What Are Some Low Maintenance Pets?

Phil Shepley

Not everyone has the time, energy, or resources to take care of a pet, such as a dog, that often requires a lot of maintenance. For those who would still like animal companionship, but with fewer of the hassles associated with pet ownership, there are many options available for low maintenance pets. This may be important for people who are not at home enough to take care of an animal, or who simply do not have the patience to deal with a needier pet, but would still like to reap some of the rewards associated with owning a pet. Cats are often considered to be relatively low maintenance, but they still require a lot of care compared to other animals, and some breeds need much more care for than others. In addition, a cat can ways to cause trouble and make messes, and cannot feed itself or change its own litter box.

Fish are an excellent example of a low maintenance pet.
Fish are an excellent example of a low maintenance pet.

Less interactive pets, such as spiders, are generally low maintenance.
Less interactive pets, such as spiders, are generally low maintenance.

There are plenty of other animals that can be left alone for days or even weeks with little or no care, and the rewards of owning such pets can vary from simply being aesthetically pleasing to actually still having a pet to love and care for. Low maintenance pets, in most cases, will still require daily and weekly work and care. Fish are a good example of this, and typically, but not always, they will need to be fed daily and have their tank cleaned once a week. Fish are also one of the most decorative pets to have in the house, and an aquarium can usually enhance the looks of any space.

Turtles are fairly low maintenance pets.
Turtles are fairly low maintenance pets.

There are other pets that live in aquariums and don't require much maintenance, but they are often not as pleasing to the eye because the tank need to be filled with things like sand or newspaper for their survival. These easy pets include snakes, turtles, lizards, spiders, and even bugs. Their downside is that they are less likely to be interactive and “cuddly,” especially in the case of bugs like the hissing cockroach. This is actually a popular pet despite its appearance and unique sound.

Canaries can be good low maintenance pets.
Canaries can be good low maintenance pets.

For people who want pets that are friendlier but may require a little more care, there are other options for low maintenance pets. Birds can fit into this category, although some types require more care than others. For instance, a canary might only need to be fed daily and have its cage cleaned weekly, while a more exotic parrot might need to be cleaned daily and fed more often. Other pets that require a similar amount of care to that of birds while offering more human interaction include rabbits, ferrets, and rodents such as mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs.

Hamsters are considered relatively low maintenance pets.
Hamsters are considered relatively low maintenance pets.

Of course, someone looking for a pet that requires little or no care at all should consider a pet rock — the lowest of low maintenance pets.

A rabbit is considered a low maintenance pet.
A rabbit is considered a low maintenance pet.

If you're looking for remote care for your pet, consider Pettable

Guinea pigs are popular pets that don't require much upkeep.
Guinea pigs are popular pets that don't require much upkeep.
Cats are often considered low maintenance, though they still require more care than many other creatures.
Cats are often considered low maintenance, though they still require more care than many other creatures.
Snakes require feeding less often than most pets.
Snakes require feeding less often than most pets.
Chinchillas are low maintenance pets.
Chinchillas are low maintenance pets.
A pet mouse can mostly take care of its self.
A pet mouse can mostly take care of its self.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


Fish are not low maintenance.


Rabbits are certainly not low-maintenance pets! There's a reason a lot of people give away pet rabbits. They require a lot of interaction and exercise and can be moody and aggressive, on top of regular cleaning and feeding, and they have long lifespans. I have an 11 year old pet rabbit; he's outlived the family dog.


Do not be misled! Chinchillas are not low maintenance! I myself have one and I can tell you they aren't like a hamster or a gerbil.

First off, they need a large cage (smallest is 2ftx4ftx2ft), they need a special chinchilla pellet diet, they need weekly dust baths (not the hamster sand) they cannot have water baths. They cannot have fresh fruits or veggies and they need daily interaction/out of cage time- which means chin-proofing the room, making sure no other animals are there and then cleaning up everything. Please, please, please do your research when getting any new pet! Hope this helps



So are mice and hamsters the only very low maintenance pets that exist?


Want a low maintenance pet? Then go online and look for "ecosphere" which are a couple of tiny little Hawaiian shrimp.


How are ferrets low maintenance? And geckos, turtles, etc. require daily care, not to mention next to perfect temps? Geez.


I wanted a puppy but I could not get one because we have five dogs, but my Nana says if I can find a low maintenance pet, I can have one, so does anyone have any suggestions for me? It's for my birthday.


Lizards are not low maintenance. I just had to put my bearded dragon down (just got home from vet; still hysterically crying) because she kept having prolapses. I spent over $2000 and many surgeries and they all failed. She was an incredible pet and I'm going to miss her forever but she was not low maintenance. Even health issues aside, you have to buy live crickets, fresh fruits and veggies daily, along with providing proper light and heat, etc.


I honestly don't know. I love dogs and cats, but I live in a small apartment, so it's really hard. But you can try other animals at Petco on Saturdays. They have dogs and cats, but sometimes other kinds of animals too.


When this article says that snakes, lizards and turtles make good low-maintenance pets, that's not entirely true. First, aquatic turtles need big tanks and terrestrial ones have special diets. Second, some snakes and lizards are very high maintenance like chameleons and green tree pythons. That being said, there are also some low-maintenance snakes and lizards. They include the crested gecko (doesn't need bugs!), the bearded dragon, the corn snake and the king snake.


Does anyone know what the most low maintenance pet is? i have a daughter who wants a puppy and i am trying to find something else to get her.


rabbits aren't low maintenance! no, really, trust me. they are a pain in the butt.


Ferrets are high maintenance, so please do not be misled by this article. It is true that upon first glance, a ferret may seem low maintenance because they sleep 18 to 20 hours a days.

But their cages need to be cleaned at least every other day. Then there is litter box training, play time, (which needs to be supervised because if they can fit their head into a space they can get their body in it), and ferret proofing, not to mention a whole host of other things. Please do in depth research before buying any pet. - Fallyn


I have a tarantula and in my opinion he is extremely easy to care for. I just clean his water and feed him crickets. I have owned a wide range of animals from turtles to horses, and I by far recommend a spider for a easy pet to love.


Snakes are low maintenance. In regards to the vet comment, simply look up your nearest herp vet. I found one right up the street from me (five min drive).

Furthermore, snakes are not costly at all. They eat once a month when they are over three, poop once a month, and require newspaper as a substrate.

I have found snakes to be very easy to take care, very low cost, and an excellent pet. If I take a vacation or leave for a weekend I simply change his water.


snakes, lizards and spiders etc., are not low maintenance! They require a lot of time effort and an awful lot of money (how many vets do you know that would treat a snake if it gets ill?). Spiders are very complicated and some do not adapt well to being in captivity. Who will look after it when you are on holiday?

Turtles require a lot of space and heat lamps etc., and need a complex diet. They also tend to snap and bite and are hard to handle.

Hope this gives some people some advice! Emma


Ferrets are not low maintenance!


The suggestion that lizards are low maintenance is rather misleading - even the most straightforward, eg. the gecko, has an awkward diet - live insects, worms etc - needs a good sized tank, careful environmental management, (eg. avoid sand, particularly with the young), and appropriate heating including a basking area, as well as a moist area for shedding. Anything beyond the gecko starts increasing proportionately with the novelty value.

It's highly beneficial and rewarding for both pet and owner to thoroughly research these things first.

Turtles are a complex choice for a beginner, and even the basic canary will only be a happy bird if given a daily opportunity to fly beyond it's cage. Good luck with the pet search! Sam

Post your comments
Forgot password?