34 low maintenance pets

It’s one thing to want to have a pet. And it’s a whole other world to raise/ take care of one. If you’re barely able to keep it together at times, then you need to have low maintenance pets that are easy to take care of.

Keeping good pets is fun. They love you like they do no one else. It’s also relaxing to have a creature next to you that lives in its own world. Oblivious to the perils and stresses that human life comes with. I wish I was an animal sometimes – especially on stressful days. 

That’s why everyone needs a pet in their homes. Yes, we do have different preferences as to which type of animal it should be, but you need one. There are many psychological benefits of keeping a furry friend next to you. 

But keeping pets is not all that cheap. Yes, the benefits of keeping a pet far outweigh the costs; but some pets are so expensive to keep. That’s why we came up with this list of low-maintenance pets you’d like to keep.

What are Low Maintenance Pets? 

These are pets that are easy to take care of because they demand very little of you. You can keep them on a tight budget or even on a very tight schedule. 

There are so many types of animals that fit this category. Most of them are small in size and take up very little space and consume very little by way of food. 

Nocturnal pets are also low maintenance pets because they are awake during the night and require very little attention during the day (while you might be away).

Some examples of small pets that easy to take care of include: ants, gerbils, rats, fish, guinea pigs, lizards, cats, and many more (we’ll mention later)

Why would anyone want to Keep Low Maintenance Pets? (Is there a benefit of having these pets?)

Who wouldn’t want to have a pet that is easy to take care of? They are one of a kind pets tat are easy to take care of.

Keeping one of these low maintenance pets makes life so much easier for you and the animal. You don’t have to do too much to make sure the creature survives.

You may never have guessed it, but exotic pets also make for pets that are easy to take care of. 

So you can keep one of the more unusual pets like sugar gliders. 

Also, if you’re not a dog or cat person, my list of low-maintenance pets has a wide selection of small pets you might be able to keep.

So, What goes into picking the right pet for You?

How exactly do I find a pet that is easy to take care of? How do I decide which pets are easy to take care of for me?

Here are some factors you need to consider when picking low maintenance pets

  1. Do you like it?
  2. Time
  3. Space
  4. Budget – how much does it cost? To buy, to keep (weekly, monthly); Any special equipment needed?
  5. Vet Care
  6. Lifespan
  7. Personality, temperament, characteristics
  8. Availability
  9. Basic care – can you take good care of the animal? Will the animal survive in your home?
  10. Are they safe for kids?

Are cats and dogs Low Maintenance Pets?

Yes, cats & dogs can also be included in this list, because they make great pets.

Cats are truly low maintenance pets because they are mainly self-sufficient animals. They like to go out on their own and explore the neighborhood, and they always come back. However, you shouldn’t neglect them because they still need you, you know. 

It doesn’t take much to raise certain breeds of dogs. Low maintenance dog breeds include the Dachshund, Greyhound, bullmastiff, Shiba Inu, and others. Compared to other breeds of dogs, these champs make good pets because they require only short daily walks and very little grooming. 

Top Low Maintenance Pets You Need To Consider

1. Cat

A cat is one of the best low-maintenance pets because they are self-sufficient animals that can take care of themselves pretty well. However, this should not be a reason to neglect your cat. Cats are social and secretly need human interaction often.

Lifespan: 

10 – 16 years

Personality: 

Cats are lone hunters; but, are very social animals. They are also very curious and adventurous – they love to explore.

Diet: 

Cats are carnivores, feeding primarily on meat.

Basic Care: 

Buy your cat stimulants like toys (balls, laser pointers, scratching post); change their litter regularly; groom him/ her regularly (at least once daily); Check-ups at the vet (once annually); and provide them with flea treatment.

2. Dogs

These can also be kept as low maintenance pets. It depends on the dog breed you go for. Low maintenance dog breeds have characteristics like:

Short coats –  this makes grooming much easier compared to the long-haired ones.

Low energy – these type of dogs doesn’t need a lot of play and exercise to burn off their energy.

Independent – they don’t need you around that much.

Some low maintenance dog breeds that fit this description include Dachshund, Basset Hound, Greyhound, Shiba Inu, Chihuahua, French Bulldog, and many others.

Low Maintenance Pets: Rodents

3. Guinea Pig

These small, cuddly animals are excellent low maintenance pets. They make for fun playmates and need are pets that are easy to take care of, so they are great first pets for a child. 

Lifespan: 

4 – 8 years, or even longer

Personality and Characteristics: docile, curious, friendly, playful, affectionate, cuddly, chatty

Great for

pre-teens and older

Monthly cost

$20 – $40 + around $60 (for housing) + $45 for vet visits (occassional)

Diet: 

Herbivore –  grasses, vegetables, hay. You should also supplement them with special nuggets which contain essential nutrients they need to thrive.

Special Features

When excited, they exhibit a behavior known as “popcorning” where they jump up into the air as they run, quickly turn around to run, and jump again.

4. Fancy Rat

Rats are also one of the best low maintenance pets you can own. They are great alternatives to other pet rodents like hamsters and gerbils. 

Rats are easy to take care of. They are very social animals so you should keep them in pairs or groups. If handled from a young age, rats are one of the best pets for cuddling. 

They’ll be most active at night and also require some exercise out of their cage.

Fancy rat Lifespan: 

18 – 36 months

Personality: 

Social, curious, affectionate, intelligent

5. Hamsters

These are good pets for kids. They are small pets that are easy to take care of and are very cuddly too. 

These little animals like to play so you should provide them with lots of toys.

Hamsters are also solitary nocturnal animals you can easily take care of after coming home from work.

Hamster lifespan: 2 – 3 years

Personality: Cuddly, friendly, docile

6. Gerbils

These are small low maintenance pets that are social and prefer to be kept in units of a pair or more. 

Their houses need to be highly stimulating which encourages them to play and exercise.

Encourage natural foraging in gerbils by scattering food on their bedding. 

Gerbil lifespan: 3 – 4 year, or longer

Gerbil personality: social, affectionate, curious

Pet Rabbits

If you want to keep a low maintenance rabbit, go for those that have a short coat and are smaller in size.

Rabbits are active animals that’ll require stimulation you can provide through toys. And if you’re not able to play with your pet rabbit, consider getting a pair so they can be playmates.

Pet rabbit lifespan: 5 – 10 years

Pet rabbit personality: social, intelligent, and affectionate. They also tend to be willful, bratty, destructive, and sometimes vengeful.

Here are some Pet rabbit breeds you can get; 

8. Mini Rex

These are calm and gentle pet rabbits. They are independent but they are much happier with companionship from a human or a fellow rabbit.

They are prone to sore hocks so you should provide soft bedding for them.

They need to be brushed only once a week and more frequently during their shedding season.

9. Holland Lop

These are energetic and fun rabbits that make great playmates. 

They live a bit longer than other rabbits, having a lifespan of 7 – 14 years.

They need at least two hours of playtime outside the cage every day, so you should make time for them.

10. Mini Lop

Mini Lops are intelligent, enthusiastic, and playful rabbits you can easily train. 

They tend to any object they find so make sure their environment is free of stuff that may cause indigestion or choke. 

Also, you should provide intellectual stimulation in the form of toys. They also need at least one hour of playtime outside their cage.

Low Maintenance Pets: Insects

11. Ants

insect low maintenance pets

These are the cheapest pets anyone can own. They demand so little attention and are pets that are very easy to take care of.

Care

Ants need to be fed at least 2 times a day. They are omnivores so they’ll eat most things you eat. They have a healthy appetite for insects, scraps of cake, or fruit.

Well-fed ants reproduce quickly.

12. Praying Mantis

Praying mantises also make great low maintenance pets and some say they are the best pet insects. 

They are great for anyone not looking to make deep emotional connections with their pets. Mantids are fierce insects that can fight and win against pretty much any animal.

A praying mantis is generally a fun and easy pet to take care of. They are solitary insects so you should house them alone in a small tank (1 square foot is enough).

You should also make sure they have a constant temperature of between 70 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are carnivores and have a healthy appetite for insects and spiders.

13. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

These huge cockroaches are easy first pets for anyone who’s new to keeping pet insects. They are easy-going creatures who don’t mind being petted by humans. 

Most people keeping them describe them as docile, easy to handle, and hardy.

Housing

Several cockroaches will live in a 5 – 10 gallon fish tank quite comfortably.

Use Aspen wood shavings for the floor, one or two inches deep. They don’t like bright light so provide shade and lots of hiding places like pieces of wood or cardboard.

Also, raise the temperature of the terrarium slightly above room temp.

Diet

Fruits & Veggies – carrots (favorite), oranges, apples, celery, tomatoes, squash, bananas, and other colorful veggies.

Protein pellets

Clean out unwanted food before it spoils.

For water, provide them with unchlorinated water in a shallow dish full of pebbles (you don’t want them to drown).

14. Stick Insects

These are docile but delicate insects, so you should always handle them with care. When grasping them, do it by their bodies and not the legs. 

They are nocturnal and will be most active at night. They remain still during the day, if undisturbed.

Housing

House them in fish tanks or tall glass jars (should be 3X their length). Keep them in a warm room to make sure their habitat’s temperature doesn’t drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also provide supplementary heating.

Food

They like fresh-cut branches of ivy, privet, blackberry, hawthorn, oak, and rose. Place them in the cage and remove them once they dry out or have been eaten.

Low Maintenance Pets: Reptiles

15. Leopard Gecko

reptile low maintenance pets

Geckos make great low maintenance pets for reptile enthusiasts, especially if you don’t have the budget to get the more expensive ones like Iguanas.

They are shy at first but will quickly warm up to you.

You don’t need much to raise these lovely little reptiles. They’ll thank you for a nice terrarium set up which will cost you between $100 & $200.

Instead of UV light bulbs, you’ll need a heating pad or an incandescent bulb to keep temperatures nice and warm. They also need a moist hideout when they need to shed.

Leopard gecko diet: worms, live crickets.

16. Pet Turtle

17. Terrapin

18. Bearded Dragon

19. Green Anoles

Low Maintenance Pets: Fish

20. Goldfish

Low maintenance pets

The classic goldfish is an easy first pet you should consider. Goldfish will add beauty to your home and don’t require much attention and can be said to be low maintenance pets.

They are intelligent creatures and have been shown to have a sharp memory. Goldfish quickly get used to their owners and will characteristically swim around in excitement when they see you.

Buying a goldfish will set you back at least $10 for the standard breed. You’ll also need a proper tank set up which will cost you nothing less than $100. Your tank should be fitted with a good tank filter to keep their environment clean.

Goldfish should be fed a maximum of twice a day.

Goldfish lifespan: 10 – 15 years, while some varieties live up to 30 years with the right care.

Goldfish personality: They are true individuals with some being shy & timid while others are very outgoing.

21. Betta Fish

These can be housed alone or with other fish (non-aggressive types)

They have a lifespan of 3 – 5 years. 

House these fish in tanks with very little currents. Change their water weekly and make sure the tank temperature stays at a constant 78 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

22. Sea Monkeys

23. Hermit Crab

Low Maintenance Pets: Birds

24. Cockatiel

A cockatiel is a small parrot and is a popular low maintenance pet bird due to its small size.

These well-tempered birds are active and playful too. They are also intelligent so they can be taught to whistle along to tunes.

A lone cockatiel tends to get lonely so be sure to house it with a partner to prevent self-harming behavior, especially if you don’t have lots of time to interact with the bird.

They are playful so you need to provide a pair of cockatiels with a large cage.

A healthy cockatiel diet looks something like this; seeds (no more than 30%), veggies, and fruit. 

Cockatiel lifespan: 10 – 15 years

25. Canary

Canaries also make good pets that are easy to take care of. They aren’t complicated at all. And they sing! These are some of the reasons why they are some of the most popular pet birds.

They like to be alone so you can keep only one in a cage. They like being around people but don’t appreciate heavy handling.

They are also very intelligent birds that can easily be trained to perform tricks like flying around a room.

They have a lifespan of 5 to 15 years so you can expect to have them around for some time. 

Their cages need to be at least 20 x 24 inches wide. Plus space for them to fly around.

In the wild, canaries enjoy healthy servings of seeds, insects, and veggies. You can also give them canary pellets and bits of fruit as well.

32. Parakeets

28. Guppies

Other Low Maintenance Pets

33. Garden Snail

34. Sugar Gliders

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