If you live in an apartment, places for pets are often very limited. And rules can restrict the types of pets allowed in the building. If you’re a pet lover looking for companionship, don’t despair. You can find low-maintenance pets that will live happily in your small space and provide you with pleasure and companionship.
1. Betta Fish
Among the least demanding pets to care for, fish is the right choice for apartment dwellers. Betta fish, sometimes called Siamese fighting fish, are an intelligent and beautiful species that can live for two to four years in a well-maintained tank or bowl. You will need to provide a 5-gallon environment for your betta fish and feed it insect food and betta fish pellets on a regular basis. Clean the bowl regularly and maintain a constant water temperature (betta fish do best in water at 77 or 86 degrees). Although it is not recommended to put two bettas together, especially males, as they can be aggressive to each other, you can try to add a few different companions, such as catfish and guppies, to your small water environment. For a few pellets a day and regular water changes, your swimming friends will bring beauty and peace to your apartment.
2. Guinea Pigs
If you want to snuggle up with a furry friend, look no further than a soft and cuddly guinea pig. These creatures are very friendly, curious, easy to care for and don’t need a lot of space. To house your guinea pig, you will need a cage of at least 2.5 square meters, bedding (such as timothy hay) and food and water dishes. Guinea pigs need fresh feed (dry food, grass and fresh vegetables) and clean water every day. You will also need to remove their droppings and soiled bedding from the cage daily. Guinea pigs need time out of their cage to run and play, so set aside time to play with your boyfriend in a safe place in the apartment. With good care, you can expect your guinea pig to live up to eight years.
3. Leopard geckos
When their living space is contained in a large terrarium, lizards can be the ideal choice for your small apartment. A variety of lizards are available to potential reptile owners, but a famous “beginner” lizard is the leopard gecko. This little guy can grow up to 10 inches long and usually lives for 10 years, although some can live up to 20 years. A leopard gecko needs a 10 gallon glass or plastic tank with places to hide and climb, paper or other gecko friendly substrate, a bowl of water and a heat source to maintain a section of the tank between 75 and 88 degrees. Leopard geckos eat insects, so you will need to provide crickets, waxworms and mealworms that have been fed chick or pig puree before being fed to your gecko. Starting slowly, get your gecko used to a few minutes of handling each day. Soon it will be happy to climb on your lap and hands for regular interaction.
Depending on the rules in force in your building, you may be allowed to keep a cat. Cats require little maintenance and can be loving and rewarding companions. To keep a cat indoors, you will need to provide a litter box and pick up litter waste daily. You will also need to provide cat food (wet kibble or canned food) and clean water. If you have a long-haired breed, your cat will need to be brushed from time to time to avoid matting in his coat. In addition to these simple necessities, offer your cat a cozy bed or let him share yours, and he will love you forever.
Another indoor animal that is easy to care for is a bird, but if you live in an apartment, you should choose a species that is not too noisy for your neighbors. Budgerigars, cockatiels and canaries have quiet vocalizations and are small and easy to care for. Be aware that these birds can be a long-term commitment. Parrots generally live five to nine years, cockatiels can live up to 20 years, and canaries in captivity often live 10 to 15 years. Your birds will need a cage large enough to allow them to fly. They also need time to get out of their cage each day to fly in a more open space. You will need to provide them with fresh water and food daily, including seeds and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Your birds’ cage will also need to be cleaned regularly, and you may need to sweep or vacuum frequently as they can spread seeds liberally while feeding. In exchange for your time and care, parakeets and cockatiels will “talk” and whistle and allow you to hold and play with them.