TS4 Cats & Dogs: A Study in Autonomy

Cats & Dogs A Study in Autonomy-

Yesterday I saw a new challenge shared on Twitter called the Single Sim Challenge in which you only control a child sim.  My first thought was is this an option with pets or would it not be possible.  At around the same time, we were discussing what changes might need to be made to Vihisha’s Drifter Challenge.  In most of the houses, all but the main sim are autonomous.  Lastly, someone asked in the ISBI thread on the forums would there be any changes.  As I’m trying to decide just what exactly the different sims who will be in my Bay Tides rotation will do I wanted to know the answers to these questions.  The following are the results of me playing sim families almost completely autonomous for over 12 hours.  I did control the children for testing of the Single Sim Challenge and also out of curiosity of just what a child can do with pets.

  1. Toddlers can do very little with pets.  There are only three interactions available but they play quite often with them autonomously.  A downside of toddlers with pets is that dogs will bark and wake the toddler up.
  2. Children, on the other hand, can do almost as much with the pets as teens-elders can.  The only interactions they don’t have are to bathe dogs or take them for walks.
  3. None of the autonomous sims will feed the pets, clean the litterbox, give baths, take dogs for walks, turn on the vacuum… you get the gist.  Other than playing with the pets they really do nothing at all without direction.
  4. If there is something with a stronger pull for fun in the house like the TV or computer the adults will very rarely pay attention to the pets.  Toddlers and children seek out the pets quite often to interact.
  5. Children clean up dog poop on their own almost every time gaining responsibility.  In the entire time I had the game on I only saw one instance of an adult cleaning up poop.  They will go out and mop up pee if it’s on a surface that can be mopped.
  6. It takes 3 times of asking a dog to go potty outside to train them.
  7. A dog will be miserable the entire day if nobody is home to instruct them to go potty.  I would recommend making sure they are trained before leaving them home alone with autonomous sims.
  8. Cats are almost completely self-sufficient.  They bathe themselves and entertain themselves for the most part.
  9. Dogs are needier but don’t really seek attention… neither does really.  And when they do they are ignored for the most part.
  10. If there are cat wands in their inventory the sims will autonomously seek out cats to play with them when their fun is low.  Sadly, they didn’t do this with dog balls.
  11. With two pets I kept 2 automatic feeders set to 6 hours and they seemed to do quite well.  A full feeder lasted about 5 days.
  12. Children can take pets to the vet and even pay for treatment.  Caution: Wellness treats, as well as the preventative shot, are bugged leaving the pets in a permanent scared state unless you use a cheat to remove all buffs.
  13. Children can train away bad behaviors like drinking from the toilet.  They can also train tricks and gain the pet training skill.  They can even use the obstacle course.
  14. Children cannot open the pile of feathers.

Conclusion: Either pet should be okay with a controllable adult caretaker who is in the house at some point each day as long as a dog is potty trained already.  Automatic feeders and the laser litter are a must.  If doing a challenge where only a child is controllable a cat is the best bet. A dog would be fine as well as long as an exception is made for controlling an adult to give baths.  An adult would need to be controlled to open the pile of feathers to transfer them back to the child’s inventory.

Suggested cat traits- Aloof is a good trait for them.  I also think that the free spirit and prowler traits fit well because they are out and about on their own for a good part of the day and return with presents that are usually left somewhere in the house.

Suggested dog traits- Independent is a must.  The dogs will need less affection and not need walks.  When my child was about to leave for school I would have her “let out” the dog and he would spend about half of the time she was in school roaming the neighborhood.  Which did result in the need to visit the vet once but I felt it was worth it.  I gave two different dogs the adventurous trait.  The small dog did leave the house a few times without prompting.  The large dog never did.  The couch potato trait might also be a good idea. Hunter might be a good option though you can’t control a sim to send them hunting and I never saw mine go out on their own to hunt like the cats do.

That’s the end of my findings.  If you have anything you’ve noticed that needs added let me know.  Below are a lot of pics that I took throughout the day because I literally cannot have the game open and not take screenshots!  You can stop here or look at all of them.  If you have any suggestions of other things I could test out let me know.  I had quite a lot of fun doing this.

Children have quite a few options to interact with dogs.  With cats they have all the same interactions as an adult has.

The cat wand is a good idea.  Sadly they never used the ball or squeaky toy.

Something went wonky with this first set of testers that I got from the gallery.  These pics aren’t really in order since that would take forever!  I think the family might have been from a corrupted save or something because the pets didn’t sleep until they literally passed out and the parents wouldn’t go near the pets.  When I tried deleting the pets and then later the parents things seemed fine which led me to create a new save with a family I made from scratch.  I fell in love with this little girl and the dog Baxter…

As you can see in the final two pics, the parents left the house a disaster.  If doing the Single Sim Challenge I think it would be best to have a maid as well as surplus cash on hand to pay for replacing broken items… children seem to be able to order almost all services except a repair person!  I kinda got into the role of a child in some pics.  I had the girl buy some poop randomizer treats and feed them to strays but I started over in a new save soon after so never really got to test that.  I also thought it would be a funny thing a kid would do to take a pic of the dog pooping.  I plan to use this girl for the challenge.  Her name is Sandy but I might change it since it was just randomized.  Why did I start again in a new save…

Baxter seems to have taken his pool obsession a bit far.  A few people feel that the B.B. lots might be a little bit bugged as well.  Lastly, I took a video of the above fiasco to entertain you further.  As a reward for getting this far I give you Baxter the Amazing…

The end!


    • The pets are very realistic in most ways. It is odd that the dogs don’t have potty accidents in the house but instead hold it and are miserable until someone directs them to go outside and potty, lol. I fell in love with Baxter! And the little girl for that matter.

      Liked by 2 people

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