It’s safe to say that people love their pets. According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet.

It’s not just dogs and cats that fill our homes (though they certainly lead the list). Because apartments are usually smaller than houses, the best pets for apartments tend to be low maintenance and on the smaller side. That can include certain breeds of dogs and cats, and there are some other, often overlooked options that can make the perfect low-maintenance pets for apartments.

Four Apartment-Friendly Pets

Fish – Freshwater fish are popular, low-cost, low-maintenance pets, perfect for renters. You can put a small (fifteen gallons or less) aquarium basically anywhere in your apartment and fill it with tetras, bettas, guppies, goldfish and zebrafish. Just feed them once a  day and clean their tank occasionally, and you have one of the best pets for small apartments. Plus, no need to worry about noise.

Fish are also great starter pets for young children. If your little ones dream of having a dog one day, starting them out with fish to teach them responsibility and how to care for a pet is a good, low-maintenance, low-risk way to do so.

On the downside, they’re not the most cuddly or attentive pets. And, if you pick more high-maintenance saltwater fish, your financial and time investment can go up quite a bit. Some fish may also require a tank that exceeds your apartment’s size limit, so make sure to check the policy before you go out and buy a Dory.

Hamsters & Guinea Pigs – Hamsters and guinea pigs (aka pocket pets) are popular pets for small apartments. They don’t require a large cage or tons of room, they’re quiet and low maintenance, and you can even have more than one. They’re cute and cuddly, fun to play with and, like cats, they groom themselves.

Some things to keep in mind: make sure you have a good cage set up, including food and a water bottle, an exercise wheel, clean absorbent bedding, items to chew and places to hide. And keep their cages clean to avoid strange odors.

Hamsters need to be interacted with, otherwise, they nip. They should also be housed alone, as they have a tendency to fight with other hamsters. If you want more than one, get a second cage to keep the peace in your apartment.

Guinea pigs, by contrast, can be quite cuddly and talkative and are easy to handle and care for, making them one of the top apartment-friendly pets. The biggest care note for guinea pigs is that they require a special diet high in vitamin C in order to offset their natural deficiency. Kale, parsley, and peppers or a pellet diet specific to guinea pigs will do the trick.

Cats – You can’t have a list of the best low-maintenance pets for apartments without a cat shoutout. They groom themselves, don’t need to be walked, are soft and cuddly and don’t require much space to thrive. Breeds like the American shorthair, Birman and Russian blue are great apartment cats as they’re fairly laid back and don’t need a ton of attention.

Contrary to popular belief, however, cats are actually quite social creates. If left alone in an empty apartment all day, they can get lonely and take that out on your furniture, so two cats may be the purr-fect solution. You’ll get double the cuddles and your cats will be able to entertain themselves while you’re away!

Finding a place for a litter box in your apartment may be a challenge, but there are plenty of ways to hide a litter box in an apartment. In addition to keeping litter boxes clean at all times, the rule of thumb is to always have one more litter box than cat. So if you have one cat, have two boxes. Two cats? Have three on hand. Trust us—you don’t want to find out what happens when a cat decides their potty isn’t as clean as they’d like!

Dogs – While not every breed of dog is good for apartment living (for instance, Jack Russell Terriers need more yard space to run around than most apartments can provide), some breeds can thrive in even a modest-sized apartment.

Bichon Frises are hypoallergenic and don’t grow past 15 pounds, making them a great—and charming as can be—apartment-friendly pet. Pugs are known for being perfectly happy to snack and lounge on couches with you all day. Greyhounds are couch potatoes and love a good snuggle, so if you are a “big-dog” person, this may be the breed for you.

If you were one of the many Americans who bought a pandemic puppy and are now looking for a new place to live, make sure to check the apartment’s policies on dogs as many apartment complexes have regulations on the size, height, or the number of dogs allowed in their units.

Find a Place for Your Apartment-Friendly Pets at Southern Management

If you’re searching for pet-friendly apartments to rent, start with the communities at Southern Management. With private patio and balcony spaces to bring out your cat or hamster habitat and plenty of grassy areas to walk your pup, our pet-friendly apartment communities can accommodate a wide variety of apartment-friendly pets.

Browse our 75 apartment communities online to see which ones are pet-friendly. Our team members will be happy to answer any questions about our pet policies and help you find the perfect apartment home for you, as well as Fido, Nemo or Winnie the Guinea.

Explore our communities today with a virtual tour and contact us for more information!