You may be living in a small space, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on having a pet. If you have the right pets, they can thrive in your apartment. Here are the five best pets for an apartment.   


CatsTwo cats on windowsill.

Cats love their alone time, so working a regular 9-5 job is no problem. Also, cats don’t need a lot of living space, but they love to have vertical space. Try to include open, elevated spaces in your interior design. You can accomplish this by keeping window sills clear and or even investing in a jungle gym.


DogsBoy and beagle on windowsill.

While dogs are a great addition to any home, there’s a lot to consider when bringing a dog into an apartment. Small, older dogs are often a better fit because they don’t need as much space. However, every dog has a different personality, even within the same breed. Look for dogs that are happy to lay around when you’re out at work. Then, you can cuddle and exercise when you get back home. Your pups won’t even notice that they’re in a smaller space.  


FishWoman feeding a fish.

A fish seems like a low-commitment pet, seeing as social interaction and exercise aren’t necessary. You still need to have set feeding times, clean the tank, and check for water temperature and pH balance. As long as you’re aware of these responsibilities, a fish is a perfect fit for an apartment. As an added bonus, they’re also proven to help your mental health and reduce stress.


Guinea Pigs or HamstersHamster in its cage.

Small rodents are often a good compromise for a domestic pet because they don’t need as much attention as dogs do or free rein like cats do. Guinea pigs and hamsters are still social creatures and love to have a playmate. This means that you might want to get two, or you can make the extra effort to set aside time to play with your pet.


ReptilesMan petting iguana.

If the idea of having a reptile makes you squeamish at first, remember that there are more reptile pets than snakes. Reptiles also include turtles and lizards. The biggest concern with having a reptile as a pet is that they love to escape their enclosures. Be cautious when opening the tank so that you can minimize escape attempts and keep your pet — and neighbors! — happy.


Text by Katherine Polcari