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15 Best Small Exotic Pets for Apartment Living

Are you looking for an exotic pet to share your apartment with? Today, our Liberty Lake vets share 15 of the best small exotic pet options that may fit your apartment lifestyle.

Apartment-Friendly Exotic Pets

Most people love having an animal companion to share their home with. But sometimes traditional pets such as cats and dogs might not be suitable for a person's lifestyle, especially if you live in an apartment, whether it's for reasons such as not having access to a yard, the size of the unit, allergies, noise restrictions, or personal preference.

While some of the animals below are fascinating and great pets to have, you need to do your research on the requirements for these pets and find out if you need a permit to own one in your state.

Here are 15 small exotic pet ideas for apartment living.


Did you know there are approximately 50 breeds of rabbits that people can adopt? They are small and quiet exotic mammal pets that love to be cuddled and keep their owners company. They are also litter trained, so they don't need outdoor access. You can even provide your rabbit with exercise by letting them wander free around your home.

However, rabbits love to dig and chew, so make sure your apartment is bunny-proof and ensure they can't access any electrical cords.  


Ferrets are very playful, quiet pets that will spend most of their day sleeping while you are gone. They also require a large cage, so they have enough space to play in.

You also need to be careful of their mischievous nature. Ensure your home is ferret-proof by making sure it can't escape and by blocking off potential hazardous hiding spots, such as the oven. You may require a permit to own one in your state.


One of the reasons why mice can make great apartment pets is that they don't require a large cage or a lot of space. They are also quiet and fairly easy to take care of. They can even groom themselves! You can have fun watching these little pets perform their playful antics.

While they are skittish, you can help them overcome it by handling them often and hand-feeding them.


These little critters are intelligent, friendly, and quiet! They could be great pets for apartment owners because they are small and can be tamed fairly easily. They also tend to enjoy sitting on their owners's laps or shoulders. Their cage only needs to be approximately 2 cubic feet per rat.

Because they spend most of their time sleeping during the day, they are most active at night. But if you want to spend time with this little pet, all you need to do is wake them up.


Hamsters generally make good apartment pets because they don't need a lot of space. They are quiet, don't shed, and are relatively clean. People with allergies can typically be comfortable if they have a hamster in their home. They can also be tamed relatively easily if you handle them regularly.

Cages-wise, they require 2 cubic feet of space as well as a hamster wheel, a place to hide, absorbent bedding, food, and water.

Guinea Pigs

This pet thrives on socialization and is generally easy to handle. While they do make a "wheek" sound, it generally isn't loud enough to disturb people in neighboring apartments. They require an enclosure that's at least 7-8 feet, but it doesn't need to be more than a foot high because they don't typically climb.

They enjoy being let out to interact with their owners and explore their environment, although you do need to make sure there are no exposed electrical cords or wood fixtures that they can chew on.

Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos are one of the most popular pets among lizard owners due to their friendly nature and stunning spotted patterns. You can also easily feed them insects, which are widely available at most pet stores. They also prefer being handled and socializing with their human owners to other lizards.

They can be ideal for apartment dwellers because they don't require a large tank; 10 gallons is usually sufficient; however, they perform better in tanks of 15 to 20 litres. And, while their tank must be kept at a specific temperature, they do not typically require a UVB lamp like other reptiles.

It's critical to wash your hands after handling leopard geckos because they can spread salmonella.

Bearded Dragons

These reptiles are known for being docile and friendly. They are also ideal lizards for beginners because they are simple to keep. While they require a suitable habitat, they do not grow very large and can live comfortably in an apartment. Bearded dragons are legal to own in most states.

However, they can transmit salmonella to owners who do not practice good hand washing habits. They also require some effort to feed, which includes live insects and freshly prepared vegetables.

Ball Pythons

Ball pythons are one of the most docile and easy-to-care for pet snakes, making them an excellent choice for beginners. They are even easier to find and generally less expensive.

Feeding ball pythons is considered one of the most difficult aspects of owning them. Their diet includes live or frozen mice and rats, and they occasionally refuse to eat. Some people may find the ball python’s tank requirements challenging because they require proper humidity as well as a basking and heating area.

Hedge Hogs

These nocturnal, exotic mammals are quiet and good for people with allergies because they don't produce a lot of dander. They are also generally solitary and gentle. And their cage only needs to be two feet by three feet.

However, you might require a permit to adopt this adorable critter.


If you live in a small apartment and want a pet to display and look at, a frog may be the perfect choice. Most frogs require only a 10 or 20-gallon tank and are low maintenance, only needing to be fed a few times per week.

You should conduct research on the type of pet frog you want, as there are numerous options, including aquatic frogs, tree frogs, and sedentary frogs. Some male frogs sing, but it's usually not loud enough to bother the neighbors.

Hermit Crabs

These low-maintenance pets are perfect for apartment living because they make no noise and are hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for people with allergies. Hermit crabs can be interesting to watch as they move between shells, and if your tank is big enough, they can do well with another hermit crab tankmate.

The recommended tank size for this pet is 10 to 20 gallons.


This small, playful pet could be an excellent addition to your apartment, as they are clean and fairly odor-free. If you gently handle them from a young age, they can form a close bond with you, and since they are nocturnal, chinchillas will spend most of the day sleeping.

The recommended home size for this little fella is at least two feet.


Millipedes are probably the oddest pet choice on this list, but they require minimal space and are relatively easy to take care of. The African giant millipede is the most common type of millipede, which can grow to be as large as 10 inches long. Even though you can't cuddle them, they can still be handled. Their feeding requirements include calcium supplements, fresh fruits, and vegetables. 

However, they do need an aquarium with high humidity, which will require heating and lighting elements; thankfully, you can purchase these from most pet supply stores.


Do you love spiders? If so, a tarantula could be the perfect pet for you! These quiet pets typically only need to be fed every other day, and their 10- to 20-gallon tank doesn't take up much space. 

But we don't recommend handling them because they have mildly toxic venom, and their bite can feel like a bee sting. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms.

To learn more about the care requirements for exotic pets, contact our vets at Legacy Animal Medical Center today.

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At Legacy Animal Medical Center, we are always accepting new patients! Our veterinary team's experience and passion make all the difference to the patients at our animal medical center in Liberty Lake. Contact us today to book your first appointment.

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