Pets That Can Live Happily In Smaller Spaces Without Destroying Everything

Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you have to give up any hopes of being a pet owner. There’s plenty of animals great and small that absolutely love living in smaller spaces with minimal outside space, though I can’t comment on how much they’re afraid of heights if you’re in a high-rise block.

If you’ve got a limited amount of room but still want a non-human pal to keep you company and love you unconditionally, then ponder upon these very good boys and girls to adopt into your inner-city life.


Any cat, really. There’s no specific breed that particularly enjoys being inside because they all pretty much love it.

Cats are reasonably low-maintenance, independent animals that need very little exercise (you can definitely put a lead on a cat though, it’s the best.) Make sure they’ve got access to some cat grass though, because they love to mung on that to help with digestion, or if they’re feeling a bit off.

Just make sure your kitties are litter-trained so they won’t pee all over your stuff, and give them enough entertaining toys/scratching posts for them to completely disregard and play with a bit of paper instead.

If you do have an outside space a few storeys off the ground, it’s probably a good idea to put some netting up so your feline friendo doesn’t try and make an escape that way. I know cats land on their feet but they can also be clumsy as all hell and you don’t want an avoidable trip to the vets.

It’s also important to desex your cat in the off chance he or she gets out and makes friends with neighbourhood cats. You’ve got one animal and you probably don’t want five or six more just yet.

Dogs (well, some of them)

Dogs can make very good small-space pets, but you have to be very careful with which breed will thrive in an apartment.

Smaller dogs like Chihuahuas, Spaniels, and Terriers are good options, because they’re compact and require minimal exercise. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them out for walks of an evening or on the weekends though – it just means they don’t need a big outdoor space to tear around in every day.

Larger breeds like Great Danes and Greyhounds are a good option if you want a dog that’s a bit bigger, because they are pretty bloody lazy. They typically only need about half an hours’ run around every couple of days, and they’re just really gangly couch potatoes apart from that.

Just be mindful that these bigger breeds are like vacuum cleaners, and will eat a lot.

Sounds a bit like me, really.


Bit of a no-brainer, this one. Fish work well in apartments and smaller spaces because you absolutely dictate how much swim room they get. Ideally, it’s nicer to give your fishies a tank that is proportionate to their size and needs, and make sure you’re buying breeds that aren’t going to straight up do a murder on each other as soon as you settle them into your tank.

If you’re strict on space, then a Siamese Fighting Fish (known as Betta) is probably a good option – you can only have one per tank, they can hang out in 15L bowls, and they’re gorgeous as all hell. All they really need is a little heater (they’re tropical, baby) and a filter to keep their tank nice and pristine.

If you’ve got multiple Bettas, it’s kinda cool to put their tanks next to each other because they ark up at the sight of one another. Don’t leave them there though, because they will absolutely try and jump tanks to fight. They’re the Conor McGregor of the marine world.

If you also love aquatic pets but you don’t want a fish, an axolotl are super cool and look weird as hell.



Bunny rabbits make for great indoor pets, if you can believe it. These bouncy bundles of cute really only need a hutch to sleep in (or a dedicated, bun-proof room) and other than that they like exploring and lounging around in the sun.

Their poop is not very messy (think little pellets that are a bit smelly, but not as bad as other poo), so if they happen to drop a load on the carpet, there’s very little need to scramble to put them in the bathroom/outside/laundry sink.

Bun-buns like to chew on hay, fruits, veggies, and leafy greens, so make sure you’re keeping their food options relatively fresh. There’s plenty of bunny foods out there that give your rascally rabbit their needed vitamins.

Reptiles & Snakes

If you don’t have a phobia of slippery snakes and lizards, then they’re really good apartment companions. Similar to fish, you wanna keep your lizzos and sneks in tanks that are suitable to their size. But instead of filling it up with water, grab yourself a heat lamp, some dirt and rocks, and some things for them to hide in.

Snakes are cunning bastards, so it’s best to make sure their enclosures are escape-proof – you don’t want a prison break on your hands with a python. They also require a bit of freezer space too for their food. As they’re naturally hunters, they prefer eating prey and you’ll likely have to have some frozen rodents (known as ‘pinkies’) in your freezer. Maybe label them pretty clearly.


The holy grail of indoor pets are chirpy little birbs that can hang out in a birdcage very happily. The popular breeds are Budgies and Cockatiels of course, but there’s a whole bunch of beautiful avians babes that will keep you company and hopefully not wake you up at sparrow’s fart.

But if you’re smart and tricky enough, sometimes a young wild bird might befriend you and come hang out with you. The ultimate apartment birb – one that doesn’t necessarily live with you but still comes over for treats. Know who’s the best at this? Magpies.

This is just the start of smaller-space animals that will love you and treat you right in your apartment, unit, terrace, or studio. You gotta think big about being relatively small – stick insects, arachnids (no thank), frogs, and turtles make pretty good pets too.