Cats in this Australian spring’s The Sims 3: Pets also sometimes throw up. As both the owner of an adorable yet barf-happy cat — and as someone who is fascinated with how video game designers decide to simulate reality — I had to find out why.
Last week, at a showcase event for game publisher EA, I found a Sims 3 Pets producer and he had some answers for me.
The cat might vomit due to “random hairballs”.
OK. That’s reasonable, though I wasn’t able to get the Pets guy to tell me what the game’s hairball algorithm is (yet). Apparently cats that are prissy and groom themselves a lot will have a greater chance of getting a hairball. Concerned about their looks, they’ll risk feeling compelled to throw up more.
Another reason for a cat to throw up in the game: If they eat old, nasty food, they might lose it. That’s reasonable!
And another: “It can be disgusted by horses peeing in the pasture.”
I am sure there are many other reasons a cat might throw up in real life. I bet there are other things that can make them throw up in the game. But I now at least have one more reason to keep my own cat away from horses.
I should note that horses are exclusive to the PC/Mac version of The Sims 3: Pets. They’re not in the console or portable versions. (Apologies, but I realise now that I never confirmed if the fact that a cat can get a job as a ghost hunter in the console version is meant to balance that out.)
The Sims 3: Pets will be out this Australian spring. My cat will have thrown up a few more times by then.