There have been many discussions about how wise it is to keep pets in apartments. Dogs take a great deal of care and even the most attentive owners still have to clean up a mess. Cats, lauded as they are for apartment living, still leave copious amounts of fur in the carpets and occasionally puke or hack up a hairball. However, for the pet owner that doesn't need a lot of snuggly mass, there are dozens of possible pets that never need to touch the ground. Terrarium, aquarium, and cage pets can have a wonderful time in apartments because their own homes are so much smaller. If you're considering buying yourself a little animal companionship for your apartment dwelling lifestyle, here are five potential options that could keep you company without wrecking the carpets.
Do you love the feeling of dry scales when you hold a pet? Don't mind the spicy scent of lizards, or love the weird long muscular snake bodies? Reptiles make great apartment pets because they prefer to live in terrariums to slithering or crawling on your carpets. They are often very intelligent, inquisitive, and beautiful creatures who don't make much if any noise. They don't run around like crazy and they're always ready to hang out and watch TV with you. However, be sure to know how big your reptile will grow before selecting a breed, as some like iguanas can get very large.
Cultures throughout the world love the turtle. Surprisingly graceful little land and water creatures can be kept in an aquarium as long as there are some rocks for them to climb on and warm in your heat lamp. Turtles are a delight to watch and are not as sedate as you may think. You'll need to keep the tank and the water in it quite warm, between 70 and 80 degrees F. Turtles can be handled and some of them really enjoy it, but be sure to wash your hands before and after. While you will feed them formulated turtle food most of the time, they will also happily eat a little produce like carrots and cucumbers.
Hamsters, Gerbils, Mice, and Rats
Many apartment dwellers choose to stick with mammals but go for the smaller options. If you like the feeling of holding something warm and furry with a quick little heartbeat, then a cage rodent may be the right answer for you. You can build them mazes, special runs, or just buy them a jungle-gym enclosure with a wheel and fun little tunnels for them to run around in. If you do opt for a rodent, remember that they are social creatures and usually appreciate having at least one friend. Rats, in particular, are very intelligent and can be taught tricks for food.
Fish are by far the most amicable and easy to maintain apartment pets. They never make any noise, need you to get up in the middle of the night, or really do much of anything other than swim around and chase after tasty fish flakes. If you enjoy watching aquatic life, a fish or entire aquarium of fish may be the right pet for you. If you also invest in a few bottom-feeders and wall-climbing snails, you can create a little eco system and will need to clean the aquarium less often.
For some, birds are the most delightful pet by far. Their unique little faces and quiet chirps are charming and they are wonderfully interesting to hold and talk to. Depending on the species of bird you choose, they need relatively little space. Birds are friendly, social creatures who will be happy to spend time with you but should be kept with at least one or two little friends to keep each other company. Finches and Canaries are perfect go-to apartment pets as their chirps are very soft and they need less habitat space than larger birds. Just remember to vacuum any seeds they playfully throw around while eating.
The ideal apartment pet is quiet, loving, easy to find and simple to clean up after. Each of these varieties requires only that you keep their habitat clean and the pets well-fed for them to show you all the love they have to give. Hamsters and birds are very loving, turtles and reptiles will at least remember who you are, and fish make up in beauty what they lack in empathy. For whatever tickles your fancy, enjoy the tidiest of apartment pet companions.