How to Adopt Strays in The Sims: Unleashed (Sims 1)

Adopt Strays Sims 1

The Sims: Unleashed is one of my favorite Sims 1 expansion packs. For the first time, your Sims could have pets and even adopt strays. I’ve written a guide on how to adopt a pet in Sims 1 through the traditional method, but this post focuses on how to adopt strays.

In The Sims, strays are cats and dogs that don’t belong to a household. In the original game, you’ll find strays wandering the streets around your Sim’s home. The strays are easy to spot because they’re the same in every neighborhood and in all games.

There are eight different strays included with the Unleashed expansion.

Stray Dogs:

Stray Cats:

If you see any other dogs or cats roaming around, they belong to another household. Only those listed above are strays that your Sim can adopt.

The game does not generate new strays when the originals are adopted. But if an owned pet is neglected, it will run away from the played household and join the strays.

Befriending a Stray

Just like in the later games, you’ll need to befriend a stray animal before you have the option to adopt it.

First, wait until a stray appears around your house (you can also meet strays on community lots). The only interaction you’ll have to begin with is “Pet.”

Pet the stray dog or cat to establish a relationship. A successful “Pet” interaction will give you 5 points of short term relationship (STR). Continue interacting with the pet until the “Adopt” option appears – sometime after you hit 50 STR.

Sims 1 Pet Stray Dog
Pet the stray animal to increase your relationship score.

As you get to know the animal, more interactions become available – such as wrestle, praise, hug, fetch, sit and stay.

This game is not easy, so it can take quite a while to get the relationship high enough to adopt. It may take several days of consistently interacting with the stray, and sometimes you’ll have to wait until the animal comes back to the lot.

Don’t let too much time go by between interactions or your relationship will drop.

Tip: Strays start appearing on your home lot around 10:30 AM. Zoom out as far as possible to get a good view. When you see the stray you want to adopt, immediately begin interactions.

How to Adopt a Stray

The Prima Guide for Unleashed says the “Adopt” option will not appear until your STR is at least 90. However, the option appeared for me at STR 59. I’m playing with the Complete Collection. So, I’m not sure if that’s the reason or if the Prima Guide is wrong.

Sims 1 Adopt Stray Pet
The option to adopt appeared at STR 59 in my game.

But in the end, all you have to do is interact with the stray until the “Adopt” option appears when you click on him. That will happen somewhere between STR 50 and 90. 

Click on “Adopt”  and your Sim will pet the stray using the same animation for the “Pet” interaction. Then, he’ll be added to your household. Now, he’s all yours!

Sims 1 Adopt Stray Dog
Click on “Adopt” and the stray is added to your household.
Tip: There must be fewer than eight Sims (including pets) currently in the household for the adoption to be successful.

Stray Adoption Tips

Unfortunately, there are no stray adoption cheats in The Sims 1. You’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way by making friends with the animal. Here are some tips to make things go as quickly and smoothly as possible:

  • The “Pet” and “Praise” interactions increase relationship the fastest in the beginning.
  • Avoid using the “Sit and Stay” interaction since the stray will not have any obedience skill. This could decrease your relationship.
  • Spam “Pet” and “Praise” as often as possible until you unlock “Hug,” “Wrestle,” and “Fetch.” Keep an eye on your Sim’s needs and take a break when necessary!
  • Put a pet food bowl outside and fill it with food. This may keep the stray around longer, although other strays will eat from it too.
  • Have an unemployed member of the household work on befriending the stray. The process goes much faster if your Sim doesn’t have a full-time job to deal with.

Stray Adoption Mods

Just as there aren’t any cheats for stray adoption in The Sims 1, there really aren’t any current mods (that I’m aware of). Leave a comment below if you know of any! However, I can recommend a mod that increases your Sim’s motives.

  • Super Mood Machine – Puts all motives in the green, which allows Sims to spend more time befriending the stray instead of taking care of basic needs. (This mod also does a ton of other helpful things, so I’d recommend it even if you don’t use it for this purpose.)

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