Hedgehogs, Geckos, Bunnies, Oh My! 13 Alternative Apartment-Friendly Pet Options!

By December 22, 2017normalBlog

You’ve done it, you’ve successfully moved into your new apartment, but something’s missing. You’re feeling a bit lonely and realize that what you are missing is a furry little friend in your new pad.

Cats and dogs are great additions to apartment spaces and great interactive pets, but there are far more pet options available! There are plenty of animals out there that are apartment-friendly and some that are even low maintenance!

We’ve compiled a list of common to uncommon apartment friendly animals to consider for your next best friend! Before we dive into this list, it’s best to state that every apartment complex and property runs differently, so before you commit to your new friend, make sure your apartment is on board.

rabbit-palm-hand-snatch-53966 (1)Pocket Pets/Small Animals


There is a wide selection of fish to choose from, like the old faithful goldfish or a clownfish that you can name Nemo. These beautiful creatures are not only great and generally easy to care for but adding a beautiful fish tank, full of a variety of fish can also be a statement decorating piece in your new pad! If you’re getting your first fish, it might be best to warm up to taking care of a fish with a simple fish bowl and then possibly working your way up to maintaining a full-fledged aquarium.

Feeding your fish is quite simple; all you’ll need is commercial betta food or pelleted fish food!

One golden nugget of owning a pet fish is that watching your fish swim around in its environment can reduce stress. So go ahead, lean back, relax and watch your scaly friend live her life!

Living Small With a Furry Friend: Best Pets for Apartment Dwellers | NBC Washington


Yes, the hamster from your childhood is making a comeback, well maybe not the exact same hamster, but his not-too-distant-relative is. Hamsters aren’t just for children. Like fish, these pets are also low maintenance in the sense that you do not have to spend a lot of time interacting with or entertaining them.

Hamsters like to make their own fun; they don’t need a big environment. All you need to do is spruce up his space with hamster-approved accessories, complete with a hamster wheel and he’s good to go!

Hamsters tend to enjoy commercial pellets, fresh fruits, and veggies, cheese and water.


When you think hedgehog, you may be having flashbacks to a childhood filled with beating numerous animated levels as the supersonic, lovable and blue, Sonic the Hedgehog, but hedgehogs have many more missions other than taking down Doctor Eggman. One important mission of a hedgehog is being your next pet!

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, but they do enjoy interacting with you once you’ve both gotten past all the formalities and what not. It’s hard to miss their quills which help to define these interesting creatures, but once they start to feel comfortable and not threatened, these quills shouldn’t be a problem.

Like Sonic, hedgehogs like to roam about and explore, but even though they are adventurous, they are quite low maintenance and easy to care for. Hedgehogs like crickets, mealworms or other insects, but aren’t picky eaters. Hedgehogs will pretty much eat anything.

Hedgehogs like bigger spaces to roam, so it’s best they have a cage that is roomy enough for their nocturnal activities.


While insects and spiders may not be the most sought-after pets, they still have fans. Tarantulas make for a pretty low maintenance pet. You’ll need to make sure that their small cage has plenty of room for them to roam around in though.

Tarantulas prefer a diet of living critters, filled with live crickets, moths, mealworms, and hoppers. A plus as far as their diet is concerned is the fact that tarantulas generally eat between 2-3 crickets a week! Tarantulas can go days without food! This means that your storage of live insects won’t have to be overflowing since they don’t eat a lot.

Before you get a tarantula it is wise to check with your apartment complex and make sure that this is an approved pet on the list. At the end of the day, tarantulas are insects that not a lot of people are fond of. Tarantulas like to roam and tend to keep to themselves, depending on the individual tarantula, and are prone to escaping which might not be great news for your neighbors!

Tarantulas aren’t bad pets to have overall, they are low maintenance all around and are great for apartment dwellers who want a pet that they don’t constantly have to entertain or clean up after!

10 Best Low Maintenance Pets For Apartments | The Pet Gurus


These reptiles aren’t the most sociable of creatures, but occasionally they will interact with you, right in the palm of your hand! Unlike the commonly known green Geico gecko (that’s a tongue twister); geckos can come in an assortment of colors and patterns!

Caring for a reptile can be a bit different than caring for a dog, cat or rabbit. Geckos are another creature that likes living insects and will eat worms and crickets and drink water, so for those who are squeamish handling certain insects, it might be best to keep this in mind.

Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are low maintenance pets and thrive best on their own. They don’t particularly like interactions with humans, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t active creatures. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, hermit crabs are rather social and active amongst their own, so getting your hermit crab a Mrs. could be a good thing. It’s suggested to keep a cage of 3-4 hermit crabs at a time.

Feeding your hermit crabs is easy to do and is commercially available. Hermit crabs just like tarantulas do not eat very much, so you will not have to keep their fridge stocked with goodies.

Best and Worst Pets for Apartment Living | Visually


A pet frog could be the perfect addition to your apartment. Frogs will typically live in a terrarium or aquarium and don’t necessarily need to be let out to wander and roam. Since there are a few different habitats for frogs, you need to figure out if you want an aquatic one or one that prefers an all-land terrain and then you can base his living quarters on this information.

Like many other species on this list, frogs eat a well-rounded diet of live crickets, insects, mealworms, and larvae.

How to Care for Your Frog | WikiHow


Newts come in a variety of colors and are active during the day. Newts like to interact with other newts within their habitat or they may even interact with you in their tank!

It’s not really advised to constantly handle your newt, but if you must, make sure that your hands are wet so your new buddy will keep his skin’s protective mucus covering.

Unlike frogs and geckos, newts can survive on commercial pellets, so for the faint of heart, there is no handling of live insects when it comes to a newt’s survival! If you can stomach handling live insects, newts do enjoy eating earthworms, blackworms, bloodworms, small crickets, and guppies.

It’s important to note that newts can produce toxic skin glands. It’s best to always wash your hands after you handle your pet, never handle a newt if you have an open cut and don’t touch your eye area before you’ve washed your hands. Don’t let these precautions scare you though. If you or someone you know is interested in getting a pet newt, these colorful creatures would make great roommates!

Newts as Pets – an Introduction to their Care and Feeding | Reptile Blog

Medium-Sized Buddies


When it comes to birds, there are a plethora of options to choose from. There are talking parrots, singing canaries and more!

Parrots are a fun and interactive pet and they can come in an assortment of striking colors too! Parrots are not only smart birds, but they can be rather affectionate as well.  Not only will your parrot be a great addition to your apartment, but will also be loads of fun when you have company over!

Parrots can mimic almost any sound, from your voice to a dog bark and these feathery creatures can live up to 80 years! A parrot’s diet generally consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, commercial seed mixes and fresh water.

Other bird options include the popular singer canary and the parrotlets (a parrot’s smaller brother). Canaries can be quite vocal, but their sounds aren’t very loud. Parrotlets cannot scream or screech, but instead, they have quiet chirps and chatter.

Birds are great pets with lively and colorful personalities, but it’s smart to evaluate your living situation and decide if a chatty bird is a perfect fit for your apartment and your neighbors.

What are the Best Birds for Apartment Living | The Spruce

Quiet Pet Bird Species | The Spruce

10 Popular Small Pets | Animal Planet

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are a social step up from a hamster, in the sense that they prefer some time outside of their cages. Guinea pigs like to roam around and scope out their environments, so it’s wise to keep your apartment free of any hidden traps or holes where they can get lost in.

When caring for your guinea pig, remember these creatures are vegetarians who like fresh veggies, commercial pellets, prairie hay, and water!


Turtles, especially baby turtles can be cute, but there are some things you should know before you make a turtle your next pet. Turtles can carry salmonella. Like newts, it’s best to wash your hands before and after handling a turtle.

While you can own and care for a turtle in an apartment, these reptiles typically do well in larger spaces. Aquatic turtles need a large tank, whereas box turtles need a lot of land to roam around in, i.e. a yard. When caring for your turtle, maintaining his habitat will be beneficial to him and the best option for you since turtles can carry diseases.

Turtles typically eat insects, dark and leafy greens and fish, but can also live off of canned or pelleted turtle food or freeze-dried mealworms. Turtles are another animal that you won’t have to feed daily, but generally around 4-5 times a week.

Raising or owning a pet turtle can be quite the experience and these creatures can live for about 20 years, so you’ll get plenty of bonding time!

All About Keeping Pet Aquatic Turtles | The Spruce

 Box Turtles | The Spruce

Turtle Care 101: How to take Care of Pet Turtles | Pet MD

Larger Unique Pets


Bunnies and rabbits are cute little editions of a warm and cozy apartment. These furry creatures are like your typical cats, low maintenance.

Caring for a bunny or rabbit is easily doable and just like cats, you can train these cuties to be litter trained, which helps you rest assured when cleaning up after your little fur ball.

Bunnies and rabbits are social animals and while they like their personal time, they still can be persuaded to a nice cuddle session.

If you have a rabbit that hasn’t been around humans too much, his new environment can be a bit of an adjustment. You may need to litter train him, have him/her spayed or neutered and may need to proof your apartment prior to his arrival. Although this may seem like a lot, once he enters your home you’ll be glad he came.

Caring for a rabbit can be quite easy. Bunnies and rabbits like to eat fresh vegetables and commercial pellets and all they need to wash that down with is good old H20!

Exotic Pets for Apartment Living | The Spruce

The Best Pets for Apartment Living | PetMD


Owning ferrets as pets have seemed to grow in popularity over the last few years. These uncommon household pets are adventurous and active, so it’s best to have a living space that caters to your ferret’s probing mind!

Be mindful of your ferret’s temperament around your house guests. Ferrets don’t always mix well with new people and being mishandled. This is why it’s best to make sure that you’re finding the best fit for both parties when it comes to getting a pet. Some animals don’t thrive best when domesticated, but ferrets can be great pets in the right environment.

Ferrets typically eat cat food and commercial pellets with fresh water.

6 Pets for Apartments That Will Ruin Your Life (and Your Lease) | Realtor.com

When it comes to choosing the best pet for you, it’s smart to keep these things in mind as you’re shopping around and doing your research. If you’re considering a not-too-common animal as a pet, always check with your apartment complex to make sure this potential pet aligns with their pet policy. Remember having a pet is a responsibility, so consider what you’re taking on.

How big of an animal do you want to take care of? As far as maintenance is concerned, think realistically. What is the likely amount of maintenance that you are willing to put in to care for your pet? Pets have a mind of their own, do you prefer to view your pet and occasionally interact with it or do you prefer a more social creature? If you need more help, pet professionals at any pet store should be able to answer your questions and send you in the right direction.

All of these are important questions to ask yourself, no matter if you’re considering a dog or a betta fish. Finding the perfect fit of an animal for you or your family will ensure a happy home for everybody and every creature involved.

Tips For Negotiating a Lease with Exotic Pets | Apartment Therapy