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Best Small Exotic Pets for Apartment Living

Best Small Exotic Pets for Apartment Living

Living in an apartment may limit the species of pets you can add to your family. Today, our Hohenwald vets share a few of the best small exotic pets that are ideal for apartment living.

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. Other reasons a cat or dog may not be suitable include lack of access to a yard, allergies, a busy lifestyle, 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. Also, ensure there is a veterinarian in your area that is capable of caring for your exotic pet.

Here are some of our favorite small exotic pets for apartment living.


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 these exotic creatures is at least two feet.


Did you know there are approximately 50 breeds of rabbits that people can adopt? They are small and quiet exotic mammals 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.  


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 exotic pets. People with allergies can typically be comfortable if they have these exotic pets in their homes. They can also be tamed relatively easily if you handle them regularly.


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 they 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.

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

Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are one of the most popular pets among lizard owners because of their friendly nature and beautiful spotted pattern. You can also feed them easily with insects that are readily prepared at most pet stores. They also usually enjoy being handled and socializing with their human owners over other lizards.

They can be great for apartment dwellers because they don't generally need a big tank, 10 gallons is typically enough however, they do better in tanks that are 15 to 20 liters. And, while their tank has to be kept at a certain temperature they don't typically need a UVB lamp like other reptiles.

It's very important to wash your hands after handling leopard geckos because they can transmit salmonella to you.

Bearded Dragon

These reptiles have a reputation for being docile and friendly. They are even excellent lizards for beginners because they are easy to keep. While they do require an adequately sized habitat, they don't grow very big and can live comfortably in an apartment. And, yes bearded dragons are legal to own in most states!

However, they can also spread salmonella to owners who don't practice excellent hand-washing habits. And, they require some effort when it comes to their feeding, including live insects and prepared fresh vegetables.


If you have a small apartment and want a pet to display and look at, an exotic frog may be the perfect pet for you. They don't need a lot of space as most frogs only need a 10 or 20-gallon tank and are low maintenance, only needing to be fed a few times a week.

You do need to do your research on the pet frog you want, as there are many types to choose from, such as aquatic frogs, tree frogs, and sedentary frogs. Some male frogs also sing, but it usually isn't loud enough to disturb neighbors.

Hedge Hog

These nocturnal, exotic mammals are quiet and good pets 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 2 feet by 3 feet.

However, you might require a permit to adopt this adorable critter depending on which state you live in.

Are you looking to add a small exotic pet to the family? Contact our Hohenwald vets today for more info, or to book your new companion an examination.

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Hohenwald Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Hohenwald companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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