SLIDESHOW: 6 Apartment-Appropriate Pets

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Boston Terrier
Photo courtesy of Christopher Michel, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

If you long for an animal companion but live in an apartment, don’t despair: you don’t need to own a home with a huge yard to give a pet a good home. All you have to do is select an animal that can live in a small area and won’t damage either your apartment or your relationship with your neighbors. And of course, make sure your lease agreement specifically allows for the type of pet you choose. Consider these apartment-friendly friends:

  • Cat

    Around 85 million cats live in American households, according to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, and it’s easy to see why. They’re very low maintenance, yet most love to play, cuddle and interact with their owners. Before deciding to get a kitten however, note that older cats are far more likely to be house-trained and calm, whereas kittens can require a lot of attention. And instead of looking for a breeder, why not visit your local animal shelter to see if you can find your feline soul mate there?

  • 24840_June_Square_Dog
    Small Dogs

    When it comes to dogs, size doesn’t define companionship. There are a number of small breeds that are the perfect size for apartment living, yet still have as much character as big dog breeds. Think of Pomeranians, pugs, schnauzers and Chihuahuas. Research dog breeds at the American Kennel Club to find out which is a good match for your lifestyle, but bear in mind that mutts are just as much fun and may have fewer health problems than purebred dogs. Again, it’s worth making a visit to your local animal shelter to find your new best friend.

  • 24840_June_Square_Chinchilla

    Is it a rabbit, a mouse or a squirrel? None: it’s a chinchilla! These cute, strange-looking little animals make for cuddly, low-maintenance pets that often become quite attached to their owners. And best of all: so long as you keep their living environments clean, chinchillas don’t emit a body odor … a real bonus if you live in a small apartment!

  • guinea pig
    Guinea Pigs

    Guinea pigs aren’t actually pigs, but a species of rodent. But don’t let that fact put you off: they’re smart, active and quite timid. These adorable little creatures can be trained to play and even snuggle with you! Another low-maintenance pet, the guinea pig is a perfect choice if you’re a busy person.

  • fish

    Did you know that watching fish swim for 15 to 20 minutes can reduce stress? Though you can’t cuddle with them or take them for walks, fish can be great companions. From goldfish to guppies and from tetras to white clouds, fish come in all colors, shapes and sizes. Besides cleaning the fish tank and keeping up with feeding, these silent pets require relatively little maintenance.

  • 24840_June_Square_Gecko

    Are you a night owl? Then why not get a pet that enjoys the wee hours as much as you do? Geckos are funny little reptiles that don’t require much space or exercise, but do need a heated terrarium to live in. And when you want to sleep in, you can be sure your gecko won’t be the one to wake you up!


Remember: before you bring a pet into your home, find out what your landlord’s rules are about animals. And after carefully evaluating what you want and what you can offer a pet, you can be sure to find the right animal friend for you!


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