black and white cat relaxing on fluffy bed

Best Pets for Apartments in Australia – Plenty of Choice


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There’s nothing like the joy of owning a pet. If you don’t have a lot of space, you needn’t miss out. From cute and cuddly to active or lazy, here’s our guide to the best pets for apartments in Australia.

And if we haven’t nailed it for you in this article, why not head over to part two, where we cover some of the lowest maintenance pets for apartments.

Best pets for apartments in Australia: what to consider first

Pets can have a positive impact on our mental and physical health, and usually become a much-loved part of the family. But it’s important to find the right pet to suit your lifestyle. Apartment living will not suit all animals, so ask yourself a few questions before you decide on your newest family member.  

How much time do you have?

It’s important to think realistically about how much time you can commit to caring for your pet each day. Most dogs in apartments will require daily or even twice daily exercise depending on the breed, whereas animals like fish and birds are lower maintenance.

The key to happy pet ownership is finding a pet you realistically have time to care for. A cranky pet does no one any good!

How much space do you have?

The size of your apartment will help to determine what type of pet you should get. If you live in a cosy studio apartment, a small dog might be ideal. But you might not be able to fit a bird cage, reptile tank or a larger breed of dog.

Indoor cats enjoy scratching posts and climbing equipment, so consider whether you have space for those. As well as the kitty litter, of course.

Every pet also needs its own space to escape to. This could be simply a pet bed. Or it could be something more elaborate – what can your apartment accommodate?

dog in green bandana lying on bed in apartment in Australia

Good dogs for apartments

If it’s a loyal best mate you want, it’s hard to go past a dog. They are wonderful company and can get out and about to enjoy the wide world with you. Dogs are a big commitment, however, especially in an apartment where they’ll need to be taken for regular toilet and exercise breaks.

They are social creatures and are not suited to long periods of time left alone. In fact some separation anxiety in pets is fairly common. There are services for dog walking and doggy day care, which can be a big help for people working full time.

Of course, some breeds are better suited to apartments than others. Not sure whether you have the time and energy? Find out how much exercise a dog needs and how to exercise a dog without walking.

But if you want good pets for apartments in Australia, here are a few dog breeds to start off the investigations:


A cross between a cavalier King Charles spaniel and a poodle, Cavoodles make gentle, fun-loving pets. Their wool-like coat is non-shedding – ideal in smaller living spaces – but does require clipping around three times a year.

Cavoodles range in size from 8-12kg, and like most ‘oodles’ are gentle, affectionate and love to snuggle on the couch. They’ll need daily or twice daily exercise, and be sure to purchase ethically. Read up on finding a reputable breeder.

Border Terriers

Unlike many terriers, border terriers are known to be obedient, easy to train and gentle-natured. They’re a small to medium-sized breed and are not big barkers so won’t drive your neighbours mad.

A border terrier will need twice-daily exercise and they thrive off the company of their chosen humans so are not suited to being left alone for hours. Their scruffy coat is not only totally adorable but also low-maintenance – they don’t shed much and don’t require regular grooming.


This may surprise you given their large size, but greyhounds make excellent apartment pets. It’s true! Read about retired greyhounds in Australia here. Despite being bred for speed they are placid, even lazy, dogs that are most happy when playing lounge lizard while you binge on Netflix.

They will require a daily walk and toilet outings, and their size means they might not be suited to tiny apartments. Adopting an adult greyhound is not only a terrific way to give a dog another chance at a happy life, but means you can bypass the high maintenance puppy phase.

If you have a puppy-shaped hole in your life, this pawsome dog adoption checklist is worth a read.

Close up of Persian cat with personality sitting on cat scratching post rest in apartment

Best cats for apartments

When it comes to cuddly pets for apartments, cats are an obvious choice. Easier to care for than a dog, they make affectionate and quiet pets.

And, while some are more than happy to spend the day hanging out by themselves, some do need a higher level of daily affection and play.

There are naturally clean animals that bathe often and are easy to toilet train. Excellent qualities in any roommate. Just be aware you’ll need to make room for kitty litter, and if you don’t want the smell to waft through you’ll need to clean it often.

Like dogs, some breeds of cats are especially well-suited to smaller living spaces. Let’s take a look:

Persian cats

Curiosity won’t get this fluff-ball into too much trouble because they’d much prefer to nap than get into mischief exploring. What’s more, they adore meeting new friends so are perfect for the apartment-living socialite.

If you’re an allergy-sufferer however, you may want to consider a different breed – maybe one of these (nearly) hypoallergenic cats? Persians are known for their long, luxurious coat and will need grooming on the reg.

Burmese cats

It might be said that one of the highest praises for a cat is the phrase ‘it’s just like a dog’. That’s certainly true of Burmese. They are curious, playful and affectionate cats that like engaging with their human-folk more than many other breeds.

Burmese are medium-sized cats with short, glossy coats. They love to climb and scratch, so a cat climbing gym would be an excellent addition to your apartment to enrich their lives (and help save your couch from clawing).

Maine Coons

Ever wanted to take your cat for a walk on a leash? Well, this large breed might be for you. Maine Coon cats are easy-going socialites who love spending time with their humans – even outdoors.

They’re also less demanding than other breeds, and enjoy some alone time. Purrfect for pet parents with hectic schedules. A few toys and access to a window to watch the world go by will keep them entertained for hours.

Ragdoll cats

Bred to be mega chillers, ragdoll cats are perfect for unit-dwellers. As the name implies, these funny felines literally go floppy when picked up. They are hugely charismatic cats and a wonderful choice if you want a real snuggle bug of a pet.

Ragdolls are known to follow their owners around adoringly, just like a dog. They are a largish cat with medium to long hair that will shed, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Rescued moggies as best pets for apartments

Why not save a cat’s life, and adopt your feline friend from a shelter? You could find yourself with your very own Garfield. Your lasagne-loving tabby will be curious, clever and full of personality. He’ll be a professional bird-watcher, foodie and film critic who loves snuggling on the sofa watching Netflix with you.

Keep him entertained with an enclosed “catio” area, with a climbing and scratching tree, equipped with a range of feathery wands, and he’ll reward you with lots of purry lap time and film-worthy outrageous antics.

Importantly – be sure to ask the shelter which they think will be more suitable for an apartment, as well as any quirks they may have, or feline BFFs they want to stay with.

Best pets for apartments in terms of maintenance

You might have read this article and thought ‘hmmmm maybe I need something even easier to take care of’. And that’s fine! If you’re considering good pets for apartments in Australia, it’s important that you be realistic about your needs and what you can offer a pet. If you need something which requires less time and effort, we have you covered – see our article on the lowest maintenance pets for apartments.

Protecting your pet’s living situation – apartment or not

As you can see, living in an apartment shouldn’t put you off becoming a pet parent. There are plenty of good choices for pets in apartments in Australia. Living in a space without a huge garden doesn’t mean you have to go without the companionship of a pet.

At PD Insurance we want your pet to live a long, happy life. If the unthinkable happens and you have unexpected vet bills, our pet insurance will protect your pet (and your pocket) against all kind of medical mishaps. Why not get a quick quote? It’ll only take a few minutes.

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