4 Unusual Pets That Would Be Perfectly Happy with Small Apartment Life

apartment living unusual petsSo you say you want a Great Dane, but are currently living in a 600-square-foot apartment?  Contrary to what all those Disney movies have taught us, some dreams just can’t come true.  Small apartment life with large pets can become a pain for you, your pets, and your landlord.  Because sure, you can get a golden retriever for your efficiency apartment, but don’t expect your breakables to remain intact for very long.  If you’re set on apartment life that includes a pet, be sure you take steps to select the right pet for the small apartment life.

First, you’ll need to find an apartment that allows pets, and clarify what kinds of pets it permits.  For example, many apartments don’t allow certain breeds or sizes of dogs, and some will accept only certain kinds of birds.  Next, you’ll need to find out if the apartment requires a pet deposit, or pet rent.  Last, inspect the specific apartment unit to make sure it is suitable for your chosen pets.

Once you’ve found a small apartment that’s pet-friendly, pick your pet and enjoy the alternative pet lifestyle.  For your consideration, here are 4 non-traditional pets that will thrive in small apartment life.

Fancy Rats

These clever little creatures often get a bad rap, but rats are actually very friendly, intelligent pets that are well-suite for apartment life.  (“Fancy rats” is simply the name for domesticated brown rats.)  As long as you don’t leave any chewable wires lying around, rats can roam your apartment without causing any trouble.  Be upfront with your landlord about having pet rats, though.  Some apartments don’t allow rats, and it’s better to know ahead of time than to have to give your rats away after moving in.

Bearded Dragons

If you’re looking for a relatively low-maintenance pet, think about getting a reptilian pal.  Bearded dragons don’t need the play space that dogs require, and make great apartment pets.  These lizards in particular can require special care, so make sure there is a veterinarian near you who knows how to treat exotic animals.  Additionally, make sure you’re alright with handling a bearded dragon’s diet, which includes live insects.  Other lizards that might make good pets for small apartment life include iguanas, geckos, and chameleons.


Birds that don’t require much space or exercise, can be excellent long-time companions.  To spare your neighbors (and yourself) the headache, avoid noisy birds like large parrots, and opt instead for a canary, finch, or parakeet.  Just be sure that you, yourself, are ready for a little chirruping in your apartment—birds are birds, after all.  Small apartment life with apartment birds is also a lot easier if you keep your bird’s wings clipped.

Betta Fish

The most boring, yet most dependable, option for the aspiring apartment pet owner is a fish.  Though they provide little entertainment beyond their beautiful appearance, freshwater fish are incredibly easy to maintain.  Just a couple of pellets and a good cleaning of the bowl is all they need.

For more tips for apartment life with pets, check out our post about apartment tips for pet owners!  Have some tips of your own about apartment life with small or unconventional animals? Check out ApartmentSearch on Twitter and Facebook and let us know what kind of apartment pets you like!