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15 Best Small Exotic Pets for Apartment Living

Are you searching for an exotic pet to cohabit within your apartment? Today, our veterinarians in Oak Grove present 15 top small exotic pet choices that could suit your apartment lifestyle.

Many people cherish the idea of sharing their homes with animal companions. However, traditional pets like cats and dogs may not align with your lifestyle, particularly if you reside in an apartment.

Factors such as limited yard access, unit size, allergies, noise regulations, or personal preferences can make them less suitable.

To determine if one of these unique and captivating animals is the right fit for you, conduct thorough research on their care requirements and check whether you need a state permit. Below, you'll find 15 small exotic pet suggestions ideal for apartment living.


Do you know that there are around 50 rabbit breeds available for adoption? These small, quiet, exotic mammals adore cuddling and make great companions.

They are also litter-trained, eliminating the need for outdoor access. You can exercise your rabbit by allowing them to roam freely in your home.

However, rabbits have a penchant for digging and chewing, so it's crucial to bunny-proof your apartment and prevent their access to electrical cords.


Ferrets make playful and quiet pets that spend most of their day sleeping when you're not around. To accommodate their need for play, you should provide a spacious cage.

Be cautious of their mischievous nature; ensure your home is ferret-proof by securing escape routes and blocking off potential hiding spots like the oven. Depending on your state, you may need a permit to own one.


Mice can make great apartment pets for several reasons: they don't need a large cage or much space, they are quiet and low-maintenance, and they can groom themselves.

Enjoy observing these little pets as they engage in playful antics. To help them overcome their skittishness, handle them frequently and hand-feed them.


These intelligent, friendly, and quiet critters make great pets for apartment owners due to their small size and ease of taming. They enjoy perching on their owner's laps or shoulders and require only about 2 cubic feet of cage space per rat.

They become most active at night since they primarily sleep during the day. To spend time with this delightful pet, simply 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. It makes a "wheek" sound, but it rarely disturbs people in neighboring apartments due to its low volume.

It would be best if you had an enclosure that's at least 7-8 feet wide and no more than a foot high since they don't typically climb.

They love being let out to interact with their owners and explore their environment. However, ensure there are no exposed electrical cords or wood fixtures that they can chew on within their reach.

Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos are one of the most popular pets among lizard owners because of their friendly nature and beautiful spotted patterns. 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.

Washing your hands after handling leopard geckos is very important because they can transmit salmonella to you.

Bearded Dragons

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, including Kentucky.

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

Ball Pythons

Ball pythons stand out as one of the most docile and beginner-friendly pet snakes among the various options. They prove easy to acquire and generally remain budget-friendly unless you opt for morph variations, which can be quite costly.

Feeding ball pythons presents a considerable challenge for owners. Their diet consists of live or frozen mice and rats, and at times, they may refuse to consume their food. Meeting their tank requirements can also pose a challenge, as they demand the right humidity levels along with a designated 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 have a small apartment and want a pet to display and look at, a 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.

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.


The African giant millipede tops the list as an unconventional pet choice, yet it demands minimal space and proves relatively low maintenance. These millipedes, capable of reaching lengths of up to 10 inches, fall under the most common millipede category. Although they won't offer cuddle opportunities, they are easily handled and pose no biting threat. They thrive on a diet supplemented with calcium, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

You'll need an aquarium with high humidity levels to accommodate their needs, necessitating heating and lighting elements. Fortunately, these essential supplies are readily available at most pet supply stores.


Do you have a love for spiders? If you do, a tarantula might just suit you perfectly! These low-maintenance pets require feeding every other day and occupy only a small 10 to 20-gallon tank.

However, we advise against handling them due to their mildly toxic venom, which can produce a bee sting-like sensation when bitten.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

To learn more about the care requirements for exotic pets in Oak Grove, contact our vets at Oak Grove Animal Hospital today.

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