8 Best Pets For Child in Apartment (Tips & Costs)

Pets are more than just animals especially in the eyes of a child. Pets are considered best friends, companions, and part of the family. Having a pet for your child can be a big leap for those who have yet to get one. There are many things to consider such as cost, maintenance, and most importantly their compatibility with the child and the place you live in. This article will suggest the best apartment-friendly pets you can get for your child. 

What are the eight best pets for children in apartments? The pets included in our list are some of the most-loved and popular house animals. These are both child-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, and can be taken care of in spaces such as apartments. These pets are dogs, cats, birds, fishes, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and geckos. 

Getting a pet for your child, despite living in a decent or limited space, will always be worth it. Aside from giving your child a precious memory and friend that they can grow up with, they will also learn various lessons. Listed below are the top eight best pets as well as tips and information that could help you decide on which one you should get. 

Importance and benefits of having pets for child

As mentioned, growing up with a pet will help your child have more fun. Pets are also one of the best first friends or companions for a child. Moreover, getting your child a pet will teach them about having responsibilities. It will also make them more caring and cheerful.

The 8 best pets for a child in an apartment

1. Dogs

Almost everyone loves dogs and puppies! Most children love and adore them that’s why it’s a no-brainer that we include them in our list. When it comes to dogs — aside from eyeing which breed would be best for an apartment — parents should also consider which breed is best for their child.

The following are some of the breeds that are apartment and child-friendly:


Pugs are small, which makes it a good choice of dog breed for apartments. They are gentle, friendly, and good with children. Plus, their small flat wrinkly face and round eyes are very cute.

What you should know about Pugs:

  • Life expectancy: At least 12 to 15 years
  • Activity level: They require regular exercise and are easy to train. 
  • Barking: Pugs bark only when necessary.
  • Shedding: Regularly.
  • Estimated average cost: USD $600 to USD $1,500 or higher depending on the pedigree. For adoption, it might cost around USD $300 to USD $500 or less. 

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso is also a small breed of dog. It is known for its long flowing coat that parts in the middle. This breed is also affectionate, smart, and active. 

Some facts about Lhasa Apso:

Life expectancy – A Lhasa Apso can live at least 12 to 15 years.

  • Activity level: They need regular exercise but they are also independent. 
  • Barking: Medium. 
  • Shedding: Uncommon.
  • Estimated average cost: From USD $900 to USD $3,000. You might expect lower costs if you will adopt in shelters. 

French Bulldogs

The French bulldog is small, calm, and doesn’t require frequent exercise. They rarely attack or bite, which makes them an ideal companion – even for younger children.

Some details about French Bulldogs:

  • Life expectancy: At least 12 to 15 years.
  • Activity level: They are usually calm and can be trained. 
  • Barking: They only bark when necessary.
  • Shedding: Regularly. 
  • Estimated average cost: About USD $1,000 and above.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers, although they are more on the larger breeds of dogs, are very playful and friendly. They are one of the most popular pets for children since they are known as gentle giants.

What you need to consider about Golden Retrievers:

  • Life expectancy: They can stay with your family for at least 10 to 12 years.
  • Activity level: They are active therefore they require exercise. 
  • Barking: Medium.
  • Shedding: Regularly. 
  • Estimated average cost: Between USD $500 to USD $2,000.

2. Cats

Like dogs, cats are one of the most popular choices when getting a pet. Usually, they are good with apartments since they can adjust themselves in their surroundings. In some instances, feline parents need to buy or build cat towers or cat trees so these fluffy pets can occupy a space of their own.

Cats sometimes get a bad reputation as being feisty – which makes other people think that they are not suitable for children. In my experience as a cat owner, cats — when treated properly and are well-cared for — can be gentle, snuggly, and sweet pets. Some cats are lovable towards children.

Some cat breeds that you might want to consider getting are:

Ragdoll cats

Ragdoll cats are laidback, gentle, and friendly. They enjoy being picked up, touched, and carried around – hence their name. Since they are easygoing, they are great for children. They also rarely show their claws even when they are being playful. 

Facts about Ragdoll cats:

  • Life expectancy: At least 15 years.
  • Activity level: Although they are usually calm, they can be trained. 
  • Estimated average cost: Between USD $400 to USD $1,000.

Scottish Fold

This breed is very friendly towards children and even to dogs. Though they require to be treated and handled in a gentle way, they love attention and being near their owners. They also love to play and can learn tricks. 

Some details about Scottish Folds:

  • Life expectancy: Around 11 to 15 years.
  • Activity level: Can be both calm and active. 
  • Estimated average cost: Price can start at USD $500 and can go up to USD $1,000.

Maine Coon

Maine Coon cats are naturally gentle and friendly. They make a good companion, especially to children, since they are also playful and curious.

Maine Coon facts:

  • Life expectancy: 10 to 13 years.
  • Activity level:  Active and may require playtime and/or exercise.  
  • Estimated average cost: From USD $800 to USD $1,500.


Manx are affectionate, playful, and even-tempered. These good-natured and affectionate cats also tend to be very clingy and cuddly to their owners. They are people-oriented cats that seek a lot of attention. Still, they have a very active side and they usually hunt bugs or rodents.

What you must know about Manx cats:

  • Life expectancy: At least 8 to 14 years.
  • Activity level: Active and requires playtime and/or exercise.  They can also be trained. 
  • Estimated average cost: From USD $800 to USD $1,500.

3. Birds

Because of their size, birds are one of the most chosen pets for apartment living. Though they fit in the category in terms of the space, they require, birds tend to be noisy. If you prefer breeds that are quiet, try getting either parakeets, cockatiels, and canaries.

Although they don’t need to be held unlike other animals, birds are surprisingly social. They need attention to remain cheerful and healthy. It should also be mentioned that getting a bird is a long-term commitment since they usually have a life expectancy of up to 15 years.

Keeping birds in an apartment doesn’t only teach children responsibilities as pet owners.

They will also be capable to understand and respect their pets’ personal space. 

4. Fishes

Fishes are one of the best “starter” pets for children and apartment dwellers. In terms of breed, it is highly suggested to get betta fish since they are not that demanding and have pretty characteristics.

However, though they are not typically high maintenance compared to other pets, they need to stay in an adequate environment.

Always get a big tank enough for a fish to swim. Avoid getting small fishbowls since those are usually cramped. It is also important to have a filter for your fish.

To know more about aquariums and food for fishes, you can ask some trusted owners, breeders, sellers, and veterinarians. 

5. Hamsters

These cute and small balls of fur are also perfect for children and apartments. In fact, most children have experienced having hamsters as their childhood pets since they are very adorable and low-maintenance. 

6. Guinea Pigs

Like hamsters, guinea pigs are low-maintenance and child-friendly furry animals. They are also very cuddly and sociable. While they tend to follow a diet that must be followed, they don’t require too much attention. 

You can also let your guinea pig out of their cage and roam around your apartment. Just make sure that there aren’t any dangerous or accident-prone things lying around. 

7. Rabbits

Rabbits are clever, cuddly, and very gentle. Similar to guinea pigs, they don’t take up much space and can be independent. However, since they are also extremely social, it is suggested to devote frequent attention to rabbits. Keep in mind that rabbits are usually or recommended to be kept in pairs so that they won’t feel gloomy or lonesome.

8. Geckos

While taking care of reptiles — in this case, a gecko — can be different than taking care of mammals, it gets easier once you’ve learned the basics. Geckos are a common choice for those who are looking for pets that don’t need much space and easy to keep.

Geckos only require a small to medium tank to live in. Keep in mind that the tanks should be maintained at a certain temperature. This is easy since some gadgets can monitor and keep the temperature and humidity of the tank at the temperature that you needed. All you need to do, as routine care for geckos, is to feed them since they don’t require cuddles.

Other important considerations


If the cost of buying these pets seems to be a little bit too high for your budget, there is always another option. You can try visiting the nearest adoption or animal rescue centers near you. The fee for adopting rescue animals can be lower than buying one in pet stores or certified breeders. In addition, you can help an animal find its fur-ever home.


Other than the animal’s life expectancy, activity level, cost, and other characteristics, make sure that these recommendations (especially the mentioned breeds) are available in your area or country. Specific animal breeds might only be available in other places. 

Also, make sure to get an animal breed that is not extinct. Keeping species of animals that are extinct is not allowed and unethical. This can also be illegal. 

Compatibility with the overall environment

Not just in terms of the space of your place or environment. This pertains to the weather or climate in your region, how many people are staying in your place, how loud your area can usually be, etc. As a responsible pet owner, it is crucial to consider these things since some pets are more sensitive when it comes to their environment.

For instance, hamsters can get really stressed in a noisy house. Small pets are also unsafe in a crowded and unorganized apartment – especially when they get out of their cages. 


Pets are also an important addition to your family. Having a limited space is not a huge problem when getting pets for your child. There are pets that are both suitable for small spaces and children.

Related Question

Who or where should I consult before getting a pet and/or while keeping a pet?

Before buying or adopting a pet, make sure your apartment allows it. While there are options to get small pets like fishes, hamsters, etc., it is still courteous to ask and/or inform the management about your plans to get a pet.

Also, it is important to conduct your research on which animals can be perfect for your family. Read different posts and articles on the matter from multiple sources. This way, you can be certain and prepared once you bring home your new family member.

An obvious contact that you should maintain when you already have your pet is a veterinarian. When it comes to the health and lifestyle of your pets, veterinarians can provide advice to you. Other than them, you may also try joining some forums dedicated to pet owners.


Child development, Parenting, Pets, young children


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