Best Pets for Apartment Living

Pets do more than pose for funny online videos. They provide companionship and fun. But before you run out and buy the first pet you see, consider finding one of the best pets for apartments.

Best Pets for Apartment


As many as one in three households own a dog, but these furry friends often need plenty of space to run, and their barking is disturbing to other renters. If you’re a dog person, consider a pug. They’re quiet and don’t need much exercise.



Felines are small and quiet with no cage requirements. As long as you have room for a litter box, cats make good apartment pets.



Watching fish swim for just a few minutes can reduce stress, according to That’s as good a reason as any to have fish for pets! Plus, you only need a small aquarium.



Feathered pets sing and chatter all day. They love attention, but they can be too noisy for some neighbors. They also may require bulky cages that take up precious space in your apartment.


Hamsters, guinea pigs & rats

While these friendly rodents may get a bad reputation, small and quiet, a hamster requires little space. They are nocturnal, though, so they only make good apartment pets if your hamster’s nighttime noises won’t wake you or the neighbors.


Guinea pigs love human attention, and they thrive in pairs. You’ll need at least a four square foot cage to house your guinea pigs pets.

Social animals, rats live best in pairs too. They need a cage that’s at least two square foot, according to the ASPCA, and you’ll need plenty of free time to play with your rats.


Most property managers won’t approve poisonous snakes, but non-poisonous snakes make for quiet companions. You will need a locking cage that’s large enough for an adult snake to stretch out to two-thirds of its length. That means a six-foot long adult snake will need a four-foot long cage.


Hermit crabs

Compact, hermit crabs need only a small aquarium filled with spare shells, water dishes and climbing toys. You can’t cuddle a hermit crab, but it doesn't require much interaction or space.

Look at your lease

You might have your heart set on pet ownership, but check your lease before you bring a pet home. It will outline the type, number and size of pets you can have, and it will list any annual pet ownership fees.

You will want to follow the lease, even if that means you can’t adopt a pet pig or a golden retriever. You can always get your pet fix as a volunteer at a local animal shelter or as a pet sitter for coworkers and friends.

If your lease does allow pets, decide which pet is right for you. Then have fun with your new furry friend!

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