The Best Pets for Apartments

Published: October 2, 2013 8:05 pm

the best pets for apartment livingNow that you’ve gotten yourself all moved in to your apartment, you realize it’s a lonely space. You want someone to hang out and eat Chinese with, but if you’re honest with yourself, dating can be too much of a hassle. You’ve considered getting a cat, but you don’t want to spend your days feeding and cleaning up after something that isn’t ready to love you back. You’ve considered a dog, but they are loud and you can never be sure where their tongue has been.

So what’s left?

Fish—the go-to lazy person’s pet. After you spend a little time picking out your fish and setting up their tank, you just dump ‘em in and you’re set. They do need to be fed, and their tank cleaned regularly, but aside from that Grumpy Gills is content to just keep swimmin’, leaving you with plenty of couch-time. You don’t have to settle for your average guppies unless you want to: freshwater and saltwater fish alike have some interesting and colorful options for your new finned roommate!

Even if you’re allergic to shellfish, pets with shells can make some great additions to your apartment. Hermit crabs are a great low-commitment pet, if you don’t mind their dud personality. Being hypoallergenic, passive, and generally as low-maintenance as you can get, having crabs doesn’t sound too bad. Turtles are another cool option, although they are definitely a step up from the hermit crab. Turtles often love a tank that has water and land, as well as a heat lamp and fresh vegetable treats. If you don’t mind your new pet taking a slow and steady pace, a turtle is a great apartment pet!

Want a little more character? Add a cape to a hedgehog and you have the cutest video game super hero right in your palm! Hedgehogs have become an internet sensation, complete with their own annual convention.  Hypo-allergenic, more affectionate than cats, and content with a few pieces of fruit and a hamster wheel: what more do you want in a pet? Along the same lines (but noticeably less famous for their cuteness) are hamsters and guinea pigs, which are both content to reside in their terrarium and nom on fruits and vegetables.

If these options are too warm-blooded for you, snakes are always an option. They reside in a terrarium with appropriate accessories (tree limbs, heat lamp) and are content to hang out and eat fat mice, until they decide to get loose. Reportedly, they can even be affectionate towards their owners; that’s great, since they can also live up to 20 years. Try not to choose one that will quickly outgrow your apartment, or attempt to kill your guests.

Thanks to some giant shrinky-dink machine, miniatures are now an option for apartment pets. Anything from puppies to pigs—yes, pigs—have been shrunken down to a permanently-adorable size. Miniature pigs require slightly more work than the other pets listed here, but make up for it with their good looks and charms. Not only are they easily trainable (smarter than dogs), but they are also extremely affectionate. However, these wonder-pigs also enjoy staying in pairs or small groups—so you’ll just have to double up on that side order of bacon.

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, you may want to set down your mouse and stop the fight. If you’re being honest with yourself, all pets require some level of maintenance: those on the lower end often don’t have much personality, while those that are adorable and spunky have some serious needs. Consider this hunt for the perfect pet to be a lot like dating: you have to find a compatible match.

As always, check with your apartment complex before choosing a pet. They may have rules or even recommendations regarding what furry friend would work best in your new digs. You’ll have another mouth you will have to feed, too, so make sure your bank account is prepared.

Happy hunting!