My_Virtual_PetChristmas will be here in a few weeks and if you’ve got kids they may be asking for a pet to put on their list to Santa. If you’re not quite ready for a real-life furry friend, how about buying them a virtual pet app to bide yourself a bit more time? Here are 5 of our favourites.

My Virtual Pet (iOS, Android – Free)

Enjoy the best bits of looking after for a pet without any mess! Suited for kids aged 4+, choose your pet and feed, train, entertain and clear up after it.  My Virtual Pet also has an educational slant as it helps your little ones to learn whilst they play with mini memory and counting games.

My Little Pet Hotel (Android – Free)

The ideal virtual pet app if your kids are after a range of pets to care for. You also get to build your very own Pet Hotel with all sorts of rooms which cater for pampered pets including a Pet Spa, an Animal Gift Shop and even a Pet Disco. Start collecting your menagerie of pets such as dogs, cats, hamsters and monkeys. You can even cross-breed you pets to unlock some interesting new animals.

My Pet Pony (iOS, Android - Free)

Let’s face it Ponies are a big investment and require rather a lot of space so a virtual version may be a good place to start. My Pet Pony lets you create your own customised pony and gives you a choice of colours, hair styles and clothes to accessorise with. There are a lot of in-App purchase options to unlock various styling features or you can just unlock the lot for £4.99.

Disney Princess Palace Pets (iOS – Free)

No doubt this app will be a great hit with any pet loving Disney fans. Aimed at younger children, you learn the story about how the pets became friends with their Princesses with 8 interactive animated stories. Bath and groom the Palace pets at the Royal Pet Salon, feed the pampered pets tasty treats and create cute pet portraits.

Pet Puppy Dog (Android – Free)

A cute and retro virtual pet game with fun pixel graphics. Adopt a puppy and look after his or her every need which include feeding, bathing, taking for walks, playing games, dressing up and even giving medicine when they get ill.