Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › Best & Worst Pets for Apartment Living

Love those 4-Legged Friends, it’s good for you!

  • Pet owners have lower blood pressures and heart rates. [1]
  • Owning a pet can improve your social life. [1]
  • In the U.S., about 63% of households have a pet. [2]
  • Household pet ownership has risen by 2.1%, according to the 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey. [3]

Best Pets for Apartment Living: Extra Small Space? = Small Friend! When you’re confined to a small living space, such as a room in a shared rental, you may want to look for an animals that doesn’t require much room.  Aquatic Creatures 

  • 15-20 minutes of looking at a fish swimming can reduce stress. [1]
  • With 24 million in the U.S., fish are very popular pets. [4]
  • Hermit crabs are great, too; they live in their shells and only need a little room to crawl around. [14]

Space is not an issue? = Furry Friend! Maybe you prefer an animal that you can interact with? These pets are likely more for you: 

  • Cats are great for cuddling and playing and are very low maintenance. [5]
  • Cats seem to be the favorite pet in the country, coming in at around 85 million owned in the U.S.[2]

The Massachusetts Animal Coalition states that “Weight and breed have little to do with a dogs suitability for apartment living” [15]

  • About 75 million dogs are household pets in the U.S.[2]
  • Certain dogs, like pugs, are excellent as they’re quiet and only need a little outdoor time on a leash for exercise. [6]
  • Guinea pigs only require cages for living but love to be played with as well. [9]
  • Hamster wheels, tubes, and sandboxes are great for exercise within the confines of a critter’s cage. [15]
    • Note: hamsters and guinea pigs are nocturnal favoring night vs. day

Perhaps you  want a more social pet. A bird, such as a parrot or parakeet, can make a great pet.

  • There are more than 5.2 million birds that are kept as pets in the U.S.[4] 

Looking for something more exotic?  

  • There are more than 13 million reptiles owned as pets in U.S.households. [3]
  • Snakes and geckos are excellent pets for kids and apartment dwellers alike. [8]
  • Tarantulas are quiet and clean and can be fascinating to watch. [13]

  In the U.S., about 4 out of 10 pet owners have more than 1 pet. [3]  Not-So-Great Apartment Pets 

  • Chimpanzees are similar to children and need constant attention when they are young. [7]
  • Turtles may seem like great pets but can carry salmonella bacteria and require large tanks. [9]
  • Poisonous snakes require a great deal of precaution and care and are not recommended for the average hobbyist. [9]

Pets that require a large living space or a fenced-in yard are not suitable for apartment dwellers.

  • Dogs are great pets; however, large breeds typically need plenty of room to run around or require a time investment for walks. [16]
  • Rabbits require large housing, sometimes bite, and can be destructive if allowed to roam. [9] 


  • Goats can be cute, but they typically are avid chewers of clothes and hands. [10] 
  • Chickens are meant to be contained within a chicken coop, not an apartment. [11]
  • Micro-pigs are small, intelligent creatures that can be house trained, but they are expensive and require companionship. [12]

Note: Many property managers will not accept the following pets:

  • Reptiles – by policy, ask before renting
  • Livestock – due to zoning regulations
  • Birds – due to noise regulations

Due to various regulations and policies, first check with potential rental communities to ensure acceptance of your pet(s) which often are subject to breed and/or weight restrictions.

Nearly 5 million to 7 million pets are brought into animal shelters in the U.S.every year. Be proactive and ensure that you choose your apartment-dwelling pet wisely and with compatibility in mind. [2]


1) http://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-pets-improve-your-health
2) http://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/pet-statistics.aspx
3) http://www.smallanimalchannel.com/critter-news/2011/04/04/latest-appa-survey-reveals-trends-in-pet-ownership.aspx
4) http://www.petfinder.com/for-shelters/facts-pet-ownership.html
5) http://www.essortment.com/cats-good-pets-22443.html
6) http://www.pamperedpetcare.com/blog/the-best-dogs-for-apartment-dwellers
7) http://www.janegoodall.org/chimp-central-pets
8) http://pet-snakes.com/good-beginnner-snake
9) http://www.parenthood.com/article-topics/the_good_the_bad_and_the_scaly_choosing_small_pets_for_kids.html/page/3
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About Geneva McNamara:

Geneva McNamara joined Trader Publishing company in August, 2004 after she received her degree from Old Dominion University in History and Political Science. She has worked within the Search Engine Marketing & Search Engine Optimization departments of several Dominion Enterprise divisions. In 2011, She became the Senior Organic Search Analyst for ForRent.com.


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