17 Best Exotic Pets for Apartment Living

Best Exotic Pets for Apartment Living

Best exotic pets for apartment living sometimes don’t need a lot of outside areas; they are quiet and are often compact.

As a result, they often flourish in smaller apartments and are less likely to damage your home or disturb your neighbors if you’re renting.

Don’t be offended by their name either—many exotic pets are entertaining and affectionate.

Consider getting a rabbit, hamster, or even a small hedgehog if your flat doesn’t permit typical pets like dogs or cats.

We’ve compiled a list of the best exotic pets for apartment living and reasons why they are appropriate for apartments.

If you’re confused about what qualifies as an exotic pet or which would be best in an apartment situation, follow us as we go in our article. 

1. Rabbit

Rabbits - Animals With Black Eyes
by Kristoffer Trolle is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rabbits are one of the best exotic pets for apartment living and are very social creatures. However, they dislike being held frequently.

Although it could be challenging, it is possible to litter train your rabbit so that you can occasionally let them play outside their cage. 

Nevertheless, they are always content to remain close to their human pals.

Since these best exotic pets for apartment living also enjoy chewing and digging, if you plan to let them roam freely inside your house, invest enough time on rabbit-proofing the area and educating the animal to avoid further damage.

2. Frog

American Green Tree Frog - Animals that Eat Insects
by Greg Schechter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Frogs are also on our blog list of the best exotic pets for apartment living.

They are a great choice for flat living because most of them don’t need a lot of space and are really cute. 

You can adopt a variety of frog species, including tree frogs like the white tree frog and the American green tree frog.

Also, remember that not all male frogs are present, so even if they make quite noisy pets, you cannot treat them like you handle other exotic pets for apartment living.

3. Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab
by greyloch is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Hermit crabs can also be very intriguing pets, although they are not the best for handling.

Because these creatures are so gregarious, they are guaranteed to have a great time when kept with other hermit crabs.

Hermit crabs need huge tanks, which you can easily find at pet stores, but a few smaller crabs can fit in a 10 to 20-gallon tank just fine.

4. Gerbil

Photo by Shutterbug75 on Pixabay

Because of their gregarious nature, gerbils do best when maintained in same-sex couples or groups. They are incredibly social creatures that can be easy to handle.

Gerbils might be active intermittently during the day, so you won’t have to worry as much about them waking you up at night.

Your gerbils should be able to survive if you cannot give them a spacious cage.

These best exotic pets for apartment living may not require any playtime outside their cage if it has a sizable cage.

5. Rat

Photo by 7768740 on Pixabay

Rats are among the friendliest and obedient best exotic pets for apartment living you can own; they are readily tamed and frequently like socializing with people; they can sit on your laps or crawl up your shoulders.

Ensure all your rats are the same sex; if you wish to keep more than one, provide them with a roomy cage.

Rats are often more active at night, but they can train to wake up easily during the day to spend time with their owner.

But keep in mind that litter-training a rat is practically difficult.

6. Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig
Photo by Pezibear on Pixabay

Guinea pigs are relatively simple to handle and have a strong social need.

They vocalize with a “wheel” sound, which is not loud enough to annoy neighbors in an apartment building. Additionally, their enclosures are sizable. 

These best exotic pets for apartment living require a cage with a minimum area of 7-8 square feet.

It doesn’t need to be much taller than a foot or 18 inches because they don’t usually climb.

They value the opportunity to interact, explore, and play outside their cage.

Ensure there are no hazardous plants or exposed wires in your home, and cover any wooden fixtures if you allow your pet to roam freely.

7. Hedgehog

Four-toed Hedgehog - Animals that Eat Insects
by nik.borrow is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Hedgehogs do not require a large cage; a suitable enclosure should be at least 2 feet by 3 feet.

Because they are primarily nocturnal, they won’t care if you are gone during the day. 

People with allergies should consider getting a hedgehog as a pet because they are quiet and shed very little dander.

They tend to be kind and alone most of the time. Check your state’s rules on exotic pets before you adopt one because they may be prohibited or require permission in some areas of the U.S.

8. Chinchilla

Photo by agdas666 on Pixabay

Small rodents called chinchillas have amusing personalities. They are clean and largely odor-free, making them the best exotic pets for apartment living. 

Since they are nocturnal, they won’t miss you if you are away during the day.

These best exotic pets for apartment living can form a strong attachment with you if you treat them gently, starting at a young age.

One chinchilla should be kept in a cage at least 2 feet by 2 feet large.

9. Degu

Photo by garten-gg on Pixabay

Degus resembles a hybrid of a guinea pig and a hamster in appearance.

They must be maintained with at least one other degu to be happy because they are gregarious animals and live in huge groups in the wild. 

Just keep in mind that degus of the same sex will reproduce if kept together and will have huge litters, up to 10 offspring, at a time, averaging four to six at a time.

Instead, gather a small group of males or all females or a pair.

Degus may utilize accessories and toys like ferrets or rats and live in the same cage.

These best exotic pets for apartment living require dust baths, making them resemble chinchillas.

10. Sugar Glider

Sugar Glider - Animals With Pouches
by Homini:) is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is the next on our list of best exotic pets for apartment living.

If you start handling sugar gliders while young, they will form strong bonds with you and become quite social.

It is recommended to keep your sugar gliders in same-sex couples because of how gregarious they can be, but they must be raised together from an early age.

Sugar gliders can be aggressive and possessive towards young gliders.

It can be challenging to meet their nutritional requirements, so before you really adopt one, you should learn enough about feeding them.

Because they are energetic and active, sugar gliders require a large cage. However, don’t forget that height is more crucial than floor space for these animals.

To reiterate, before getting a sugar glider, you should research your state’s laws on maintaining exotic pets for apartment living.

In some areas, acquiring a sugar glider as a pet is unlawful.

11. Tarantula

Goliath Birdeater Tarantula Spider
by emeraldimp is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

You can manage a tarantula if you have a sense of adventure.

These best exotic pets for apartment living are an excellent option because they use very little room, are silent, and are simple to maintain.

The tarantula and the crickets you’ll be feeding it can escape, so you must be extremely cautious about escapes.

Because tarantulas are dangerous to handle and many people are afraid of them, you will have many problems with your neighbors if yours disappears.

The fact that tarantulas are readily harmed makes them unsuitable for handling.

12. Reptiles

Oriental Garden Lizard - Red Lizards in the World
by Dis da fi we is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Depending on your budget and the available area, you can adopt a wide range of reptiles.

Reptiles are less socially adept than mammals, but they can still make wonderful companions for first-time pet owners and those who live in confined settings.

For beginners and those who live in small areas, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, house geckos, and crowned geckos make excellent reptile selections.

For first-time pet owners and people who live in limited places, milk snakes, corn snakes, ball pythons, and king snakes are also good options.

However, you must be extra vigilant because snakes can escape.

And if your snake escapes, it won’t be amusing since your neighbors might contact the police, which would put you in danger.

13. Hamster

Hamsters - Animals That Eat Oranges
by Maarten Dirkse is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is the next on our list of best exotic pets for apartment living. In any case, you can maintain the dwarf hamsters in pairs.

The Syrian hamster lives alone. Even though hamsters are typically most active at night, with consistent attention, they can be readily trained and handled.

Syrian hamsters are often smaller and faster than dwarf hamsters, making them easier to handle.

Hamsters can live in your small flat because they don’t need a big cage or a lot of room.

They don’t require much time outside the cage, though, and they may be really enjoyable to watch if you provide them with a medium-sized cage and appropriate accessories.

14. Mice

Mices - Animals That Eat Pumpkins
by ReneS is licensed under CC BY 2.0

These are the best exotic pets for apartment living. Put other mice in the same cage as you would be glad to watch play if you want your mind to be at its happiest and most social.

The advantages of keeping mice include their ability to be domesticated and the fact that they are quite active at night.

However, mice are smaller and more agile than larger rodents, making it harder for you to handle them.

If you live in a tiny flat, it is ideal to have a colony of female mice because male mice tend to have a stronger odor that may not be pleasant for compact living areas.

Mice make one of the greatest exotic pets for apartment living because a small group can be fine without a large cage.

Mice are skilled escape artists who can find their way out of your flat, so they don’t need extra time outside the cage.

They don’t need much more than a well-equipped cage, and if you keep them in groups or pairs, they’ll need less of your attention.

15. Dog

Portuguese Water Dog
Photo by janeb13 on Pixabay

This is the next on our list of best exotic pets for apartment living.

Dogs may thrive in cramped areas, and the secret to your success is picking the proper breed for you.

A huge dog can live comfortably in an apartment even though many areas have size limits if you give them environmental enrichment during the day and meet their daily activity needs.

The breed’s propensity to bark and bother neighbors and their need for exercise are the main issues you should consider.

16. Micro Aquarium

Micro Aquarium
by archer10 (Dennis) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A small aquarium filled with fresh- or saltwater fish is perfect for an apartment.

Anything under 10 gallons for freshwater and 35 gallons or less for saltwater is considered a “nano” tank. These aquariums are small in size and can give a lovely look to any house.

With fish, you won’t have to worry about your pets needing exercise or noise upsetting your neighbors.

Additionally, it has been demonstrated that having these dogs can lower blood pressure, lessen stress, and even enhance the behavior of Alzheimer’s patients.

You may customize the appearance of your aquarium setup with a range of fish from which to choose.

You can keep various species of prawns, snails, and even African dwarf frogs in your aquarium instead of only fish.

17. Ferret

Photo by christels on Pixabay

This is the last on our list of best exotic pets for apartment living.

Ferrets are gregarious animals who enjoy playing with people and other ferrets, especially during the day.

A ferret needs a spacious cage to accommodate their lively behavior and some time spent outside the cage to let off steam.

However, ferrets tend to cause trouble and like squeezing themselves into small areas, so you should watch them while they play and ensure your home is ferret-proof.

You should also train your ferrets before letting them out of their cage.

The good news about adopting ferrets is that most of them are already spayed and neutered before they are sold as pets, but just to be sure, double-check with your veterinarian.

Neutering and spraying are crucial for ferrets’ health, especially for female parents.


Owning an exotic pet has a certain attraction, and some pet owners enjoy having something unique that most people don’t.

While many of these best exotic pets for apartment living have highly specific diets, habitats, and grooming demands that you should be aware of before bringing them home, some can be easier to care for than other “regular” pets. 

Additionally, you could need permission to own one where you live, or they can even be illegal.

Even if they are legitimate, your home may still restrict or prevent their ownership, so always verify with your landlord or homeowner’s association.

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