Cats and dogs in The Sims 3: Pets have one skill of their very own, called hunting. Cats can hunt for minor pets (rodents, reptiles, birds, etc.) and beetles. Dogs can "sniff out collectables" to pick up rocks, metals, gems, and "special" fragmented collectables.
Both cats and dogs can "fail" at hunting and pick up worthless junk, usually (shed) snake skins, feathers, maple leaves, and chip bags.
Pets must learn the hunting skill before they can hunt out in the world. Cats learn the skill by "practicing" on a toy from the pet toy box, and dogs are taught by their Sims. Cats and dogs can continue to gain hunting skill points in this manner up through level 10.
Cats have the option of eating their prey; or it can be kept as another pet, sold for cash, or released back into the wild.
The Skill Journal for pets is like that of normal Sims, with the exception of pets only having one skill.
Beetles Caught, Birds Caught, Fish Caught, Lizards Caught, Rodents Caught, Snakes Caught, Turtles Caught, Common Critters Caught, Uncommon Critters Caught, Rare Critters Caught, Extraordinarily Unusual Critters Caught
Number of Gems Found, Number of Metals Found, Number of Rocks Found, Number of Collectible Fragments Found, Number of Fragmented Objects Assembled
- Creeping And Crawling
- A Creeping And Crawling expert has caught 20 Beetles. As a reward, the chance of catching and finding rarer Beetles is increased.
- Slither Stalker
- A Slither Stalker has caught 20 reptiles. As a reward lizards, snakes, and turtles will always successfully be caught.
- Feline Fisher
- A Feline Fisher has caught 20 Fish. As a reward the chance of catching rarer fish is increased.
- Homing Whiskers
- Cats with Homing Whiskers have caught at least 20 rare prey. As a reward the amount of time it takes to find prey is decreased.
- Gem Finder
- Gem Finders have found 50 or more Gems and have developed the ability to find rare gems more easily!
- Metal Finder
- Metal Finders have found 50 or more Metals and have developed a knack for finding rare metals more easily!
- Rock Finder
- Rock Finders have found 50 or more Rocks and have gained a boosted ability to find rare rocks more easily!
- Starting at level 0, a cat can practice Hunting on a Cat Toy.
- They can also practice Hunting by the "Play...", "Pounce" command on a fellow cat.
- After reaching level 1 in Hunting, a cat can "Go Catch Something" anywhere in the world. The area clicked on is the area the cat will search. Sometimes the area can be empty. There does not actually have to be visible prey in the area in order for the area to not be 'empty.' Usually an area is only empty is it has already been hunted in recently.
- After reaching level 5 in Hunting, a cat can be ordered by a Sim to "Go Catch Something." This is very similar to the cat clicking an area to look, itself, except that it isn't limited to the area clicked on. Instead the cat searches the entire property it is on when ordered. The cat can, however, still come back empty handed.
- After reaching level 6 in Hunting, a cat can be ordered by a Sim to catch something specific (Rodent, Snake, Turtle, Beetle, Bird, Fish, or Lizard). Strangely the Challenge Rewards don't effect a cat's success rate if sent Hunting this way. Sometimes the cat can also just look around, decide there are none near by and give up. The cat won't always understand and they might bring back the wrong kind of prey. The chances of bringing back the correct prey depends on the cat's Hunting skill level and whether it has the Genius or Clueless trait. If the cat successfully catches something, it will try to present their catch to the Sims that sent them out.
- After reaching level 7 in Hunting, cats gain the ability to "Locate Prey." This can be used to track the position of Rodents, Snakes, Turtles, Beetles, Birds, Fish, or Lizards. The tracked prey becomes marked on the map (although you can zoom in and actually see them as well) until the cat completes it's next action. On the map, the markers are indistinct, only showing the category the tracked prey belongs to but zooming in allows you to mouse over the prey and find out specifically what it is. 'Prey' currently being kept as a Minor pet is also tracked when this ability is used, even if it is in a terrarium in the house shared with the cat.
- Starting at level 0 a dog can be trained by a Sim to hunt.
- After reaching level 1, a dog can "Sniff Out Collectibles" anywhere in the world.
- Dogs with a hunting skill of 5 or higher can be told to "fetch date" and will bring back an attractive member of the Sim's preferred gender. This only works when on a community lot.
- After reaching level 6 in Hunting, a dog can be ordered by a Sim to find something specific (Gem, Metal, Rock, or 'Something'). This is similar to pets hunting on their own, though pets sent out to hunt will try to present their finds to the Sims that sent them out. The dog can still fail if sent out this way, instead obtaining worthless junk or nothing at all. If a dog finds 3/3 pieces of a fragmented collectable, the object can be "assembled" for a unique object to decorate the Sim's home or sold for a decent amount of Simoleons.
- After reaching level 7 in Hunting, dogs gain the ability to "Locate Collectible." This can be used to track the position of Gems, Metals, or Rocks. The tracked collectible becomes marked on the map (although you can zoom in and actually see them as well) until the dog completes it's next action. On the map, the markers are indistinct, only showing the category the tracked collectible belongs to but zooming in allows you to mouse over the item and find out specifically what it is.
There is currently a bug which can prevent a pet from ever obtaining the Hunter Trait through 'training,' no matter how many times the pet is sent to hunt. This trait is still obtainable for the pet by choosing it after using the 'Attitude Adjustment' Lifetime Reward on the pet.