What Are The Best Small Pets for Apartments?

We no longer live in a world where apartment living usually deters people from owning a pet. With the increasing urbanization of our society, apartment pets are on the rise. However, the size of your pet is not the only thing you should consider when choosing the type of housemate you want to live with. The amount of maintenance that you are willing to commit to your pet and the interaction you are looking for are some other factors you need to think about. With proper handling, care and love, domesticated animals make great companions.

To help in looking for the most suitable pet for you, we’ve compiled a list of pets that do great in apartment living:

Dogs:

When it comes to pets, the top choice will always be a dog. However, living in small spaces may have few restrictions like their environmental need, playfulness and their tendency to bark aside from their giant paws and long legs.

Believe it or not, size matters when choosing a perfect pet that will live with you in your tiny home. Dogs like chihuahuas, bichon frises and Shih Tzu are perfect as they are not only small but also hypoallergenic which are great points in convincing your landlord to let you live with pets in your apartment. They are calm breeds that don’t bark loud and don’t need outdoor exercises as often as a regular dog does.

Remember that dogs, in general, tend towards separation anxiety especially when being left alone and some of the common symptoms are barking and howling that might bother your neighbors. Before adopting a dog make sure to consider this possibility and how you’ll handle it when it happens.

 

Cats:

If you are looking for a pet to cuddle in front of the tv, then you might consider adopting a cat. Cats are perfect apartment pets as they are resourceful in making use of vertical spaces like furniture, shelving or windowsills. Cats don’t need big backyards. They are well contented living an indoor-only lifestyle and prefer being left alone. Instead of walking your cat to the park they will appreciate it more if you provide them a place to climb and perch. To keep a cat indoors, you’ll need to provide litter box daily which is a small thing to pay for having a day to day housemate.

While most cats are well suited in an apartment, you might want to avoid breeds that are highly active and are always looking for something to do. Breeds to avoid are Abyssinian, Balinese, Bengal, and Siberian.

 

Fish

Fishes are the perfect choice for apartment pets. They are exempted from apartment pet rules as noise and hygiene is not a problem. Regular feeding and aquarium cleaning are the only usual maintenance they need. One small thing to bear in mind is to avoid disrupting your fish environment. A Small change in their environment can throw things off balance which can result in stress and early death for your swimming friend.

If you are a first-time owner, you might want to consider Betta Fish or sometimes called Siamese fighting fish. For a few pellets a day and a regular water change, they are a great calming influence in your home. They live alone as they tend to fight other fishes and you don’t have to worry about them being lonely when working on late hours.

 

Birds

Birds are a great option for apartment living but with few considerations. Aside from flying, they are known for their twittering which may be music to its caretaker’s ear but annoying and distracting to other people like your neighbors. This said, choosing a quiet bird species is a MUST if you live in an apartment.

Interaction and simulation are needed to avoid your pet from getting stressed and lonely. Toys are useful to develop their mental and physical health. Big cages are necessary to give them space to fly so the smaller the bird the bigger the space to fly and exercise. It is also encouraged to give your bird supervised freedom inside the house.

Parakeets, cockatiel and canaries are some of the small species with quiet vocalizations that you might want to consider. These birds are vocal but with tiny voices that usually go unnoticed if you are not near them.

If you are new to birds, make sure to check with a vet before adopting to know if you can handle the necessary daily care needed for your pet. A quiet bird does not guarantee that they are low maintenance. Daily mental and physical stimulation is sometimes required and may not fit your lifestyle.

 

Rabbits:

Not a lot of people think of rabbits as their top choice for pets. Often, they are left abandoned by their owners after Easter. But what many uninformed pet owners don’t know is that these cuddly pets are trainable and great for apartments.

The idea that rabbits can be caged 24/7 and eat nothing but pellet and carrots is a lie. Rabbits love to chew and dig so make sure that all electrical cables were inaccessible. Also provide alternative entertainment for your rabbits like cardboards, tissue roll, and other paper products so they don’t get bored. Bunny-proof your apartment before introducing your rabbit to their new home.

With regular training, they can get used to litter boxes just like cats and then you can leave them alone at free-range in your little home. Walking them in the park is not necessary but is encouraged. Just make sure to put them on a leash as they may be overwhelmed outside.

 

Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs have giant personalities in a small adorable cuddly little package. They are perfect in an apartment as a cage is all the living space they need. They make a good job keeping their cages clean and tidy.

In terms of noise, guinea pigs sometimes make a wheeking sound. However, these noises are not too loud to disturb your neighbors.

While guinea pigs are social animals, they are also nocturnal, so you won’t have to worry about them having to be left alone as they are mostly asleep during the day. They love to cuddle and play which is a good stress reliever when you come home. Once they get used to their special human, they can be petted.

 

Hamsters:

Hamsters come with great personalities that make them great companions for people and children. With proper cage cleaning, regular healthy feeding and exercise, A happy and healthy hamster make a great housemate.

Hamsters are easily tamed and handled. They’re most likely to nip at first but once they get accustomed to their caretaker, they’ll start to bite less. Hamsters are nocturnal and they love to play during the night. Depending on the activity they’re doing, they’ll most likely create noises in the middle of the night. Although these noises are not too loud to reach your neighbors, it is best to keep their cage far from your bedroom, so you won’t get disturbed while you sleep.

 

Rats

Rats with their relatively easy care needs and small size make great companions. They are quiet pets so you won’t have to worry about noise complaints from your neighbors. Domesticated rats are selectively bred to be affectionate and gentle, unlike wild rats.

Domesticated rats are sociable, friendly and intelligent. They usually come in pairs (same gender) as they can easily get upset if left alone. They’re comfortable inside a cage although a daily exercise outside of their cage is necessary to keep your pet healthy. These pets are also nocturnal but unlike hamsters, they don’t mind waking in the middle of the day to interact.

 

Mice:

Mouse if properly cared for are fun hygienic pets. They are cute little rodents who like to keep themselves clean. In terms of food, they are very easy to feed with just commercial mouse pellets. They also do best in pair although having two male pet mice can be a handful as they’re more likely to attack each other.

The only drawback of adopting a mouse as a pet is there tendency to escape. In just a matter of seconds, they can easily disappear forever. They always need to be caged in a cage with small holes.

 

Geckos

Geckos are a good choice for small spaces pets. They are used to playing alone so you won’t have to worry about them being lonely if you work late hours. They sometimes interact with their caretaker. Unlike other reptiles, geckos are less intimidating and perfect for first-time owners.

While geckos are more situated in the wild, they can easily adjust in domestic living as long as you provide them a space to live and play. A 10-gallon aquarium with places to hide and climb is perfect and won’t take much space.

As for food, geckos love to feed on worms, crickets and other insects. If you are squeamish handling certain insects, it might be best to look for other options on our list.

 

Chinchillas:

These clean, odor-free hyperactive, trainable and attention seeker rodents are among the most suited for life as apartment pets. Other than the occasional bark they do when they sense danger, chinchillas make no noise.

Chinchillas require bigger cages compared to other rodents as they’re active. They should also be given supervised freedom outside their cages every day for a few hours, preferably inside your bathroom as they love to chew on things. They bath in the dust to keep their coat silky and clean

One consideration before adopting chinchillas is the temperature of your apartment or where you live in as they are sensitive to too much heat or cold. They should not be exposed to a temperature of more than 75 degrees or below 50 degrees.

 

Hedgehogs

In some states, permits are needed before having a hedgehog so make sure to check your state law on exotic animals before you adopt. They prefer being alone and tend to fight with other animals especially with other hedgehogs. They are also nocturnes and have very similar living environments with domestic rodents.

 

Ferrets:

Ferrets have a bad reputation as pets but the truth is, with their small size and ability to happily sleep in cages for long hours combined with knowledgeable care, they make excellent apartment pets. They are very playful animals and knows how to express their love in an enchanting way.

Since they spent most of their time inside their cages, a comfortable environment will surely make them happy. They do not become neurotic when left alone. However, make sure to give them cat toys when you are not home so that they can play and don’t get into mischief. Just like other pets, they also need supervised time outside their cages to interact and play.

 

Frog

Frogs can make a great addition to your apartment. They are relatively low maintenance and do not require a lot of attention. Frogs are fun to watch outside of their aquarium with their singing and the funny positions they do.

Frogs eat insects like cricket, worms, and mosquito. If you are not comfortable feeding them with these types of food you might consider a different pet as these are their only food options.

 

Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crabs hypoallergenic, passive, and generally as low maintenance as you can get. Hermit crabs are omnivores that eat plants and need a warm, humid environment. If taken care of correctly, they can live up to 10-20 years. Aside from that, they need fresh dechlorinated water and saltwater available in their aquarium.

Every 18 months, Hermit crabs undergo a process called molting where they shed their skin. When this happens, you need to leave them alone even if they stop moving for a while. You also need to provide them bigger shell as they grow bigger.

 

Important guidelines:

  1. Make sure to check with apartment management for any pet restrictions before adopting one.
  2. Research the different types and breeds of the pet you wish to adopt as each has unique personalities that may not what you have expected.
  3. Behavioral problems may develop for social pets if they are always left alone. Have a pet sitter come in a day if you are working late hours.
  4. Some states do not allow an exotic pet. Make sure to check with your local authorities if you are planning on adopting an unusual pet so as not to get in trouble.