11 of the best pets for busy college students


If you’re a student with a tight schedule and a not-so-spacious apartment, owning a pet may be the last thing on your mind.

But, luckily, there are some sympathetic little creatures that could be a perfect companion while you live away from your parents and graduate.

Here are 11 of the best pets for students!

1. Birds

If you want to own a pet that is interesting to look at and to be around but low in maintenance, birds are the perfect first choice!

To start off with your new avian bestie, canaries, parakeets, cockatiels, and finches are some of the best species to have. These animals are super intelligent, which makes them easy to train and care for.

Owning a bird can be a rewarding experience, especially for students who aren’t really interested in large pets. Photo: Huỳnh Đạt / Pexels

Also, owning a bird will not hurt your budget, as it only needs a cage large enough for it to fly, toys to occupy it, food and water. Simple!

2. Hamsters

Probably one of the best pet choices for college students, a hamster could be your perfect furry, stress-relieving companion.

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Hamsters are a great addition to your life. They are ideal for students with busy academic schedules. Photo: Sharon Snider / Pexels

A hamster doesn’t require a lot of attention, so it’s ideal if you’re a student who always has a lot of schoolwork to do. While you should always interact with them to build confidence, these cute and cuddly animals often just spend their time exercising on their wheels and chewing on their toys while you study.

3. Fish

Imagine walking into your dorm after a long day and seeing brightly colored fish swarming in an aquarium. How relaxing! Whether you choose to own a goldfish, guppy, neon tetra, or betta fish, there are a multitude of reasons why a fish friend might be the best pet for you, such as:

  • they don’t take up much space
  • They require relatively little maintenance. Daily nutrition and a clean tank are all they need to survive and thrive
  • They are excellent listeners who are happy to listen to you rattle off the data and formulas you are trying to memorize 😉
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Isn’t it relaxing watching brightly colored fish after you come home from school? Photo: Khoa Vo / Pexels

4. Mouse

A busy student will probably want to have a cute companion who asks very little of their owners – this is where mice take center stage!

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Mice are small and easy to care for, making them great pets for students. Photo: Alexas Fotos / Pexels

Known to be nocturnal animals, mice are perfect for students who go to school during the day. Plus, these wonderful pets are really fun to look at and easy to care for. Owning them is also inexpensive and convenient as they don’t eat a lot and don’t take up a lot of space (did we say chamber animals?) ✅

5. Small breed dogs

Here’s everyone’s best friend: dogs!

These cuddly, furry animals can be great companions for students, especially after a hard day at school. Using kindness and charm as their primary weapons, dogs have a super power to lighten your mood and give you a sense of emotional well-being.

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Probably one of the sweetest pets, dogs make a great companion for students. They can lighten your mood and make you feel loved. Photo: Hélène Lopes / Pexels

Of course, if you are a busy student, you need to make sure you have the time, energy, and commitment for a dog. Plus, you’ll probably need a fair amount of space – so think carefully if this pet is right for your lifestyle.

6. Cats

Some students may think that cats are not ideal for pets because they need large spaces to roam around and are quite expensive to maintain. Well, think again!

These sweet, friendly creatures often don’t care whether your dorm or apartment is big or small. In fact, cats can live in as little as 18 square feet as long as you give them food, clean litter, and preferably a way out and stretch their paws.

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Fall in love with the cuteness and gentleness of a friendly creature called the cat. Photo: Tomas Ryant / Pexels

Best of all, cats are independent. They’ll be there for you when you need them, but they also have the ability to keep you entertained – perfect when you need to focus on your studies for exams.

7. Guinea pigs

Want to own an adorable companion without giving a lot of specialist care?

Introducing the gentle but discreet creatures called guinea pigs! This rodent species belongs to a family of Caviidae, has a huge personality, and can live in a range of environments. They can also survive in confined spaces, making them ideal for students who have small dorms. Keep in mind that guinea pigs are herding animals, so it’s best to have two in case you aren’t around enough to give them the attention they need.

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Even if you have a not-so-spacious apartment, you can still own guinea pigs as they can survive in enclosed spaces. Photo: Scott Webb / Pexels

Advice: When you own guinea pigs, make sure you let them out of their cages at least once a day and that your apartment is safe from leaks.

8. Turtles

Much like fish, turtles are ideal pets for students. They are easy to maintain and only require space in your room where a small to medium sized aquarium can be placed.

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Turtles are a perfect pet for students who have small apartments. Photo: Lachlan Ross / Pexels

You also won’t have to worry about them bothering you when you are studying, as these animals are quiet. Plus, it’s easy to feed them as they don’t need a lot of food and they’re omnivores, so they can eat almost anything!

9. Hermit crab

In case you want to try something different for a pet, hermit crabs are definitely a good choice!

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Try something unusual for a pet! Hermit Crabs are fascinating to watch, perfect for someone who has had a hard day at school. Photo: Ahmed Sobah / Unsplash

These creatures only live inside aquariums, which makes them ideal for students who don’t have a lot of space. They are also fascinating to watch. You’ll often see them climbing and exploring their surroundings, a great way to give your brain a break after using it all day.

Advice: Hermit crabs love company, so it’s best to have multiple crabs living together. ?? 🦀

10. Tarantulas

Fancy an extraordinary experience as a pet owner? Why not try a tarantula?

As intimidating and frightening as they may seem, these large hairy spiders can be fascinating to care for. Once you start feeding them and learning about their behavior, watching tarantulas crawl around their terrariums will leave you speechless.

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Tarantulas require little maintenance. Photo: Damon on the Road / Unsplash

Tarantulas are also a great budget diet for college students who have other things to pay for. They can even survive for weeks without food, but it’s best to feed them once a week or so.

11. Lizards

For students who love reptiles, a cute little lizard might be the perfect pet.

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Just by looking at them, lizards can make you smile and momentarily forget about any problems you are having in school. Photo: Verdian Chua / Unsplash

Lizards are ideal for busy students because they are low maintenance. Simply set up a tank with gravel, sand, and seashells and you are good to go. They are also convenient for students on a budget, as they do not have a special diet. A few bugs from the pet store or leafy greens from the supermarket are enough to fill their little stomachs. ??


Owning a pet in the middle of your busy student schedules can be a daunting task. Feeling prepared and ready for a boyfriend’s engagement? Go ahead and choose a pet worthy of your tender love and care!


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