In Neopia, you're a human who can read books, play games and go on adventures. And, of course, you're the owner of a Neopet. Your pet can also read books, play games, go on adventures... and own a pet? No, you didn't misread: while you're taking care of a pet, he or she can do exactly the same for a much smaller creature. Intrigued? Read on to discover the marvellous miniature world of Neopian Petpets...
The world of Neopia is home to a huge variety of creatures. Some of the bigger and more intelligent ones are what we know as Neopets; they're the regular citizens of Neopia, who live, work and adventure alongside human players. Currently, there are fifty-four known species of Neopet. However, there are many, many other creatures to be found around Neopia, and the majority of these are Petpets.
Petpets come in all shapes and sizes, from the feathery Beekadoodle to the hairy Walking Carpet. However, they are almost all considerably smaller than Neopets. You can see a full list of all the types of petpets here.
Petpets show a limited amount of intelligence; they can be taught fairly complicated tasks with enough practice, as shown in games like Crisis Courier and Warf Rescue Team. It seems that in general they are less intelligent than Neopets, however: Petpets that make an impression on the world of their own accord, rather than as a Neopet's helper, are the exception rather than the rule. Generally, Petpets cannot talk; some Desert and Robot Petpets can recite a few phrases, but it's doubtful whether they understand Neopian language.
The origins of Petpet species are mostly unknown, probably because they can't be asked about where they came from. It's been suggested that many species originally came from the planet Petaria, but it's not clear whether this applies to all Petpets. Some, like the Baby Blu, bear an uncanny resemblance to Neopets, and it's reasonable to think they evolved in the same environments. The name "Petpets" itself may come from "Petaria", but it's more likely to be an abbreviation of Petpets' main function in Neopia: to be a Neopet's pets.
Petpets can be found in various shops around Neopia. Here's a full list:
A Pet for Your Pet
Every Neopet can look after a Petpet of his or her very own. You can buy your pet a Petpet at one of the many Petpet shops around Neopia; they are also sometimes given away as event prizes, or from dailies such as the Meteor Crash Site and Fruit Machine. All Petpets function in the same way, so the only things to take into consideration when choosing which species to buy are the price tag and whether it will look good next to your Neopet.
With your new Petpet in your inventory, click it and select "Give to [Pet's Name]" from the dropdown menu. (If your Neopet doesn't appear to like his or her Petpet, changing the site language and trying again may help.)
To visit your new Petpet, view your Neopet's profile in Quick Ref and scroll to the bottom. Click the Petpet, and you'll be taken to a page showing it in more detail. Here, you can choose a name for your Petpet; unlike Neopet names, these don't have to be unique, so if you want your Petpet to be named "Fluffy", go right ahead. (If you don't enter a name, the Petpet will be known as "No Name the [Petpet's Species]".)
You can remove your Petpet on this page, if you've decided it doesn't suit your pet any more or you want a new one. Click the "Stop playing with [Petpet's Name]" button, and the Petpet will be returned to your inventory. You can also have your Neopet talk to your Petpet; this doesn't serve any purpose, but it can be quite fun. (Click here to find out what you might hear!)
Be careful when handling Petpets in your inventory in preparation for attaching them! They can sometimes get hungry, and may sample any food items you have on hand if you don't watch out. If you keep expensive foods in your inventory, it might be a good idea to keep any spare Petpets in your Safety Deposit Box so nothing gets snaffled. Once the Petpet is attached, however, your Neopet will take care of all its needs -- you don't have to feed it or worry about its well-being.
A Neopet can only have one Petpet at a time. If you see a pet listed as having one Petpet while apparently holding or standing next to another, it's probably a realistic toy or item of clothing, such as the Stuffed Pawkeet Friend.
What Can You Do With Petpets?
Petpets don't have a direct effect on your Neopet the way books or food items do, so it can be easy to start wondering what you're supposed to do with them. While Petpets lead fairly boring lives compared to Neopets, there are still a few activities they can get involved in...
The Petpet Puddle
This little corner of the Rainbow Pool is especially for Petpets! Like the bigger version, it allows you to change the colour of your Petpet's fur, feathers or scales. You'll need a Petpet Paint Brush to paint your Petpet.
You can only paint a Petpet if it's currently attached to a Neopet -- for some reason, the Petpet Puddle doesn't work on Petpets that are still in your inventory. Be sure to check your Petpet is capable of being painted your chosen colour -- it's important to note that some apparently "painted" Petpet types, such as the Darigan Yooyu, were given out as prizes for special events, and you can't paint your own Petpet to match them. Sorry!
Just like regular Paint Brushes, Petpet Paint Brushes don't have an "undo" button. So what do you do if you want your Petpet to return to the colour it was originally? Every "basic" Petpet actually has a colour -- it just isn't labelled. To un-paint a Petpet, you'll need to repaint it into its standard colour. For instance, Snorkles are naturally pink, so you'd need a Pink Petpet Paint Brush to turn a Green Snorkle back into a regular Snorkle. You can check a Petpet's original colour, as well as the options available for it, at the All Petpet Colours section of the Puddle.
The Symol Hole
This mysterious hole lies in the green fields of Meridell, and can only be visited if you have a Petpet to do your digging work for you! Most of the time, it doesn't do anything, but it makes a nice daily outing for your little friend, and there's a chance you might come home with a free item. Be sure to drop by!
We did say that almost all Petpets were smaller than Neopets. The huge Turmaculus is a notable exception. He sleeps most of the day, but when he gets restless, your Petpet can try to get his attention in the hope of winning items or other rewards. He can also raise the level of your Petpet, or award an avatar... but trying to get any of these prizes is very dangerous. Warning: This activity can lead to the permanent loss of your Petpet!
Petpet Lab Ray
Everyone knows about the Scorchio scientist working away in his secret lab, but did you know he has a Petpet? What's more, that Petpet -- a rather kooky Kookith -- has a little science project of its own! The Petpet Lab Ray works similarly to its Neopet-zapping cousin. It can raise or lower the level of your Petpet, change its name (something the regular Lab Ray can't do to Neopets) and can produce colours and even species of Petpet that are otherwise unobtainable. Since TNT have rejected the idea of Petpet Morphing Potions, this is the only way to change the species of your Petpet. However, since Kookiths aren't quite as smart as Scorchios, it can also be rather dangerous. Warning: This activity can lead to the permanent loss of your Petpet!
If your Petpet is feeling in the mood for adventure, you can send it into the catacombs of Neovia in the daily activity Grave Danger. Despite the name, this activity cannot permanently harm your Petpet. The little creature will be inaccessible for several hours while it wanders around the tunnels, and will eventually return carrying an item. If you want even more loot, you can also give it specialised equipment buyable from the NC Mall.
The Petpet Arena seems to have been an attempt to build Petpets their very own Battledome. Unfortunately, at the time of writing it doesn't offer two-player competition or any way to teach new moves to your Petpet, so it can get a little dull. However, it's the only safe way to raise your Petpet's level (this stat can also be raised by Turmaculus and the Petpet Lab Ray, but both of those have their risks). This stat is really just for show and doesn't have any use, but if you want your Petpet to look like the toughest on the block, grab your miniature boxing gloves and get into the fray!
If you're proud of your Petpet or have a unique origin story or design for it, the Petpet Spotlight is the perfect contest for you! You can send in a drawing of your Petpet along with a short piece of writing about it. The Neopets Team's favourite entries will be published on the site for everyone to see.
Petpet Protection League
The Petpet Protection League isn't actually an activity, but an organisation dedicated to promoting long-term caring Petpet ownership. Every week, the PPL will pick a particular colour and species of Petpet, and award Neopoints to Neopians whose pets have that particular type of Petpet (ten NP for every day the Petpet has been attached to the pet). The Neopians who've owned that variety of Petpet for the longest time will even get snazzy trophies, so it might be worth sticking with that Petpet you've had since your newbie days! You can find all the PPL winners by using our Special Search Item Database feature here.
Petpets in the Past
While Neopia's history has mostly been about Neopets, there have been a few strange incidents and quirks in the lives of Petpets over the years. Some of these have had consequences you can still see around the site today, while others are just footnotes in the records of times gone by...
Like everything else on the Neopets site, Petpets may be redrawn if their art is getting a little out-of-date. Mostly, these redraws are fairly small -- altering a Petpet's expression, sharpening up lines, or making colours brighter and bolder. However, especially in the early years of Neopets, Petpets were sometimes completely overhauled, changing appearance, name and origin and ending up as completely different species. For instance, the once well-known Fat Cat has become the Baraga.
Fewer people make jokes about my name this way.
Like the old Neopet versions, the outdated Petpets that were changed can no longer be obtained. You can't buy them, win them from contests or zap them via the Lab Ray -- they've officially been consigned to the past. :( However, you may still see a couple of them around Neopia in the company of some very old Neopets! When the changes were made, Petpets that had already been attached to a Neopet were left unaffected. So the last few Fat Cats, Baby Vampires and Phishies in Neopia aren't in a museum, but on older pets' lookups!
If you're lucky enough to have one of these ancient Petpets on your Neopet, think very carefully before you remove it! Having an incredibly rare and old Petpet may sound like a recipe for Neopoints galore, but there's a catch. Once unattached and returned to the player's inventory, these Petpets will automatically be updated to their newer versions -- and there's no way to change them back!
You can see a complete list of transformed Petpets here.
Petpets in the Battledome?
Of course, there's the Petpet Battledome described above, but did you know that Petpets were once able to appear in the regular-sized Battledome -- the one designed for Neopets?
During a Battledome fight, your Petpet would have a chance of appearing at random and offering assistance to your Neopet. When this happened, the Petpet could be selected from the dropdown menu, as if it were an extra Battledome ability. The damage done by your pet's attacks would be multiplied by the Petpet's level, for a potentially huge increase in power!
Unfortunately, Petpets are no longer able to offer help in the Battledome; for a while they still turned up every so often (with no effect), but for several years now Petpets have been absent from the arena altogether. Perhaps the Petpet Protection League were worried about some of the more powerful BD weapons? Petpet levels, however, remain a feature of the site, even though they are no longer useful.
The Case of the Disappearing Petpets
Petpets don't normally involve themselves in worldwide events, but there's an exception to every rule!
During Year 5, Petpets all over Neopia started vanishing from their Neopets' lookups. After a long string of recent glitches, players first thought this was just one more horrible bug in the site's coding. However, as more and more Petpets went missing, Neopians started to wonder if something more sinister was going on.
The missing Petpets were eventually located in a place that shouldn't even have existed, happily munching away on gelatinous green goodness. To this day, nobody has put forward a convincing explanation as to why they all decided to run away at once. The Neopets Team speculated that the Petpet disappearance might be part of a villain's masterplan, but if so, the eventual goal has remained a mystery...
In Year Ten, after a series of pre-opening escapades involving top-secret Petpet transportation, a very special area of Neopia was opened up by the Petpet Protection League. Petpet Park was a collection of miniature towns and villages that served as a kind of Petpet colony. The Petpets that lived there seemed unusually intelligent and independent; they had their own language, as well as a system of currency (Park Points) and were capable of building houses, sewing clothes, making friends, and putting together complicated machinery. There are also a couple of Petpet species, such as the Drym and Kassegat, which have so far only been observed in the Park.
Sadly, the Park was permanently closed to visitors in the autumn of Year Sixteen, but the fun and games it provided will be remembered by Neopians for a long time to come.
If you visit the Neopian Bazaar you will find the Petpet Supplies shop, which is filled with items dedicated to taking care of your Petpet. Instead of using these items to play with your Petpet directly, they can be placed into your Classic Neohome, where each of your Petpets will have 24/7 access to all of their supplies.
And The Madness Continues...
If you still feel like there's room in your life for something even smaller than your Neopet's Petpet friends, then you're in luck. As if a pet for your pet wasn't enough, Petpets can also have pets of their own! These teeny-tiny bugs, known as Petpetpets or P3s, feature in their own avatars, Flash games, and even the money-spinning Habitarium.
You can read all about Petpetpets here!
This article was written by: Dream