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Best Pet Simulation Games

Animals often offer a sense of comfort to many people, and their virtual counterparts have just as much of an impact. Games such as Zoo Tycoon and The Sims 4 let players care for a variety of animal companions.

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While pet simulation games are not a substitute for researching pet care before getting a future friend; they do offer a glimpse into a variety of pet care styles and occupations. Pet simulation games allow anyone to experience the ups and downs of pet care. While some games take a more relaxed approach and focus on only play, others highlight just how much work goes into having a pet.

Updated June 6, 2023 by Stephen LaGioia: With the rise of social and sim games, as well as mobile and handheld gaming of late, the pet simulator genre has naturally continued growing in popularity. Dating back largely to the Tomagachi in the 90s, the genre has seen new life with hits like The Sims and Nintendogs — which remained one of Nintendo DS’ biggest draws for some time.

And with so many delightful, cute options populating the gaming scene, it seemed sensible to add even more of the most appealing and adorable pet sims (Seaman need not apply — though it is charming in its own way). These games will provide the joy and fun of tending to a loving pet — without the hassle or mess!



15 My Talking Tom

My Talking Tom game cat in family room with game console and rug

  • Release Date:
    November 11th, 2013

  • Platforms:
    iOS and Android

Mobile platforms are tailor-made for pet simulators, as studio Outfit7 illustrates with this charming virtual pet app, My Talking Tom. Rather than offer a slew of pets to pick from, the game stresses depth and hones in on the lovable grey tabby Tom. Over the course of Tom’s day, cat owners can interact with him and help him grow by feeding him and aiding in bathroom visits and bedtime.

Traditional gameplay elements are here too, as gamers can play fun minigames with the cat. The game utilizes the device’s microphone, as Tom will repeat words picked up by the mic. In-app purchases expand the experience, allowing users to buy cosmetics or travel the virtual world.

14 Kinectimals

Kinectimals Xbox 360 happy tiger being fed

  • Release Date:
    November 4th, 2010

  • Platforms:
    Xbox 360, Windows Phone, iOS, Android

While its initial success may have tapered off after its first few years, Microsoft’s Kinect was amusing and technologically impressive for its time. One star attraction of the then-new motion-sensing camera was 2010’s Kinectimals.

The game takes the typically charming pet sim formula and amps it up — with dynamic visuals and the unique ability to adopt a wild animal rather than a domestic pet. Players can explore their wild side by caring for and playing with different cubs. The lineup includes cheetahs, lions, tigers, leopards, and black panthers. Unlockable goodies range from jump ropes to collars to radio-controlled cars.

13 Viva Pinata

Forgotten Xbox 360 Games Viva Pinata horse in field

  • Release Date:
    November 9th, 2006

  • Platforms:
    Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

Looking to diversify its library, Rare and Microsoft launched this unique life simulation romp, which has players explore and tend to a colorful garden on Pinata Island. While more of a general sim than pet-specific, there are various fun activities to enjoy involving the animalistic Pinatas, and players will want to keep them satisfied.

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Maintaining the upkeep and expansion will attract more Pinata species, which can interact, clash, and even romance one another. The result is a delightful, rewarding “animal colony” simulation and an overlooked title for the 360.

12 Petz

A cat in the original Petz series

  • Release Date:
    (Dogz and Catz) 1995

  • Platforms:

Originally crafted by the now-defunct P.F. Magic, Ubisoft has since taken up developer and publisher duties in this long-running pet sim. Dating back further than most of its ilk, Petz was groundbreaking for its time and still largely holds up today. It allows virtual pet owners to adopt, raise, take care of, and even breed pets.

The game has players look at their progress in real-time, as the Petz will grow into healthy adults in just a few days. Pet owners can also try out various food, water bowls, as well as the fittingly-named “Toyz” and “Treatz.” Other features include learning tricks, snapshots, and sharing virtual pets through emails and imports.

11 Nintendogs And Cats

Puppy licking screen in Nintendogs And Cats

  • Release Date:
    February 26th, 2021 (Japan). March 27th, 2011 (NA and EU)

  • Platforms:
    Nintendo 3DS

On the heels of among the most successful handheld games ever comes this even cuter, fluffier Nintendogs sequel, which adds cats to mix up its dog-based sim. Like its predecessor, Nintendogs And Cats draw in gamers with a number of adorable cat and dog breeds. Sleeker visuals, online gameplay, and tutorials are added this time to add even more appeal.

But what’s really neat here is the intuitive use of the microphone and camera, which allows gamers to more seamlessly interact with their animals. This even enables pets to recognize their owners and respond in kind. This is some impressive tech given its release dating back over a decade.

10 Animal Shelter

animal shelter video game hand petting labrador retreiever

  • Release Date:
    March 23rd, 2022

  • Platforms:

In Animal Shelter players will look after a variety of animals while managing an animal shelter. Players will have to help find each animal their next future home. Animal Shelter features a photo room, where players can dress up and photograph each animal. The game simulates aspects of the pet adoption process, which means pets may become stressed.

Players will need to monitor each animal’s hunger, play, and other comfort levels. In addition to cleaning and feeding the animals, players will have plenty of chances to play with them. Players will also need to construct each building of their shelter and create the optimal layout.

9 To The Rescue!


  • Release Date:
    November 2nd, 2021

  • Platforms:
    PC and Nintendo Switch

In To The Rescue!, players will be tasked with running a charming animal shelter and finding homes for all the dogs there. Players will have to manage all the individual needs of each dog residing in the shelter.

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Each dog is unique featuring its own traits and preferences. Getting to know each dog’s preferences and managing their needs will help them find their future homes. Each day in To The Rescue! will bring new challenges and rewards. While fundraisers and random donations may help the shelter, dogs can catch infectious diseases and will need to be looked after.

8 Best Friend Forever


  • Release Date:
    August 27th, 2020

  • Platforms:
    PC and Nintendo Switch

In Best Friend Forever players will divide their time between pet care and finding romance. Best Friend Forever is a pet care and dating sim that features plenty of singles and dogs. Players can train, pet, and play with their dogs, they will also need to care for and pamper them.

In addition, players will also be able to enroll their pets in puppy school to help with training. Pet owners can also get to know the various locals in Rainbow Bay and form friendships and romances. Each character also has a unique pet to befriend.

7 Little Island


  • Release Date:
    November 24th, 2021

  • Platforms:

Players looking for a way to bring adorable pets into virtual worlds will want to check out Little Island. Little Island lets players interact with a variety of adorable animals in VR. The game features dogs, cats, penguins, seals, and many more animal species. Players can also explore forests, grasslands, and ice fields.

In addition to playing with the animals, players can also grow flowers and enjoy a fishing mini-game. The fish and flowers can also be displayed in the player’s room in the game.

6 Ooblets

Leaving the farm with your creatures in Ooblets

  • Release Date:
    July 15th, 2020

  • Platforms:
    Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC

Although it’s definitely not a traditional “pet simulation” style game, Ooblets is very worthy of a mention when it comes to adorable pet-based releases. This cute and colorful release sees players joining a bustling community to create their farm, while simultaneously cultivating relationships with townsfolk and some strange little creatures known as Ooblets.

It’s quite wacky, but incredibly relaxing and features some truly unique and engaging gameplay. Players can collect a wide array of Ooblets and can even “battle” with them by using card-based mechanics in hilarious and entertaining Dance-Offs. There’s a lot of customization and engagement to be found in Ooblets, giving pet lovers a fun and relaxing world to explore.

5 The Sims 4 Cats And Dogs

The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs key art sims with cat and dog in house

  • Release Date:
    November 10, 2017

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac

The Sims just wouldn’t feel like a complete “life simulator” without the inclusion of pets. While the base game didn’t release with the ability to own furry friends, it was later added with the introduction of the Cats And Dogs pack. Unlocking the add-on gives players the chance to own customizable cats and dogs, taking them with them through their Sims 4 journey and adding them as a part of their ever-growing virtual family.

There are a lot of different creatures to care for, as well as an abundance of animal-themed items to help players feel as if they’re playing a “pet simulator.”

4 Clouzy!


  • Release Date
    : February 24th, 2022

  • Platforms:
    PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S

In Clouzy!, players will find themselves working at a daycare dedicated to clouds. Every cloud in Clouzy has its tastes and preferences.

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While players will spend plenty of time in the daycare, there is a vast world to explore. Players can solve involved puzzles and restore structures, as well as find a variety of ingredients to prepare for the clouds. There are also multiple biomes to visit, each with its own set of tasks. Players can also play with their companions and the clouds they care for.

3 My Universe: Puppies And Kittens


  • Release Date:
    March 3rd, 2022

  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch

Players looking to take care of adorable animals will want to check out My Universe: Puppies And Kittens. In Puppies And Kittens, players can adopt their ideal pet and watch them grow. Players can choose between twenty of the most popular breeds of dogs and cats.

They will also have to provide their new pet with plenty of care and attention. The game also lets players take their pets on a walk around a virtual park to meet other pets. There are various activities from finding hidden treasures to shopping.

2 Wobbledogs


  • Release Date:
    January 28th, 2021

  • Platforms:
    PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch

In Wobbledogs players will get to raise mutating dogs. The dogs in Wobbledogs have procedurally generated bodies. The game uses a simulated genetics system to generate each new generation. The dogs in Wobbledogs will also move in fun ways due to their strange bodies.

Players can feed their virtual pets a variety of foods and plants yielding unique mutations that give this a light sci-fi tinge. In addition, players can also construct and decorate a series of pens for the dogs to live inside.

1 Little Friends: Dogs And Cats


  • Release Date:
    December 6th, 2018 (Japan). May 27th, 2018 (NA and EU)

  • Platform:
    Nintendo Switch

Players who want to train cats and dogs on the Switch will want to try Little: Friends: Dogs And Cats. Little Friends: Dogs And Cats features several breeds of dogs and cats from Poodles and German Shepherds to American Shorthairs and Scottish Folds.

Players can play with up to three pets at once, however, they can own up to twelve. Each pet has a unique personality that players can discover as they play with them. In addition to giving them, their favorite foods players can also take their pets out to play with toys. The game features a flying disc tournament that uses the device’s motion controls. Players can also dress up each of their pets in over six hundred accessories.

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