Hands On

Sims 3 Pets Hands On: Not as easy as you would think.

As we have been told many times now, the pets in The Sims 3 are Sims. It never really got through to me what exactly this meant. They are Sims – they are things you need to keep track of and it takes work.

During the Hands On time I started with 2 adult Sims and a cat, dog and horse. And I was just going to play and record everything cute that came along, so there is no real structure to this Hands On, just everything I saw in the 2.5 hours EA Benelux allowed me to play.

I usually play at most with 4 sims. So 2 adults and 3 pets was a lot of work. However, I think it’s just like learning to deal with more than 1 Sim at a time, the game has a learning curve so I recommend: do not start off with the Ark builder or the Animal Rescuer lifetime wishes!

I started off with just a random house in the neighborhood, there are plenty of reviews there that explain how the neighborhood/houses look.

One of the Sims immediately went riding on the horse and jump a bit over some jumps. You cannot start off by jumping over the water basin jump, you have to start small. Makes sense. After a bit of jumping my Sim was already sporting a nice saddle pain moodlet :D.

Needs better jumpting skill

But I told them to go ride around the neighborhood, they do this independently without any direction from us. So that is a good way to distract both a Sim and a Horse for a while and immediately teaches your Sim the riding skill.

Around this time a random wild horse ran past my Sims house, a single horse not a herd. My Sim went to follow, the horse went to a park somewhere off in the world and found another wild horse there and even a cute foal! My Sim had trouble befriending the horse, this is also going to take some time to learn how to do that. The Pets when they run around the world, they use different routes than Sims do, they do not keep to the pavement but take the shortest route through the open area.

Cute foal!

Sweet times in the park

Bad horsie, stealing food!

How to get a Unicorn? We heard a rumour that it is completely random, not depended on skills or relationships to horses. Personally I think there are requirements for it and we will post a How to get a Unicorn guide as soon as possible!

I also played a bit with the dog, here you can see how he gets brushed. Shame there is so much clipping of the Sims’ hands when the fur is thick but I guess you cannot have a perfect game.

"That is the right spot! Little to the left, yeah there!"

Not the best picture, but my dog was SUPPOSE to guard the house at this time, well the burglar got away with stealing stuff and the dog did nothing. Wonder how that works then!

Guard dog fail!

My newspaper!

Newspaper fun.

The cat can also get brushed, you will see them stretch and loving the brush (like a real cat does).


Cats can get baths, I am surprised at how willingly the cats are with the bath. The cat looked content the entire time and got a clean moodlet from it… Is this trait based? This cat had the proud trait and that makes her like being clean.

"I don't need a bath, you do!'

Give me that treat!

Cats do their needs in the litter box. But this one is very advanced, when your cat is done the object cleans up with some funky looking laser beams!

That is some cleaning.

Dogs can swim in pools (not lakes or sea) and it’s cute how they close their eyes for the jump and then doggy paddle through the water.


Doggy swimming!

That water has to get out of his fur, somehow.


While they cannot swim in lakes/sea, they can drink from it!


Dogs can also dig up the ground; the location of this was a bit unfortunate so the dirt goes ‘on’ the water.

Dirt 'on' the water

This puddle (pee) was ‘made’ by the horse, but while you are the cat you can choose to play in puddles when you just click on the ground. Very cute and this increases the piggy trait.

Dirty and cute!

Hunting is slightly different than I expected, if your cat does not have the hunter trait they first have to gain it by playing with a kitty toy. I expected every cat and dog to immediately be able to hunt and when they have the trait they are better hunters. While being the kitty, click on the ground outside and ‘hunt for prey’ after a while of looking around the ground they will notice a prey and proceed to hunt it like this:

Step 1: Stalk

Step 2: Stalk some more!

Step 3: Getting ready...

Step 4: Charge!

Cats can also fish, they stalk the water for a bit and then jump in, it moves really fast so I wasn’t able to get perfect pictures of it but these come close:

Step 1: Stalk

Step 2: Jump in!

Step 3: Getting out

Step 4: And out, look at the fur differences!

Notice how the fur in the water is different thickness than outside it!

As mentioned at the beginning, this game has a bit of a learning curve, juggling 3 pets first try is a bit much but give me a few days and I will build up to that! This EP is going to keep me entertained for a long time, I wanted pets since Sims 3 was released and they brought us much more realistic pets than I expected!