t as interactive as the pets that come with DLC packs but your Sims can still keep some animal (and alien) companions in the base game!



Frogs are a base game collection. They aren’t very interactive but they can still be displayed in a little terrarium like a pet. The fun thing about frogs is that you can breed them! They have a pretty complex genetics system, too. Breeding your frogs can help you finish your frog collection faster.

To acquire a frog, look in watering holes and stumps around the world, or catch frogs at one of the ponds in the park.



Fish are another base game collection that can be kept as low maintenance pets! DLC packs expand the fish collection but there is still a wide variety of fish to catch in the base game.

To acquire some fish, go fishing at any fishing spot out in the world. When you have a fish in your inventory, purchase and place a fish bowl in your home and click it to add your new catch to it. Some DLC packs like Spa Day, Dine Out, and Cats & Dogs have larger aquariums that can hold up to 6 fish.



The cowplant is a bizarre yet lovable staple of The Sims series. This oversized carnivorous plant resembling a cow behaves much like any other pet. Name it, play with it, pet it, and feed it to keep it happy! Er, you really want to keep it fed, by the way. For your own safety.

Cowplants can be a bit complicated to acquire so check out our full guide on cowplant care for a detailed breakdown on how to get one!

Space Aliens

Space Aliens - The Sims 4

Like frogs and fish, space aliens are their own collection in the base game. Also, they are low maintenance due to the lack of interactions available on them. Some varieties of space aliens can be displayed as live pets inside terrariums. Others are dead specimens preserved inside jars.

To acquire a space alien, purchase a rocket ship launch pad and build your own rocket! Then blast off into space and hope your adventures lead you to a strange new pet to take home. Perform the Expand Cargo Bay upgrade on your rocket ship to increase your chances of bringing home better loot… including space aliens!

Find out more!

Additionally, want more details on some of the pets listed in this article? Check out our Guide to Cows and Llamas, or our Guide to Chickens!

About the author


A cranky old lady who prefers the company of cats and Sims over people. Occasionally peeks out from her lair long enough to chuck Sims articles at innocent bystanders.

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