The Littlest Pet Shop option was the clear favorite among the choices given in a recent OverAchiever. While we've previously run a guide to Lil' Game Hunter (the 75-pet achievement), we haven't otherwise revisited the topic of noncombat pets in ... wow, more than two years. Suffice it to say that a lot's changed since then. For one, we get balloons now, which is Blizzard's most inspired addition to the stable of in-game pets and something that nearly caused me to wet myself when I first zoned into a heroic with an undead warrior tank running around with a balloon. The sheer incongruity of the game's skulls-a-plenty armor sets combined with a happy little balloon is still something that alternately horrifies and amuses me.
When you stop to think about it, there's something a little twisted in going about the daily WoW routine of mass slaughter and mayhem with a balloon bobbing alongside you, but what the hell. Show me another MMORPG where you can have a balloon and annihilate existential threats to the universe. You can't accuse Blizzard of not covering the bases.
If you're a hardcore pet collector, I could probably condense this entire guide down to "bookmark WarcraftPets.com and just keep consulting it," but I suspect we can make this column a wee bit more helpful than that. Even if you're not a pet collector, there's one quested pet in here that I highly advise you not to miss.
I dickered for a bit over how to arrange this and finally settled on the broad classifications given above, sorted in alphabetical order but also listed by source. In some cases (e.g., the Cockroach), you will find pets listed twice, as two vendors have them on their roster. Due to the frightening length of this list before I even through the D's, this is regrettably another article that I will have to split, folks. However, I should be able to keep it down to two installments. Today we'll deal with vendor, quest, and reputation pets.
How expensive is Littlest Pet Shop?
If you want to do this achievement as quickly as possible and you've got money to burn, keep checking the AH. You should be able to flesh out a respectable pet collection with BOEs from the AH in short order, but the more you rely on the AH to get you rare-drop or created pets, the more expensive this achievement will ultimately be.
Is there an easier way to get some of the more difficult pets?
Yep. If you play a role that gets the Call to Arms incentive at level 85, the Satchel of Exotic Mysteries awarded for your dungeon run has a chance to contain one of 23 noncombat pets. Reportedly even the ultra-rare Hyacinth Macaw can appear in a Satchel (or at least, that's claimed by at least one player as of May 2011), so if you play a tank or healer, be on the lookout. Remember: The Satchel is BOA, so don't auto-loot from it. Open it up, check its contents, and if it contains something you'd rather have on a different character, mail it off!
The average vendor pet shouldn't give you any trouble; all you have to do is show up with cash in hand and walk away with your new pet(s). To that end, I've also linked the vendors in question for your convenience, so if you're not sure where one is located, simply click on them for their Wowhead entry. Most vendor pets are not pricy, but the ones sold by the opposite faction will have to be picked up on the Auction House. If this is expensive on your server and you want to get a better deal, run a toon on the opposite faction to pick up all the pets you need, then arrange for a friend to buy them off the neutral AH in Ratchet, Booty Bay, Gadgetzan, or Everlook before someone else does. Regrettably, you can't transfer purchases over the neutral AH without help, as you can't bid on or buy items from another character on your account.
Pets like the Hyjal Bear Cub, Crimson Lasher, Nether Ray Fry, and Argent Tournament pets, while technically all vendor pets, aren't available until after you've quested extensively, so I've chosen to classify them as "Quest and Reputation" pets instead. By contrast, all of the pets below are simply things you can walk up and buy.
- Albino Snake, Calico Cat, and Obsidian Hatchling Sold by Breanni in Dalaran. Yep, it's an ingame copy of the same Breanni behind WarcraftPets.com!
- Ancona Chicken Sold by "Plucky" Johnson on the southeastern shore of Thousand Needles. This used to be sold by a vendor (possibly even the same NPC, I can't recall) at the now-underwater Mirage Raceway. Doubtless you will notice upon first sighting Plucky that he is a chicken. You can turn him back into a human vendor by right-clicking him or doing the /chicken emote while targeting him.
- Black Kingsnake, Brown Snake, and Crimson Snake Sold by Xan'tish in Orgrimmar
- Blue Clockwork Rocket Bot Sold by Jepetto Joybuzz in the Dalaran toy store or by the wandering toy vendors Craggle Wobbletop and Blax Bottlerocket in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, respectively.
- Blue Dragonhawk Hatchling, Brown Rabbit Crate, Cockroach, Crimson Snake, Cat Carrier (Siamese), Mana Wyrmling, Senegal, and Red Moth Egg Sold by Dealer Rashaad in the Stormspire of Netherstorm.
- Blue Moth Egg, White Moth Egg, and Yellow Moth Egg Sold by Sixx in the Exodar.
- Cat Carrier (Bombay), Cat Carrier (Cornish Rex), Cat Carrier (Orange Tabby), and Cat Carrier (Silver Tabby) Sold by Donni Anthania southeast of Stormwind.
- Brown Prairie Dog Sold by Halpa in Thunder Bluff. This is the first pet I ever got in the game, as my main's a Tauren, and I still remember that day fondly.
- Cockatiel and Senegal Sold by Narkk in Booty Bay, although you can also purchase them from Harry No-Hooks in the Bloodsail fleet off the coast if you're friendly with the Bloodsail Buccaneers. However, Harry shares a spawn with another Bloodsail NPC, so he may not always be around. The Senegal is also sold by Dealer Rashaad (see above) in Netherstorm.
- Cockroach Sold by Jeremiah Payson in the Undercity or by Dealer Rashaad (see above) in Netherstorm.
- Ghostly Skull Sold by Darahir in Dalaran, and an excellent (albeit creepy) pet for this time of year.
- Golden Dragonhawk Hatchling, Red Dragonhawk Hatchling, and Silver Dragonhawk Hatchling Sold by Jilanne in Fairbreeze Village (Eversong Woods).
- Great Horned Owl and Hawk Owl Sold by Shylenai in eastern Darnassus.
- Rabbit Crate (Snowshoe) Sold by Yarlyn Amberstill at the Amberstill Ranch in Dun Morogh.
- Tree Frog Box and Wood Frog Box Sold by Flik, a small Orcish child running around at the Darkmoon Faire. The Wood Frog is only sold in quantities of one, meaning you'll have to wait a bit for it to respawn if someone's purchased one recently. The respawn timer appears to be 15-30 minutes.
- Cat Carrier (White Kitten) Oh, ye gods. The white kitten has caused much angst among ardent pet collectors, because its seller -- Lil Timmy -- is a rare spawn in Stormwind with only one kitten on hand each time he spawns. He'll path through four districts in Stormwind carrying his kitten, and that's it. That's your only shot at this pet. His respawn timer is said to be an hour and a half to three hours, so plan on some serious camping. If you play Horde, expect to pay an astronomical sum for this on the Auction House, unless you can manage to buy one off Timmy on an Alliance toon and transfer it over the neutral AH. The white kitten shares the same model as the other cat pets, but it's a bit smaller and thus cuter.
- Winterspring Cub Sold by Michelle De Rum in Everlook (Winterspring). To forestall the inevitable question from players who currently find themselves hated by the Steamwheedle goblins, yes, she will sell to everyone. However, you will not necessarily survive to make the purchase, as a hated player will shortly find himself disappearing under a pack of maddened goblin bruisers. However, it should be easy enough to run another character to Everlook to make the purchase for you, as the Cub is BOE. Incidentally, the NPC selling the Cub is named for one of WoW's better-known pet collectors.
- Withers Withers is kind of a special case. While he's a quested pet for Alliance, he's a vendor pet for Horde. The Alliance can pick him up by completing Rememberance of Auberdine in Darkshore: The Horde can purchase him from Apothecary Furrows in a cave in northeastern Darkshore. However, because the good Apothecary is both low-level and hostile to Alliance, expect to find him dead a good portion of the time.