I have captured and tamed several vermin-type creatures (such as Olms, Fluffy Wamblers, and Cap-Hoppers). After taming them, I have used the stocks screen to mark them as being available for adoption.

There are a few of these tamed creatures inside the original traps they were caught in, and a few that have been transferred into a cage. However, they've all been sitting around for multiple seasons and no dwarf is adopting them. How can I get these critters to be taken up by a dwarf?

  • 2
    A dilemma faced by no-kill shelters everywhere. Commented May 29, 2015 at 15:19
  • 1
    Remember that having dwarves adopt vermin as pets is not necessarily a good idea. Many dwarves loathe various species of vermin, and will receive a (small) bad thought every time they see one, even tame.
    – Paul Z
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


According to the wiki, while you cannot force a dwarf to adopt an animal, the dwarf must be wandering nearby the animal. In my experience, since caging cats will prevent their adoption, the animal must not be caged. So the most likely step is to let the vermin out of the cage that they are in. I have not applied this specifically to vermin, but I believe that it still holds. I do not remember whether or not loose tame vermin congregate in the dining hall like other stray animals. To be safe you might want to release them from a cage in the dining hall.

You still cannot force adoption of anything other than working animals, but this should make it possible. Be sure you want to do it though, as a pet's death can cause an unhappy thought and vermin die rather quickly (bats for example only live for 2 or 3 years).

So to reiterate the steps to having a pet vermin:

  • you must have captured it in an animal trap

  • tamed it

  • marked it for pet availability

  • let it wander loose so dwarves can meet it and decide that it is the most adorable thing ever. ("Who's the cutest little purring maggot ever? you are! yes you!")

This last step is the one I believe that you are missing.

Hopefully this is of some use.

  • I have been apprehensive to let them out of the cages because I assumed the cats would eat them if they weren't adopted. But I'll give it a shot and report back. Commented May 29, 2015 at 22:23
  • That is a perfectly reasonable fear. I think they don't, but I don't know why I think they don't so don't count on it.
    – Nick
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 22:30
  • Unfortunately, releasing the tamed vermin from their cages just ended up dooming them all to be eaten by cats. I'm going to try building a cage full of tamed vermin in the dining room to see if perhaps the cages simply weren't visible enough in their old location. Maybe they will be adopted from the cage at that point, but releasing them doesn't appear to be the solution. Commented May 30, 2015 at 0:55
  • Good luck. You could try pasturing the cats so that they don't come into the kitchen.
    – Nick
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 2:52
  • The wiki also indicates that an animal is unlikely to become a pet unless a dwarf has admires it. So if you don't have a dwarf that admires say, fluffy wamblers, you are unlikely to see any of them claimed as pets. (The 40d version said never, at least as far a vermin pets went)
    – Nick
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 7:38

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