The Best Pets for Apartment Living

Liv Multifamily apartment communities offer the perfect space for you and your pets. Our transparent and practical pet policy makes apartment living a treat for you, your new friend, and the neighbors. Having a pet is a great feeling — and in smaller spaces like apartments, their companionship can make all the difference. If you are an apartment owner or a new renter, you might be looking for a low-maintenance pet that can thrive in your home. There are lots of furry, scaled, or feathered companions you can choose from.


Although you may not think of dogs as traditionally low-maintenance pets, they tend to do exceptionally well in apartment settings. Dogs are very affectionate animals and are known to be rather intelligent. While they do need a lot more hands-on care, you can train them to be extremely well-behaved. With that said, you’ll need to spend some quality time training the pooch to understand your boundaries and keep a routine.

The key element you'll need to consider is the dog breed's exercise requirements and tendency to bark. Dogs are social creatures and need daily exercise and mental stimulation to thrive. You'll need to take your dog on regular walks and occasionally to the dog park so that they can socialize and burn off energy.

Even if you don't have a pet size or weight restriction in your apartment, it might be best to go for a small- or medium-sized dog. Keep in mind that some small breeds like terriers, beagles, and toy dogs tend to be very high-energy or noisy. The high-energy breeds can be quite destructive when left alone. If your schedule requires you to spend long hours away from home, consider getting some daytime help to keep your dog active and engaged.


Cats are arguably the most popular pets in most apartment settings. They are quiet, smaller in size, and fiercely independent. Most cat breeds tend to enjoy apartment living — they'll spend a good part of their day napping curled up in a favorite spot. Most cats also enjoy jumping on top of the apartment’s high shelves and countertops. For this reason, you’ll probably need to invest in storage with doors. Coming home to a broken photo frame or vase is all too common with a pet kitty.

In general, cats only need food, water, and a clean litter box to feel completely comfortable even in small spaces. Some breeds may also need mental stimulation in the form of games and toys. If you spend a major part of your day away from home, consider getting a cat tree or a cat-safe window perch to keep your feline friend entertained.

If you have a balcony, you’ll need to secure it to make sure that your kitty doesn’t wander out to explore. Most owners use timber lattice, chicken wire, or some other sturdy mesh to create a barrier around the balcony.


Fish are one of the most low-maintenance pets on this list, and perfect for first-time pet owners. An aquarium is very easy to acquire and adds a beautiful aesthetic to your home. Smaller aquariums of less than five gallons don't take up much room and can even be placed on an end table or TV stand. What's more, watching fish swim can also help reduce stress and blood pressure.

Goldfish, rasboras, zebrafish, and neon tetras are some of the most popular options for new fish owners. To make sure that your fish are living in a healthy environment, you'll need to clean the tank or aquarium quite frequently. It is also your responsibility to maintain a good pH balance, nitrite/nitrate levels, and water hardness in the tank.

Keep in mind that some fish do well only in groups of 3–8 individuals. Depending on the species, you might also need to add decorations like corals and live plants to keep the fish stimulated. If you plan on keeping two or more breeds in the same tank, make sure you thoroughly research their ideal living conditions and temperaments.


Birds make great pets for apartments as they quickly can adapt to life in smaller spaces. While you will have to keep them in a cage for safety, you also need to be mindful of their need for freedom and physical activity.

Your birds will need appropriate nutrition according to the species and a cage that has space for a little flying. Parrot-type breeds often require the most stimulation and interaction to be happy. If you leave them alone for hours each day, problems from stress and loneliness may develop. Domestic canaries and finches do well in small spaces as long as there’s a proper cage set up.

Birds are naturally noisy creatures and tend to wake up with the sun. This means that even if you cover their cage with a light-blocking cloth, they’ll probably sing, talk, squawk and warble early in the morning. As your feathered friend will need fresh food and water soon after waking up, you might have to adjust your sleep schedule. Consider how much noise you and your neighbors can handle before choosing a pet bird species.


Rodents like hamsters, rats, and guinea pigs are perfectly suited for life in a limited space and can be happy with only one human interaction a day. While guinea pigs need a little more space to run around in, hamsters and rats can thrive in smaller pens or crates. Some rodents like the Syrian hamster are naturally solitary, but most should be kept in pairs or groups.

You will need to clean the cages and change the bedding regularly to make sure that their home doesn't stink. Most breeds tend to be nocturnal, which means that they'll be playing and squeaking for most of the night. If you happen to be a light sleeper, you may find this a little annoying. Hamsters tend to live for two to three years, and guinea pigs for four to six years depending on the breed. This makes rodents a great type of pet for owners who are not looking for a long-term commitment.


Because of their calm and quiet behavior, reptiles make some of the best pets for apartment living. Geckos and bearded dragons are both quite popular as pet lizards. They're a great choice for kids, as they're easy to care for and make rewarding pets. They're also extremely well-behaved, and rarely get annoyed with or bite their owners.

Both geckos and bearded dragons need a certain amount of humidity, light, and heat to be comfortable. Once you set up the electronics, you only need to clean their enclosure once in a while to keep them happy and healthy. Keep in mind that you will need to provide insects like mealworms or crickets to keep them nourished. If you're new to owning reptiles, you might want to go for a leopard gecko or a crested gecko instead of a bearded dragon.

Find the Best Pet for You and Your Pet-Friendly Space

If you're a pet owner looking to have a more exotic pet in a small space, sugar gliders are a great option for you. While they're very affectionate animals, they need more care and attention than other pets. If you prefer to have aquatic pets, hermit crabs and shrimps are quite popular, too. Last but not the least, if you want a pet completely out of the ordinary and you're not squeamish, consider getting a snake, tarantula, or emperor scorpion.

Make sure you learn about the care requirements and dietary restrictions before choosing which pet will be perfect for you. This way, you can ensure they are comfortable and safe so they can thrive in their new home.