Best & Worst Pets for Apartment Living

July 19, 2012 | 3 Comments

Best and Worst Pets for an Apartment - &

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]



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Category: Pet Friendly Apartments, Pet Tips for Apartment Dwellers