Ah one of the most important questions among random conversation starters makes its way into the game of Stardew Valley: are you a cat person or a dog person? There’s a question that creates passionate debate both in and out of game, and in this game it’s one that you are required to make during the setup of your character.
So the obvious question for new Stardew Valley players: which pet should you pick, a cat or dog?
As a whole it really doesn’t make a difference whether a player chooses a cat or dog in Stardew Valley. The pet is there mostly for aesthetics and doesn’t give any bonuses, boosts, or otherwise make a difference in actual gameplay.
As someone who has played over 1,000 hours of Stardew Valley, it’s safe to say I know quite a bit about what the game has to offer at this point. The pets, and the new(er) choices between dogs or cats is a nice add to Stardew Valley, but from an actual gameplay perspective it doesn’t make a difference.
Should I Get a Dog or Cat in Stardew Valley?
Or maybe I should revise that. It doesn’t make a difference mechanically in Stardew Valley whether you get a cat or a dog. They don’t give bonuses of any kind, there’s no expenses tied to either one, they don’t affect actual gameplay at all.
Basically they are simply the pet you prefer.
If you’re a cat person, get a cat! If you’re a dog person, get a dog!
Every farm in Stardew Valley gets a pet once you have enough gold on hand, and since it doesn’t actually affect gameplay there’s no reason to choose one over the other. If you want a dog for a pet in Stardew Valley, pick the one of the three dogs you like most. if you want a cat for a pet in Stardew Valley, then pick one of the three cats you like most.
But there is one particular downside to be aware of with pets…they choose some very inopportune times to get in the way.
See that picture up there? Yes, you have to push the sleeping cat twice to move it to put down fertilizer…and then crops. And this cat only moved 1/2 a space at a time. Just argh!
I’ve also had multiple times sprinting in for bed at 1:50 a.m. and had the dog blocking my way into the house or the bed. So…that wasn’t great, either. Nothing like passing out right by our bed and taking the penalties over to the next day.
How Do I Get a Pet?
In the beginning you choose which type of pet you want to end up with. As of the 1.5 update you will have a choice between 3 types of cats and 3 types of dogs. Getting a cat in Stardew Valley follows the exact same steps as getting a dog in Stardew Valley.
You must meet a few requirements before getting a pet, which are:
- You must have earned 1000 gold in the spring
- The day must be sunny
- It must be a Wednesday or Friday after crossing that 1,000 gold mark
- You must leave the house prior to 9:30 a.m.
As long as all four of those are met (as early as the 4th, rarely later than 9th), then it triggers a morning cut scene.
Local friend of the animals Marnie will show up in the morning with either a cat or dog (depending on which you chose in the beginning) and will comment that the poor stray animal appeared and seemed to like the farm. Agree the place could use a pet and there you are with your new pet.
Your pet grows in love from being pet once a day, and having their outdoor water bowl filled on non-rainy days.
Can My Pet Die in Stardew Valley?
No matter how hard you try during a particularly rough run-through:
Pets don’t even have moods set the same way as chickens and livestock. You can only improve the friendliness of the pet, there are no penalties for not filling the water bowl or forgetting to pet them for a day, so don’t worry about the occasional missed day.
Farm animals can die in Stardew Valley, but you can click on that link to see how ridiculously difficult it is to do. Even if you fail to feed them for long periods of time, that actually doesn’t affect the situation.
Most of the time it really makes no practical difference when it comes to choosing a dog versus a cat in Stardew Valley. Obviously based on the shade I’ve thrown there is one type of dog that just seemed programmed to get in my way 100% of the time, especially if I was trying to sprint to bed in order to avoid passing out. Other Stardew players I know laugh at me for this, or have had their own run-in with one of the other pets.
Personally, choose the one you like most. Do you want an active dog running around on your digital farm or are you more of a cat person? Choose the one you like the look of most, the one that just feels right for your farm, and enjoy the game!
When it comes to choosing a dog or cat in Stardew Valley, there really is no wrong answer.
Except the bed-blocking shaggy devil. That’s the wrong answer. Clearly.
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.