Best Pets for Small Apartments (10 Good Apartment Pets Anyone Can Have)

Do you love pets?

Do you also live in a small apartment?

If so, we’ve got a real treat for you!

In this post, we’re going to share with you what the best pets for small apartments are so you can finally get a cuddly companion you deserve—and your landlord will allow.

So, keep reading below to find 10 good apartment pets that are easy to keep and take care of.

A Quick Side Note

Before we get into the list of great apartment pets, it’s important for you to know that almost all pets shed dander—even birds.

Only reptiles, fish, and creepy crawlies are the only pets that won’t release allergens into the air.

Therefore, it’s a good idea for you to use an air purifier in your apartment so it can remove as many floating pet dander particles as possible. It will also improve your overall air quality and reduce your exposure to harmful air pollution.

Once you’re done reading the list of top pets for apartments below, take a look at our free guide with the best air purifier for pet dander reviews. It shows you what features to look for to get rid of pet dander in your apartment as well as odors and animal hair.

10 Best Pets for Small Apartments

1. Dogs


You can have a dog in a small apartment?


If you’re a dog person, there’s no need for you to get discouraged when living in an apartment.

There are numerous breeds that can thrive in smaller spaces and will be perfectly happy in your one or two-bedroom “home.” The dog breeds listed below are relatively clean animals and won’t destroy your stuff when you’re not around.

Just remember that all dogs need proper exercise and none will enjoy being cooped up all day and night indoors. So, if you have a courtyard or other nearby open space for your dog to run around, try to give your new pup this freedom at least once per day.

Good Dog Breeds for Apartments:

  • Bichon Frise Cavalier King Charles
  • Chihuahua
  • French bulldog
  • Great Dane
  • Greyhound Poodle
  • Pug
  • Shih Tzu
  • Yorkshire Terrier

2. Cats

Cats are practically born for apartment living.

Most felines love the indoor-only lifestyle and don’t require daily walks outside like a dog.

Another advantage of having a cat is that these animals love small enclosed spaces (like apartments) and enjoy making use of vertical space rather than spreading out.

If you bring a cat home to your apartment and give them their own kitty condo (or cat tree), they’ll be in heaven.

One word of caution, however, is that not every cat is social and a lap cat, so if this is important to you, then make sure you talk to the breeder and spend some time with your future kitty before bringing them home.

It wouldn’t be fun to have a cat that hides from you all day or doesn’t give you enough attention.

Good Cat Breeds for Apartments:

  • British Shorthair
  • Javanese
  • Maincoon
  • Persian
  • Ragdoll
  • Russian Blue

3. Snakes

Not looking for a cuddly animal like a cat or dog for your apartment?

If you want something a bit more exotic, a snake is another one of the best pets for small apartments.

Snakes are often the most popular choice because they have such a long lifespan—some live up to 30 years—can be handled, and don’t mind being left alone for hours (and days) at a time.

Best Snakes for Apartments:

  • Ball Python
  • Corn Snake
  • Garter Snake
  • King Snake
  • Milk Snake

4. Other Reptiles

Other types of reptiles can also be good apartment pets—and feel less intimidating than snakes—and some species are highly social with their owners.

Other Good Reptiles for Apartments:

  • Aquatic or Box Turtle
  • Bearded Dragon
  • Chameleon
  • Gecko
  • Lizard

5. Fish

Did you know that 85 million households, or 68% of U.S. families, own a pet?

And of those households, 15 million families own freshwater and saltwater fish?

That’s a lot of fish!

But not only are fish beautiful to look at, the health benefits of having a full aquarium include: stress reduction, calming effects, and increase productivity.

Fish are also good pets for a small apartment because they’re low maintenance.

Best Freshwater Fish for Apartments:                                              

  • Angelfish
  • Betta
  • Black Molly
  • Danios
  • Goldfish
  • Neon tetra
  • Swordtails

Best Saltwater Fish for Apartments:

  • Butterfly Fish
  • Clownfish
  • Coral Beauties
  • Firefish
  • Longnose Hawkfish
  • Klein’s butterflyfish
  • Pajama Cardinalfish

6. Birds

Birds make great small apartment pets because they take up so little space and their chirps and squawks can be quite pleasant to hear.

However, birds are very social creatures and if you don’t give them enough attention they can produce behavioral problems.

While it may seem attractive to get a big bird for your apartment like a parrot or macaw, keep in mind that these birds are highly intelligent and need constant interaction. Birds like these are usually best for an experienced bird owner.

Strangely, birds also emit dander. So, consider using an air purifier in your apartment to keep this stuff under control and out of your eyes and lungs.

Popular Pet Birds:

  • Canary
  • Cockatiel
  • Parakeet
  • Parrotlets

7. Rodents

Most rodents are well-suited for small apartment life.

Many rodents also don’t mind being handled and enjoy a good cuddle now and then.

So, if you want a cute and cuddly creature without all of the hassle of owning a cat or dog, a rodent may be a great choice for you.

Good Rodents for Apartments:

  • Chinchilla
  • Gerbil
  • Guinea Pig
  • Hamster
  • Mouse
  • Rat

8. Pocket Pets

Pocket pets are a new wave of mammals that are small and pocket-size and the term generally refers to sugar gliders, pygmy hedgehogs, and ferrets.

These types of apartment pets tend to be a bit more exotic and require special care for their survival. Some states even require specific conditions to be met for pet ownership while others consider it illegal to own certain species. So, check your state legislation before bringing one home.

Best Pocket Pets for Apartments:

  • Ferret
  • Pygmy Hedgehog
  • Sugar Glider

9. Rabbits

Rabbits make good pets for a small apartment because they prefer to live in an enclosure which means they won’t make a mess of your space.

However, some rabbit owners have “rabbit-proofed” a particular room in their apartment as a way to let their pet have free reign.

Either way, a rabbit is a good choice for apartment life.

Best Rabbits for Apartments:

  • Dutch rabbit
  • Holland lop
  • Meissner Lop
  • Miniature Lion Lop
  • New Zealand Red Rabbit

10. Tarantulas

If you’re looking for a pet that’s really out of the ordinary for your apartment, you may want to consider a Tarantula.

These creepers will definitely be a conversation piece for any visitors and it may surprise them to learn how quiet, clean, and easy to care for these creatures can be.

Unfortunately, tarantulas are not suited for handling because there’s a high risk of injuring these critters. So, if you do choose this pet for your apartment, just realize that you’ll be a lot more looking at it than playing with it.

Good Tarantulas for Apartments:

  • Brazilian Black
  • Chilean Rose
  • Costa Rican Zebra
  • Honduran Curly Hair
  • Mexican Redknee
  • Mexican Redleg
  • Pink Toe
  • Pink Zebra


As you can see, there are a number of good pets for a small apartment.

You can choose something cuddly and full of energy like a dog or a bit more subdued like a cat or reptile.

Either way, the best pets for small apartments ultimately comes down to your personal taste and desire for interaction.

We hope you enjoyed this list of good apartment pets that anyone can have and take care of. And as a remind, if you do get any pet on this list that’s not a reptile, fish, or tarantula, it’s a great idea to invest in an air purifier to keep the animal dander under control.

Pet dander can be a real pain to deal with, especially after building up over time in your apartment, and cause you to sneeze, coughing, wheeze, and have itchy, watery eyes.

So, don’t forget to check out our guide that goes over the best air purifier for pet dander reviews. It includes everything you need to make the right decision for your apartment and pets.

Air purifiers can also help cut down on pet odors that ultimately occur no matter what type of animal you have indoors.