Weird Pets Found in Apartments

in Pets on by

Most apartments that accept pets focus on cats and dogs—animals generally left lose to wreak unlimited havoc on apartments. But what about unusual pets that spend most of their time caged? Here’s an article on animals that may be more attractive to your landlord than dogs that like to dig or cats that like to scratch. Read on and maybe you’ll find your perfect animal match!

Funky ferrets

Ferrets are often criticized as being smelly and a little too weasel-like for most people, but aficionados say the slender rodents are clever, affectionate, and fun to have as pets. Highly energetic, ferrets like to play with a variety of toys, including balls and tunnels. They are often left caged much of the time, but should be let out for exercise on a frequent basis. A multitude of ferret accessories, including leashes and adorable pouches (ferret hammocks, of a sort) are available. That despicable ferrety scent can be reduced and almost eliminated by spaying or neutering and descenting the animal.

Slithering snakes

Snakes creep some people out, but others are interested in the strange creatures’ beautiful scales and mesmerizing movements. If you don’t want a fuzzy friend to cuddle, but instead prefer an interesting animal to appreciate (and you don’t mind feeding that animal live mice if necessary), you might look into snakes. Be aware, however, that snakes can require more upkeep than you’d expect. Reptiles are notoriously difficult pets to keep properly. Although they may not need to be walked regularly, cold-blooded reptiles do require special heat lamps or heated rocks to maintain proper body temperature. Reptiles can also require more specialized diets (ever seen anyone buy a 50 pound bag of snake food at the local grocery store), and veterinarians who specialize in reptiles can be few and far between. Keep this in mind when considering a snake or another reptile like a lizard or iguana.

Giddy guinea pigs

The forgotten rodent, guinea pigs take a backseat to the tiny hamster when it comes to most children’s first pet. However, guinea pigs can be fun and active pets in their own right, and are not too difficult to care for. They can eat pelleted food supplemented with vegetables, and can live in large cages or be awarded their own little fenced-off portion of the apartment. If given lots of space, they can even be taught to use a litter box. Guineas make cute (or annoying, depending on your perspective) squeaking sounds and can become attached to their human companions. They can also play in tunnels or wheels, much like hamsters. Overall, guinea pigs are not a bad choice for an apartment animal.

Chill chinchillas

Chinchillas, which look like squirrel-mouse hybrids with furry elephant ears. make beautiful and generally unobtrusive pets. They can be hard to socialize and often remain somewhat aloof, enjoying a quiet environment and responding negatively to loud noises, sudden movements, and drastic changes in the environment. Instead of washing with water, chinchillas bathe in dust or sand. Since chinchillas chew a lot, they need to be provided with chew toys of some sort to meet this need. Large cages are another must for chinchillas; though they’re small, they need space to roam. Chinchillas don’t tend to produce much noise or odor, they can be good indoor animals and present an exotic alternative to rats or gerbils.

Rambunctious rats

Rats are the bane of some people’s existence, but others find the critters both cuddly and clever. If you can stand the sight of those hairless tails and think twitchy noses are cute, rats just might be for you. Rodents are a little easier to care for than reptiles, and fur makes some people a little more accepting of an animal as a pet rather than a pest. Rat lovers claim to be constantly impressed by their pets’ intelligence and ability to figure out new puzzles. Make a maze and see how quickly your rat finds a piece of cheese—you too may be surprised by its wits!

Sweet sugar gliders

Have you always thought squirrels were adorable? Secretly wanted one as a pet? Long no more, as sugar gliders are what you seek. Though not actually related to squirrels, these small rodents bear a resemblance to flying squirrels and are extremely social. They require extensive attention from their human owners or the presence of another sugar glider as a companion. Since these animals need a diet high in fruits and vegetables (and the occasional insect!), sugar gliders may not be an ideal pet for those who just want to pour some pellets in a bowl and call it a day. However, if you’re looking for a sweet and strange little animal, the sugar glider just might be your thing.

There are plenty of other unusual animals you can keep in an apartment complex. Birds, frogs, hamsters, and fish are just a few. Of those, birds tend toward the noisier end of the spectrum, while fish are just as quiet as can be. Evaluate your needs and your apartment’s capacity when considering a pet. Buying an animal that needs more space than you have available does a disservice to you, your apartment, and above all the animal. Analyze your reasons for wanting a pet, ability to care for one, and do extensive research before bringing anyone home. You and your future pet will be happy you prepared well.

61 Responses to “Weird Pets Found in Apartments”

  1. June 16, 2006 at 4:02 pm, Guest said:

    I live in St. Petersburg, FL, somewhat near the water. My wife and I found something a little frightening…a crab!

    Reply

  2. June 20, 2006 at 5:57 pm, Guest said:

    I had a friend who found a crab while she was taking a bath and figured out she got it from her husband

    Reply

  3. July 02, 2006 at 1:05 pm, Guest said:

    sugar gliders are actually marsupials, not rodents! how cool is that?!

    Reply

  4. July 10, 2006 at 6:38 pm, Guest said:

    First off, ferrets are not rodents. And I happen to love the way they smell — it’s sweet and musky and funny and, well — okay — a little stinky (but in the best way!).

    But I’m not so much writing to clear up these (offensive! outrageous!) misconceptions about ferrets; I’m posting to urge you not to get one. At the very least, please think very carefully before committing yourself to these highly intelligent, incredibly sweet, and completely heartbreaking little guys.

    First, they need a LOT of interaction — both with their “people” and, ideally, with another ferret. And caring for them is incredibly expensive (special diets, lots of vet bills) and time consuming. They are insanely smart — smarter than dogs and cats — and you have to watch them every minute they are out of their cages, because they love to get into trouble. Which is cute when they’re hiding your car keys in a dresser drawer (that’s right!), but they have been known to escape through dryer vents or through tiny openings in the woodwork. (One of mine dug a hole in my mattress in a matter of minutes, and we couldn’t find him for six hours). Yet, they MUST be allowed to play outside of their cages for AT LEAST an hour a day, or they become depressed, listless, and aggressive (wouldn’t you?). It’s a BIG responsibility that can be totally rewarding if you know what you’re signing up for, but too many people don’t keep up the committment, and too many ferrets get left in cages for weeks on end. Sad.

    Second, they get sick very easily, very young, and very often. At three years old, they are considered geriatric (elderly) and in many cases develop cancer and other disturbing illnesses (one of mine died because his intestine spontaneously split open — nothing we did wrong, but that’s the kind of effed up, random stuff that happens to them). We started with three ferrets and at 2 yrs, 3 yrs, and 4yrs, they each died painful, horrible deaths that could not have been prevented, foreseen, or treated. This was after spending, on average, $5000 on vet bills for EACH one. What’s worse is that vets don’t know enough about the little guys to do any good; I would happily spend ten times more money if I could go back and have had the sense not to allow some crackpot to poke, prod, and perform invasive (experimental) surgery on my babies who, in hindsight, should have been allowed to pass on in peace (each illness was a hopeless case).

    I am incredibly thankful for the time that I had with my fuzzies, but I also strongly urge against keeping them as pets unless you are prepared for the inevitable heartache that will follow. Sorry for the rant, but hopefully it’s not in vain.

    Reply

  5. July 25, 2006 at 6:50 pm, Guest said:

    I live in Ohio,
    and how cool is that!? 😛

    Reply

  6. August 06, 2006 at 7:52 pm, Guest said:

    I have got to say, I could never take my ferrets to the vet, all they do is kill them because ferrets are just a study for the vets. They know just as much as we do if not less. My ferrets are 3 years old and they have not been sick once. I have read so much that if something were to happen I know I can not stop it. But on the other hand heard ferrets are very good with kids. My 2 ferrets love my 3 year old I leave them out all day. Yes they get in to things but so do kids. The whole food thing my ferrets eat just about any and everything, they are not picky. Like everyone says. I also take them for walks and to the park, they love the outside and love to go to shop at the pet store. Yes my ferrets shop they get to pick out there own toys.

    Reply

  7. August 22, 2006 at 12:08 am, Guest said:

    Wow. I don’t know what kind of vet you people have taken your ferrets to, but ours know the most up-to-date literature on the animals.

    Meaning, a lot more than what the common ferret owner knows.

    Just…wow…

    Reply

  8. September 05, 2006 at 3:16 pm, Guest said:

    Guinea pigs cannot run in wheels or exersize balls due to their back shape.

    Reply

  9. October 27, 2006 at 6:45 pm, Guest said:

    Snakes are the best pets, as long as you love them!

    Reply

  10. November 01, 2006 at 9:33 am, Guest said:

    I have two ferrets and both have been absolutly great. They are about 5 now and I’ve never had any trouble with them. They are just as energetic as when they were little guys. They keep each other company and like to destroy my place as soon as they get a chance (ok, i usually let them). they are great animals and I do reccomend them (in at least a pair) for anyone that wants a fun curious maniac. They are also accomplished artists. You can check out their work here: http://ferretart.worldwidewheelers.com

    Reply

  11. November 22, 2006 at 5:55 am, Guest said:

    I think that two rats of the same sex are the best and most loving apartment pets

    Reply

  12. January 10, 2007 at 3:19 pm, Guest said:

    Using the word “weird” to apply to an animal just because it isn’t a cat or dog, or extremely popular or fashionable, is offensive and unnecessary.

    A ferret’s naturally musky scent is not inherently “despicable” (another fabulous choice of words). Many people like it, and many other people simply ignore it or don’t mind it. A well cared-for ferret (high quality food, regular washing of its bedding, regular ear cleaning) that has been neutered and descented hardly produces much of a scent anyway. I’ve had as many as nine at a time (that was in a house, not an apartment) and no one who came over to the house who didn’t know us could tell there were ferrets in the house until one showed up.

    I think all of the animals mentioned in this article make good apartment pets, particularly hamsters, guinea pigs, and chinchillas, all of whom are easy to care for, not noisy or rambunctious (though guinea pigs produce different warbling sounds that are rather endearing, but not usually loud), and don’t engage in behaviors that will cause problems with your neighbors, or your carpeting. 🙂

    Reply

  13. March 11, 2007 at 11:20 pm, Guest said:

    In the 5 years that you’ve had your ferrets, have you lived any apartments? If so, were they allowed at those apartments? I’m trying to find at least one apartment that will allow ferrets.

    Reply

  14. March 12, 2007 at 4:57 am, Guest said:

    no ah i have a 2year old guinea pig that has a 3 foot cage and it has 3 excercise wheel and she can run just fine.

    Reply

  15. April 06, 2007 at 3:31 am, Guest said:

    Where’re the rat pictures?

    Rats make amazing pets and learn fast. They don’t sit or shake, but my girls come when I call them and know their names, and love walking on me and trying to convince me to share whatever I’m eating or drinking.

    Just remember rats are social animals and have to be kept in at least pairs or they can develop personality issues and get stressed, no matter how much time you spend with them.

    Reply

  16. April 11, 2007 at 1:53 pm, Anonymous said:

    Amen! We have many rodents including rats. They make extremely loving and fascinating companions. To find out more, you are welcome to come visit our websit all about our furry friends, weelittlebeasties.blogspot.com

    Reply

  17. April 30, 2007 at 4:10 pm, Guest said:

    well..haha my apartment lease says no pets..my landlord says no to cats and dogs…but what if i got one of these critters?? I want a ferret…and I already have most of the stuff for it..cages, bedding, food, litter, etc. But I’m nervous about it…should I just get one and hope for the best or say no to it all together. I know some people who keep small pets in apartments and no one even notices.

    Reply

  18. May 16, 2007 at 10:29 am, Guest said:

    No, guinea pigs SHOULD NOT be put in exercise balls, just as the first person said. Any guinea-pig-competent vet will tell you that.

    And concerning the article, ferrets are not rodents. They’re mustelids, like weasels, skunks, and otters. Anyone reading this page would do very well to do thorough research elsewhere concerning any type of pet they are considering adopting, since there seem to be some blatant errors here.

    Reply

  19. May 18, 2007 at 12:05 pm, Guest said:

    I had many guinea pigs. And as the previous people stated, you should NOT put them in exercise balls. And if you have wheels, you need one specially designed for guinea pigs. Hamster wheels are much too small for guinea pigs, and the strain will hurt their backs. If your guinea pigs are anything like the 10 I have, they don’t use the wheels anyway. My husband’s a vet that specializes in small and exotic animals, so yes, I do know what I’m talking about.

    Reply

  20. May 23, 2007 at 9:07 am, Guest said:

    We have a ferret in our apartment! He’s well behaved and quite happily litterbox trained. Even though we are strictly in a ‘no pet’ situation, he doesn’t have any smell to speek of (desented/neutered) and obviously doesn’t make any loud noises. We happily intend on bringing him to our next apartment whether they aprove of pets or not. as well as the fish (which should have been in this artical too. they really are one of the best apartment pets)

    Reply

  21. July 05, 2007 at 9:35 pm, Guest said:

    I have 2 farrets and 2 snakes. And I love them all! I am very glad that I have 2 ferrets because it gives them some company when I cant play with them. My snakes share a cage and get along as well although I dont recomend it. Some snakes eat other snakes and older snakes are less likely to get along. Mine are the same breed and have lived together in a large tank since they were small. The tank is large enough that they can sleep on either end if they want but they rarely do, perfering to cuddle up together. I also have a cat and she doesnt mind the other pets, she enjoys watching the snakes when they are mobile.

    Reply

  22. July 20, 2007 at 8:40 pm, Guest said:

    I have a dog, 2 fish and a hampster. I’m thinking of getting some turtles Can anyone reccomned any particular breeds. Or care tips

    Reply

  23. August 29, 2007 at 8:41 pm, Guest said:

    Its too bad ferrets arent rodents…
    and your crazy not to take your ferrets to the vet. if you ever read any books or even articles about it you would know that they are prone to many types of cancer and tumors.
    You need to find a vet that sees ferrets… humans have doctors for different things and there are vets for certain pets.
    oh, and they cant eat just anything. They are carnivores and cant process much fiberous matter.

    Reply

  24. August 30, 2007 at 4:10 pm, Guest said:

    I have a 19 foot burmese python. we’ve had this thing since it was 8 feet and now we can only handle it with more that 2 people present. eventually it will weigh over 200 pounds and will be about 23 feet maximum. But despite all this, Eva as we have chosen to name her, is very docile and loves human attention. Except for when she’s shedding. My roommate found out about that one the hard way. haha!

    Reply

  25. September 01, 2007 at 11:07 pm, Guest said:

    I have two cats one fish and a baby brother .
    hows that for drama and i am getting a farret(**

    Reply

  26. September 05, 2007 at 8:38 pm, Guest said:

    I have 2 ferrets and 1 sugar glider and they r the best pets in the world!I have one boy ferret and 1 girl ferret.

    Reply

  27. September 10, 2007 at 3:09 am, Guest said:

    i have 2 cats a dog a frog and a radioactiv cow

    pie is good for your health

    Reply

  28. September 27, 2007 at 12:32 pm, Guest said:

    Allan owes me $2

    Reply

  29. October 27, 2007 at 11:25 am, Guest said:

    I have a wife. Be warned, can pick up bad habits and make you broke

    Reply

  30. November 01, 2007 at 7:15 am, Guest said:

    Thanks for your work! Now let’s see how you’ll interact with all the junk coming from social blogs, social networks, social software and the whole good load from web 2.0 😉 Tough luck on that!

    Reply

  31. November 01, 2007 at 6:24 pm, Guest said:

    How about addressing the mess of STREAMS. And why don’t some channels show up, like mine!?

    Reply

  32. November 01, 2007 at 6:24 pm, Guest said:

    Thank you for creating a blog. I hope you will take frequent moments to let us in the wide world know what you’re doing with your time now that you’ve become famous — and I hope you became richer, too!

    Reply

  33. November 01, 2007 at 6:24 pm, Guest said:

    As with everyone else here, we want, nay, demand more! more of your thoughts, more history and more speed and are you going to allow us to see into the future with you?

    Reply

  34. November 01, 2007 at 6:26 pm, Guest said:

    Thanks for making the world a more open space.

    Reply

  35. November 03, 2007 at 12:20 pm, Guest said:

    Welcome to the world of blogging, it’s truly revolutionized the industry of the Internet, in my opinion. I spend more time writing in blogs than I do actually reading them, but overall you’ll find them useful I think.

    Reply

  36. November 03, 2007 at 12:20 pm, Guest said:

    Because of your work, I work with former soviet scientists to design and share online training schedules for athletes throughout the world. People are people regardless of where they are located; with dreams and the inner quest for knowledge. 20 years ago this would have been impossible. Even though the geopolitics would have still gone the way they had, the net has allowed us to be more than non combatants..we have become friends.

    Reply

  37. November 03, 2007 at 12:20 pm, Guest said:

    I thought that the WTO would be a good start for transforming the process of government at least across national borders. I quite like the idea of using the secretariat of the WTO as the centre for a Wikipedia of trade – a sort of open source world government at least for a very specific and complicated issue which needs many brains to provide a solution.

    Reply

  38. November 03, 2007 at 12:20 pm, Guest said:

    Words can’t express your significance. Thank you.

    Reply

  39. November 03, 2007 at 12:20 pm, Guest said:

    How about addressing the mess of STREAMS. And why don’t some channels show up, like mine!?

    Reply

  40. March 26, 2008 at 8:54 am, Guest said:

    The picture you have of the chinchilla is a bad example.
    I have one and it is so beautiful and unique.
    The fur is so soft that most people say it is the softest animal in te world.
    They live up to TWENTY YEARS!!!
    They sleep in the day and are active at night.
    For a treat give them timmothy hay.
    Here is a gray one.
    chinchilla
    And here is a white one.
    chinchilla

    Reply

  41. March 30, 2008 at 10:21 pm, Guest said:

    Guinea pigs CAN NOT play in “wheels” or rolling balls… there spines are not made to bend that way! i like how u said to do extensive research, but maybe u should have some of that too…

    Reply

  42. April 17, 2008 at 6:29 pm, Guest said:

    RAT BALLS TO YOU ALL !!! . all you base belong to me

    %63nciso;a > TROLL

    Reply

  43. May 02, 2008 at 3:45 pm, Guest said:

    i have a pug and he is a great pet as long as they are house trained

    Reply

  44. May 06, 2008 at 6:52 pm, Guest said:

    I have a pet midget. I keep him under the steps but he talks a lot if you don’t take the whip out. They are expensive and hard to find if you don’t live near the quickly disapearing western jungles of Brazil. Good luck!!!

    RK3

    Reply

  45. May 07, 2008 at 5:25 pm, Guest said:

    Oh Man! thanksfor the info
    i was contemplating getting one but it sounds like i would have my hands full.

    Reply

  46. May 14, 2008 at 6:25 pm, Guest said:

    Wow you really need to do your research before you do a big blog like this and put it on the internet. Like you know know everything… yet you still give next to no info on Rats. I could hardly get thought your rambling about nothing.

    Reply

  47. June 22, 2008 at 2:36 pm, Guest said:

    Sugar Gliders aren’t rodents. They are marsupials from Indonesia and Australia. They live in family groups in the wild, and so need constant attention.

    The need a lot of space and a lot of time, and if you aren’t up to handling that for the next 15 years, don’t get one. They take a lot of patience at first, as most infants are feral, but once tamed are a joy to have. They sleep during the day and are up at night, so be warned, that is when they will expect to play.

    They cannot control their bowels, so don’t get one if you can’t handle being piddled on every once in a while.

    You also must give them a soft pellet as well as a small amount of fruit with a calcium powder sprinkled on it like salt. Insects are a must, as is Gliderade, which offers them everything they need to maintain a healthy amount of energy.

    If you are thinking about one, do your research.

    Reply

  48. June 24, 2008 at 11:21 pm, Guest said:

    I have had exotic pets since I was about 4 or 5, and am now in college. I got my first pet turtle, Speedy when I was 5, I still have her, she is going on 13 now and still kicking (mind you, in a kiddy pool under my bed with a heat lamp plugged in). As well, my leopard gecko, Savannah who will be 6 this month, I will probably have her for another 10 years, as well as my new addition, a tarantula named Zihannah. All of these animals fit effortlessly into my life and I have learned through literature as well as trial and error how to keep them. So I can say that if you can appreciate the longevity of some animals, as well as the size, reptiles make EXCELLENT apartment pets. I spend on average about $15- 20 a month on food for these little beasties and have never had to take any of them to the vet, turtles are very long lived, expect at least 2 decades out of them, leopard geckos too.

    In note, the author mentioned snakes and iguanas, iguanas grow to 6 feet long and can live at least 10 years, unless your room mates can put up with a huge cage in the corner iguanas and moniter lizards are one of the few reptilian pet exceptions. Snakes are all carnivorous and so you need to feed them live or dead rodents, no carrots or snow peas, mice and rats. Be prepared…

    Reply

  49. August 06, 2008 at 3:10 pm, Guest said:

    i live in ontario and i have fantail goldfishes and a hampster named skip…they are really great. i am so thankfull because i am moving and all the appartements here dont allow animals and i dont know why… they say that its because of the damages they can make but is in it all in the way you train them???

    Reply

  50. August 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm, Guest said:

    Landlords in Ontario aren’t able to tell you not to keep pets. It’s against the law, basically. Even if you sign something saying that you won’t own any, it’s not valid.

    Reply

  51. November 09, 2008 at 7:21 am, Guest said:

    I love pugs They can be the best little clowns ever!

    Reply

  52. November 18, 2008 at 8:46 am, Guest said:

    i want to buy your large polar bear it has always been my dream to own one

    Reply

  53. February 04, 2009 at 4:30 pm, Rose said:

    what about piranhas? I’m getting one for my apartment.

    Reply

  54. February 28, 2009 at 8:00 am, Evie said:

    Hello. Great job. This is a great story. Thanks!

    Reply

  55. February 28, 2009 at 8:03 am, Ava said:

    Very nice post, I share the same position about this.

    Reply

  56. March 01, 2009 at 12:18 am, Tyson said:

    I have decided to get a lizard or a snake. I was thinking about getting a leopard gecko for a lizard, or a red tail boa for a snake. Would these be good starter reptiles? I have lived with cats all my life, and i’ve decided to go from cuddly to scaly.

    Reply

  57. March 05, 2009 at 3:59 am, Thomas Platt said:

    I’ve had all sorts of exotics too. Hedgehog, African plated lizard, etc. but the craziest “pets” I ever ones was a bunch of medical leeches. Don’t get me started on “special diets” having pets that feed on YOU is a whole other story, altogether! They conveniently “died” when I went on a week long college orientation, though I’m pretty sure they had some help down the tubes from my parents. Who can blame them, though, for pete’s sake, I had pet LEECHES! Damn was I one strange kid growing up… Hedgehogs are great fun though, definately to me recommended.

    Reply

  58. April 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm, Anonymous said:

    i own a leopard gecko, a cherry headed red footed tortoise, a yellow throated plated lizard, two fish, a hermit crab, two dogs, two african clawed frogs, and an antfarm:) a ton to keep up with.. you have to stay devoted.. thats for sure

    Reply

  59. November 23, 2009 at 3:57 am, Anonymous said:

    To lady that said she was right because her huband was a vet, mine works on cars, but you will not see me repairing one!

    Reply

  60. May 29, 2010 at 7:52 pm, Whoever said:

    I once owned a pet Obama. It was very expensive. Always wanted to spend all my money, without my consent. They try to stay around about 4 years. They are very destructive to your environment, and to everyone else’s as well. Some people may be too stupid to notice the damage your Obama is doing, until it’s too late. I don’t recommend that anyone ever get one. If your neighbor gets one, it will still affect you, too. You can expect 4 years of pure Hell, and massive stupidity. If you want a dangerous, and stupid pet, stick with getting a Troll, instead.

    Reply

  61. March 02, 2011 at 12:52 am, jess said:

    i live in a place were it seems pets arent allowed at apartments and it scares me to bring one in because of that reaon so idk what to do ive wanted a ferret since i was a little girl and i have a hamster right now and were gunna move into a no pets apartment 🙁 im so lost i know its breaking your contract to have a pet in a no pet apartment

    Reply

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