What you need to know

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living?

Anaëlle Laurent
By Anaëlle Laurent. Updated: March 21, 2024
What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living?

Especially in cities, the amount of people living in apartments continuously increases. But what does this mean when choosing a pet to adopt? What are the best pets for apartment living?

Living in an apartment doesn't change the desire to have the joy a pet can provide. However, it is important to consider several aspects before adopting any pet into the home. While the needs of the animal need to be met, we have our own considerations. Space and time are two of the most significant. For this reason many people choose a cat or small dog to live in their apartment, but there are other animals they may not have considered. AnimalWised brings you this list of 10 types of pets to suit an apartment lifestyle.

You may also be interested in: What are the Best Birds to Keep as Pets?
  1. How to choose a pet
  2. Top 12 pets to have at home
  3. Dogs
  4. Cats
  5. Hamsters
  6. Rabbits
  7. Turtles
  8. Ferrets
  9. Guinea Pig
  10. Chinchilla
  11. Bearded dragons
  12. Birds
  13. Miniature Pigs
  14. Fishes
See more >>

How to choose a pet

Small animals are often more suitable for living in apartments, as they are easier to care for and adapt easily to a small environment. However, there are other factors that you should also consider when choosing the best animals for your home.

For example, what kind of pet are you looking for? Is it a loyal and dependent friend or a more independent roommate? Think about your personality and the type of animal that could suit you best. How much interaction do you intend to keep with your pet? Are you looking for a friend who can walk and play every day or do you prefer a quieter animal that requires less time and effort?

Remember that some pets, such as fish, may not interact as directly or be as communicative as others due to the inherent limitations of the species. Also, don't be fooled by reputations. Some people think cats are completely independent, but they will need plenty of environmental enrichment and interaction to lead healthy lives.

Also, remember to consider the approximate life expectancy of each species. There are many long-lived pets, such as turtles, dogs, cats and chinchillas. However, some pets have a much less privileged longevity, such as hamsters who generally live only 2 to 4 years.

What to consider when choosing a pet

You should consider the following aspects:

  • Are you looking for an affectionate or independent animal?
  • Do you want a common animal or an exotic one?
  • Do you need a hypoallergenic animal?
  • How much time do you have to devote to your pet?
  • Can you meet the needs of your pet in your day to day life?
  • Can you financially support your pet and their needs?

Top 12 pets to have at home

To help you pick the best pet for you, we will make a brief list of the best apartment pets. These animals can easily adapt to live in confined spaces. Check out our selection of 12 animals to have at home:

  1. Dogs
  2. Cats
  3. Rabbits
  4. Hamsters
  5. Turtles
  6. Ferrets
  7. Guinea pigs
  8. Chinchillas
  9. Bearded dragons
  10. Birds
  11. Miniature pigs
  12. Fishes

Keep reading to learn more about each of them.


Not only are dogs known for being affectionate, but they're also known to be excellent pets. Dogs come in different sizes and personalities so now you just need to choose a suitable puppy for the space available in your home and educate them to respect the rules of the house. If you live in a small apartment, it will be wise to choose a small to medium dog. There are plenty of dogs waiting to be adopted and have the opportunity to receive the love of a family.

All dogs are different, nevertheless, most dogs are affectionate and moderately active. This means that they require daily exercise. They are also very intelligent animals. With dogs, it will be relatively easy to train them. They can learn to do their necessities outside, to follow simple commands and to adapt to your lifestyle.

If you don't know which dog to choose, check out this AnimalWised article about the 20 best dog breeds for apartment living.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Dogs


Cats are one of the best animals to have for apartment living thanks to their more independent nature and ease of adaptation in small environments. Each cat has their own personality and learns to adapt to each household. You can adopt a kitten that suits your lifestyle and educate it to respect the rules of your home. Cat training will make the responsibility of caring for a cat even easier.

Despite their more independent nature, cats also need basic care to live a healthy life. This means, playing with them so they have their daily exercise needs met, plenty of cuddles and veterinarian visits. Learn more about how to welcome a kitten to your home.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Cats


Hamsters are also one of the best companion animals for children. This is due to their small size and for the simple care they require daily. However, it will be essential to prepare and enrich your hamster's cage, as well as maintain optimal hygiene in and around his cage to prevent your furry friend from developing any of the most common hamster diseases.

In addition, the life expectancy of a hamster is around 2 to 4 years, depending on the breed. Therefore, they are not a good option for those looking for a long-lived pet.

If you don't know what hamster to choose, learn more about different types of hamsters.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Hamsters


Rabbits can also be excellent animals to have at home, but you must choose a breed of rabbit that suits the space available in your home. Toy or dwarf rabbits can be an excellent choice for those who live in small flats due to their tiny size.

However, ideally, your rabbit should leave the cage at least twice a day and have a safe environment where he can move freely and explore his environment. Learn more about raising your rabbit in our article that details how to care for your pet rabbit.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Rabbits


Due to their calm behavior, turtles can also be great pets to have at home. Just like any other pet, it is important to choose a species that is appropriate for the space and time you plan to devote to your new companion. First, investigate the size of a turtle in adulthood, as some species can measure up to 20 times more when they are adults than during their first months of life.

Also remember that there are water and land turtles. Some species maintain semi-aquatic habits, alternating their environment between water and land. If you choose a water turtle, for example, you should properly prepare the turtle aquarium where your pet will spend most of his life. Terrestrial turtles will need other specific care, as well as a balanced diet to strengthen their immune system. Learn more on our pet turtle guide.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Turtles


Without a doubt, the ferret is one of the best animals to have at home. In addition to being small, ferrets are also full of energy and can be affectionate animals when they live in a positive environment.

However, you must provide a good environmental enrichment to your ferret so he can exercise and have fun at ease. Remember that physical activity will be necessary for your ferret to maintain a healthy weight and balanced behavior.

If this is the first time you have a ferret as a pet, we advise you to read the following Animal Expert article on the how to care for your pet ferret .

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Ferrets

Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are one of the best animals to have in an apartment since they have a friendly, affectionate and very calm temperament. In addition, they are small animals that require relatively simple care to preserve good health.

However, you must provide your guinea pig with adequate nutrition, prepare their cage and provide a quiet environment where they can express themselves freely and fully develop their physical, cognitive and emotional skills. With proper care, your guinea pig will become an extraordinary companion who will bring love to your family.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Guinea Pig


For many years chinchillas have been confused with hamsters or guinea pigs in some regions of the world. However, they are completely different species. Chinchillas are small animals with a charming, cheerful and affectionate behavior. This is why they're a great option as apartment pets. In addition, they have a privileged life expectancy and can live more than 20 years in a positive environment.

Are you thinking of adopting a chinchilla? If so, we recommend you first read all about the basic care of a domestic chinchilla.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Chinchilla

Bearded dragons

Exotic pet lovers will enjoy this addition to our list of the best animals to have at home. Small lizards can be good companions for apartment living. If you are new to raising reptiles, you can opt for the leopard gecko or leopard lizard. They're an easy-to-handle lizard with a small size and a friendly character. If not, you can go for one of the most famous pet lizard: the bearded dragon.

Before adopting an exotic animal as a pet, be it a reptile or any other species, be sure to check which species can breed in captivity in the country or region where you reside. In addition, always rely on shelters or animal protectors to legally adopt an exotic pet. This ensures that you will not be involved with the trafficking of exotic animals, which subjects innumerable species to unworthy living conditions.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Bearded dragons


Birds can also adapt to life in an apartment. However, for this to happen it will be your responsibility to meet their need for freedom and physical activity, while also the need to keep them in a cage for safety. Of course, you must also provide them with complete and appropriate nutrition according to the species, as well as keep them free of parasites and diseases.

It is important to provide an environmental enrichment for birds, for their proper development and well-being. So if you are interested in having a bird as a pet, some of the most recommended birds are:

  • Budgies
  • Parrots
  • Quaker parrot
  • Cockatoos

Discover here which are the best birds to have as a pet and choose the most suitable for you.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Birds

Miniature Pigs

It is increasingly common to adopt a pig as a pet. However, at the same time, animal protectors have more and more of these animals, as some owners are surprised at the excessive growth of this pet when they reach adulthood.

Although there are several unscrupulous breeders who will sell pigs under the false pretense that they will remain miniature, the truth of the matter is that there is no pig with these characteristics. If you are still willing to adopt a pig as a pet, keep in mind that your animal will grow and that you will need adequate space for it.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Miniature Pigs


Fish are another great option if you wish to have a pet in your home. This is due to the little time needed to take care of them. Here are the top freshwater fish for beginners:

  • Betta Splendens
  • Kribensis Cichlids
  • Bristlenose Plecos
  • Swordtails
  • Platies

To take care of a fish, you will first need to get an aquarium with the right size for your fish. It is also important to remember that there are freshwater and saltwater fish. So if you are thinking of having more than one species of fish at the same time, it is necessary to ensure that they are all of the same type of water and get along.

What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living? - Fishes

If you want to read similar articles to What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living?, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.

Write a comment
Add an image
Click to attach a photo related to your comment
What did you think of this article?
1 of 13
What Are The Best Pets For Apartment Living?