From all the domesticated animals, dogs are arguably the most “human-like” companions a person can have.  They have a highly sophisticated set of emotions which often parallels those of their owners.  Dogs become sad, happy, bored, anxious, excited in ways that are very recognizable to us, which makes it very easy and natural to interact with them and develop extremely deep connections.  Some studies claim dogs can help reduce your stress levels and significantly help those afflicted with depression. Some will say they are the next best thing to actually being with a person…and true dog lovers would contest they are even better.

Dogs are indeed like humans in many ways, and this also means they require plenty of attention from their owners.  They need to be fed and walked on a daily basis, which could be a problem if you have irregular schedules or travel frequently.  Dogs have a very strong sense of “wanting to belong”, be “part of the pack”.  They will want to be a part of your life, sit with you on the couch, go with you to the store, play at the park, run in the forest.  It’s easy to see why one could fall in love with our canine friends.  


A most popular choice for those living alone is of course cats.  Cats are much lighter on the maintenance scale as compared to dogs.  Felines are a lot more self sufficient and are more likely to need less from their owners.  The majority of cats will eventually find a way to the world outside your home and will very often be gone for hours, sometimes days.  Cats need their space and are very comfortable letting you know when they want to be left alone.  Outside of feeding them daily, there are not a lot of other major daily responsibilities a cat will entail. 


Another big favorite on the list is birds.  From parrots to parakeets, these animals have captured the hearts of many.  From this whole list, this category has a unique element; these are the only animals that can actually “speak” back to you.  That has to be a huge point of interest for many!  Birds are not high maintenance, as feeding is the only thing you need to regularly do.  Placing some seeds in their feeding bowl will not take up too much of your time. There is one prickly point though, they can be quite loud.  If you are living in an apartment building, this could be an issue with your neighbors. 

Rodents: Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Mice, Chinchillas, Rats

The cuteness is non stop with these animals.  Everything they do is cute!  Watching a hamster poke out its little arms and hands, grab a nut, stuff its mouth with it, suddenly darting away with their wobbly walk, stopping on a dime and standing up on their hind legs to probe the air with their whiskers…I mean, I could watch that all day!  Even when they are completely still and the only thing you see is their little nose closing and opening…they’re still so cute!  Another wonderful quality that people living alone will appreciate from the rodent group is that these creatures are highly intelligent and are quite capable of entertaining themselves.  You have undoubtedly seen them playing with their spinning wheels, treadmills, and mazes -which in that case- they were entertaining you.  


To many, having a home aquarium is like having a moving, breathing painting.  And in many ways it is.  You have to admit that there is a very strong hypnotizing element to watching fish swim around in a colorful oversized bowl.  No wonder so many solos seek out these companions as agents of calm and tranquility in their home.

Having said that, fish require a lot of work.  Maintaining their living environment is a very laborious task.  You need to constantly monitor their water quality, oxygen levels, check for algae or unwanted growths, and clean out their aquarium regularly.  There is no question of how beautiful these animals are and how much peace they can potentially add to your living space, but just make sure you are up to the high maintenance ahead of you.


If you have ever been in a room with a ferret, you know what I mean.  Being with a ferret is like being in a sitcom.  They are wacky, relentlessly curious, and have limitless amounts of energy!  Ferrets will require a bit more attention than most animals in this list, making them the perfect pets for playful owners.

You can let ferrets roam around your house as well as placing them in a cage.  If you do let them patrol around your house freely though, you’ll need to watch out for them as they never are where you saw them last. Those late nights trips to the kitchen or bathroom can produce some unexpected surprises.  If you decide to arrange a cage for your furry friend, just make sure it is well stocked with amenities as ferrets love to play, hide and have fun! 



In direct contrast to ferrets, geckos are barely noticeable.  They don’t make noise, don’t run around, and if you would throw a ball at them…they wouldn’t have a clue what to do with it.  Geckos are not very social animals, and for some solos, that is just fine with them.  Another plus point is they have an extremely low maintenance requirement.  Some geckos can actually just feed themselves with the insects around your house.  


Snakes are like geckos in many ways, but there are some major obvious differences.  Snakes are much larger animals and will require a lot more space.  You will need to make sure their aquarium is properly secured, as once you lose a snake, it’s extremely hard to find.  But the most tangible difference is how they feed.  Many snake owners are fascinated by watching their snakes devour live mice or other small prey.  Perhaps a point that has a big “silent” attraction to owning a snake is that you actually have a true reptilian predator at home.  There is something to be said about having an animal inside your living room which you would normally be terrified of encountering out in nature.

Tarantulas, Spiders 

Same as with snakes, but the insect version.  In this case though, a tarantula will most likely be poisonous, which certainly adds another dimension.  They are low maintenance, as they don’t need to eat every day, and like geckos, can feed themselves with common household insects if necessary.  If you have never seen a tarantula from up close, stop by your local pet shop and check them out.  They are surprisingly beautiful and elegant creatures.   


I have to admit, I find it very difficult to see a turtle and not think of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…it’s like…I can’t…they are in every little turtle I see.  These animals are cute in a very slow motion kind of way.  To watch a turtle eat a lettuce leaf, is like watching a statue eat a lettuce leaf.  The rubbery neck elongates…14 seconds…the jaws open…9 seconds…bites into the lettuce…7 seconds…chews…2 minutes.  You would think this is boring, but when you see it in front of you, the details of their motions just capture you.   

Turtles will usually live in an aquarium, and this means you will have to clean up fairly regularly.  Certainly not as much as with fish, but often enough that it will become part of your schedule.  You will need to constantly feed them, but other than that, they are quite cool pets. 


To see an ant farm is to love an ant farm.  There is something truly fascinating about seeing ants at work.  Day in, day out, they are constantly doing amazing stuff!  If you look closely, the tunnels these ants build are small wonders of engineering, and they are at it every day!  As busy as these insects are, they require minimal attention and maintenance from their owners. Provide them with a little moisture in their environment, and drop small pieces of vegetables, fruits, or nuts, and they should be good to go. Ants are the ideal pets for singles and solos that travel frequently.

  • If you would like to learn more about “Living Alone”:

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