Kids of all ages all over the world enjoy taking care of virtual pets: digital animals that require feeding, walks, grooming, playtime, and more in order to thrive. Here are About.com's top ten picks for the best online virtual pet worlds, made especially for people that want to experience the joy of caring for a furry friend.
1. Club Penguin
Club Penguin, part of the Disney network of sites, and is designed for kids ages 6-14. Club Penguin users can create their own penguin and then explore the island and participate in a wide variety of activities.
Create a pet at Neopets, one of the most popular free virtual pets sites on the Web that's been around since 1997. There are games, virtual worlds, virtual stores, and a great Neopets community to get involved in.
Handipoints is a fun way to earn points for doing chores and helping others. As one of the rewards for completing tasks, you can adopt a Cool Cat and have fun in Handiland.
You can adopt a virtual Webkinz pet once you buy a Webkinz stuffed animal and enter the unique Secret Code that comes with every Webkinz. Once you enter that secret code, you enter Webkinz World where you care for your virtual pet, play games, and earn KinzCash.
Adopt a pet at YaketyYak Pets, but instead of virtual cartoon-like pets, you can adopt "real" pets, anything from a horse to an eagle.
6. Chicka Pets
Chicka Pets allows you to adopt up to twelve pets at a time; you can take care of these pets, play more than 500 fun games, and participate in Chicka Pets community.
7. Pet Nebula
Adopt a virtual pet at Pet Nebula, and take advantage of "chat areas, user shops, auctions, trades, planets, a battle zone, virtual pets and many other things to be explored. Also if you work hard on your account and virtual pets you are able to earn account upgrades unlocking the ability to have more virtual pets, a hidden shop and many other features around the site totally free."
PowerPets offers a lot of different pets to adopt (more than sixty different species), and lots of fun stuff to collect the more you play with and take care of your pet.
Adopt a cute little monster at Moshi Monster, and the more you take care of it and play with it, the more personality it gets.