In my childhood, I adopted a puppy that changed my life and attitude towards animals—I have since become a lifelong animal lover.
What do rabbits, snakes, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, and skunks have in common? The answer - they are all pets that love to cuddle! And they're low maintenance too. They are all low maintenance pets that like to cuddle.
Believe it or not, all of these pets are easy to care for and they would love to snuggle right next to you. Of course, you may find some of the animals we have in our list below kind of bizarre. But give them a chance and you might find one that will endear himself to you for life.
- Pot Belly Pigs
- Guinea Pigs
- Fancy Rats
- Bearded Dragons
At the top of our list are cats. Now, are you a cat person or a dog person? We just put the cats first well, coz, yeah, they're cats. Dogs are on spot number two in our list if you care to check below.
But that doesn't mean dogs are only second best. Well, enough of dogs-we'll talk about them later. Let's focus on our feline friends for just a moment.
Now, we all know that cats have been described as creatures that are usually aloof, disinterested, and at times cold. These guys are usually solitary creatures even though they have been domesticated.
Nevertheless, if you have ever taken care of a cat in your life, you will come to realize that they're not really like that at all. Sure sometimes they love to go about their own business. But often times they are quite the affectionate type.
Of course they show their affection differently than dogs. Dogs will be dogs and cats will be cats. There is plenty of documentation that supports the fact that cats are loyal and loving pets. And they can even go to such lengths as to risk life and limb for their owners.
They usually show their affection by:
- Sitting on your lap
- Following you around
- Rubbing the entire length of their bodies against you
- Protecting you from things they deem as potential threats
- Play cat games with you (that may include scratching and biting though)
- And of course-snuggling next to you for some much needed sleep (they need to sleep 15 hours a day on average, FYI)
2. Dogs (Arguably It Could Be #1 It’s a Cat vs. Dog Bias)
You know how dogs are the minute you arrive home. They would wag their tails, bark at you, paw you, lick you in the face, turn round and round, and look just oh so excited to see you again.
They didn't call these canines as “man's best friend" for nothing, right? If there is one thing that you can really know for sure it's the fact that dogs are fiercely loyal.
They are also very showy when it comes to expressing their affection for you. They sometimes even try to talk to you. They express themselves by:
- Tail wagging
- Following you around
- Leaning right next to you
- Jumping up and down
- Spinning round and round
- Barking and licking
- Hugging and snuggling
The biggest thing about these dogs, well, at least in my opinion, is that they are very social creatures. They can form a bond with their owners and they will cling on to that bond to their graves.
Dogs have this huge desire to belong to a group-they're pack animals and they usually look up to you as the alpha dog-or alpha human to be exact. Now, this is also true of dogs that everyone thinks are too aggressive like Rottweilers and pitbulls.
Even these dogs that we often consider as the big bad meanies have a soft side especially to the ones who take care of them. They sure can be a bit aggressive when they show you they love you, but it is part of the way they communicate their love for you. Whatever the breed, dogs are true blue cuddle buddies.
If you're looking for some of the cutest pets in the planet you need to look no further than the next furry fluffy bunny you can find. Compared to dogs and cats, bunnies or rabbits are really low maintenance. That means they are very easy to care for.
Even though they are not that expressive when showing their emotions, they tend to:
- Follow their masters around
- Jump into the air in great joy
- Running around especially when they have a chance to go around your feet
- Squealing and asking for food (yes, they can recognize your face)
- Playing games
- And they even beg you to give them a pat on the head
Rabbits are actually quite the affectionate pet. They're kind of funny too as they bounce from one spot to the next. However, do take note that just like us humans, rabbits also have a wide range of varying personality types.
Note that some rabbits are downright playful while others are absolutely bashful and quiet. Sometimes they're moody too. Sometimes they only want some quiet time and be alone and at other times they're absolutely outgoing.
You should also remember that rabbits also tend to establish very strong bonds with their owners. Nevertheless, do take note that rabbits don't like being picked up by anyone-even their owners!
They're very easy to take care of which means they can suit any owner. Like dogs and cats, rabbits can also develop a very strong bond with their owners.
Just remember that they tend to respond more to certain ways of pet handling. For instance, even though bunny rabbits don't like being carried around, they would appreciate pats on the head and some cuddling on the side.
So how do you know if a rabbit doesn't like what you're doing? Well, he would give you a little nick or even a scratch.
4. Pot Belly Pigs
Pot-bellied pigs are another popular and low maintenance pets that like to cuddle. Yes, we all know the negative stereotypes we all have about pigs.
We've seen it portrayed in popular media and part of the blame should go to huge film makers-I'm looking at you Disney. Well, this stereotype is even ingrained in our language.
When was the last time you heard someone say "eat like a pig?" Other familiar piggy phrases include "filthy pig" and "sweat like a pig."
However, just like other stereotypes, these views can also be proven wrong and all you have to do is to make a pot belly pig your pet. They're surprisingly cuddly too.
Trivia: Why do pigs roll around in the mud in the wild? Pigs actually don't have any sweat glands and they roll around in the mud in the wild to cool off. Well, since they already have owners giving them baths when they get domesticated then they don't need to roll around mud anymore.
Pot belly pigs are actually quite affectionate. You can even say that they are quite exceptional when it comes to expressing their feelings for others especially their owners.
They have this intense craving for companionship (think Timone and Pumbaa - or something like that). In fact, they respond very well to touch.
Your pet piggy will also need plenty of room to run around - just like a dog does. They love to run around and play and you'll be surprised how game they are when it comes to playing with your dog.
However, remember that they also need lots of shade. They need some space to cool off after some intense games.
Note that your piggy can be quite the curious type. They also tend to get bored rather quickly.
That means you should keep your home “pig proofed." Keep breakables away from your piggy's reach.
Is it okay to keep them inside the house? Yes, but give them some outdoor time as well. When they need to sleep, they can make really great cuddle buddies.
So, how do pigs show their love and affection for you? Here they are:
- You know they want some attention when they rub their snouts on you
- They also tend to follow you around
- They are also rather protective
- They squeal when they want to attract attention
- Pigs also love to play games
- Just like dogs, pot belly pigs also wag their tails when you are around
- They also love to lick the ones they love and they're way into snuggling too.
5. Guinea Pigs
Okay so whenever we hear of guinea pigs we often think of mad science experiments. Oh, these poor things. However, it shouldn't come as a surprise that these cute little guys make amazing house pets. They are even comparable to hamsters. Of course, guinea pigs have unique qualities.
These little critters show their affection and love for you via:
- Sitting on your shoulders
- Following around their favorite humans
- Playing games
- Squealing at you and licking you
Guinea pigs are more active compared to hamsters and they are more acclimatized to open spaces. Hamsters on the other hand prefer more enclosed spaces.
Guinea pigs also like to hang out with their fellow guinea pigs. That means you need to buy at least two guinea pigs so they could be buddies. Watch them hangout with one another and do crazy antics.
Guinea pig care tips:
- Even though they are social creatures they also need time to establish trust with you. Give your furry friend a day or two to get used to your presence after you take them home from the pet shop.
Note that after that important bit of trust has been established, your guinea pig will be very loyal to you. They will ask for a lot of attention, which is another unique trait compared to hamsters. They don't like isolation.
- Guinea pigs will also make their likes and dislikes very apparent. Note that each guinea pig will have a rather unique personality. Some like getting picked up while others are just fine with some petting. Still others will want to play around a lot.
- Handle your guinea pigs more frequently - for them this is a sign of love and care.
- You don't have to spend a ton of money on accessories for your pet guinea pigs. Anything homemade will work as great forms of entertainment. Cardboard boxes, tubes, and pretty much anything that you can find in the house will very popular.
Not everyone can get a horse and keep it as a pet. But if you have cash to burn and you have the space to spare (maybe you have a barn or something), then get one. It shouldn't come as a surprise that these guys are very cuddly.
If you have enough resources then maybe a horse will be a low maintenance cuddly thing to have. Some people may not even consider these guys as pets – but let's call them what they really are.
The wonderful thing about horses is that they have that ability to know and reflect the emotions that you are feeling. They can somehow easily empathize with people.
That is why there is a kind of therapy for recovering drug dependents using horses. They can also be used to calm down children who are considered hard-to-reach.
Because of these qualities these animals are revered as very affectionate creatures. Here are some of the most common horse behaviors:
- They're great for snuggles. They would even nudge you when they want you to hug them.
- They also rub their noses on their owners
- Horses are also known to lean near you.
- You know that your horse is happy with you if you see its nostrils round and they are soft to the touch. When the nose is tight, drawn, and thin you know that your horse is unhappy.
- You know that your horse isn't happy when his lip and lower jaw is drooping and hanging downward. You may even see him dribbling.
- Your horse's ears point in the direction where he is concentrating.
- Box walking and crib biting are signs that your horse is stressed.
Okay, so when you're looking for low maintenance pets that like to cuddle, the last thing on your mind would be a bird, right? Well, guess what. A cockatoo is one of those exceptions.
People think of cockatoos as skittish and at times unintelligent. However, that doesn't mean they can't show any degree of affection or loyalty. Those who make that assumption are usually the folks who have never owned one.
They are playful, yes, and that playfulness is an exercise in their intellect. They can be taught tricks and through the related training involved cockatoos can form a strong cuddly bond with their owners.
They usually crave attention. If it is not provided then the bird will develop behavioral issues. These birds also highly sociable-that means it is best to get a pair at a time.
Cockatoo interactions usually include the following:
- Making noises and gestures to attract your attention
- Allowing you to pick them up and handle them
- Following your movements
Snakes are some of the most fascinating creatures in all of history. Depending on where the legend comes from, snakes are revered as gods or feared as creatures of evil and misfortune.
No matter how you see it, one thing is for sure. Snakes should be treated with respect even if they are your pets or not. They are unconventional pets but they're pretty easy to care for and maintain.
A special bond is usually formed between snakes and their owners. If the relationship has held strong for quite a while, snakes will learn to trust their owners and will go out of their tanks to join them.
These reptiles enjoy exploring their surroundings, just like any other pet you may have ever owned. They will even find other people interesting and investigate a lot of things as well as other people around them as well.
If you're allergic to dogs and cats yet need something that is absolutely cuddly, then try a pet snake.
So, how do you know if a snake likes you?
- It doesn't bite you. There are many reasons why pet snakes will bite their owners. It could just be how you handle your pet reptile.
- They recognize you. Well, that will only happen after a while. And even after many months of caring for a snake, it may still see you as the guy or girl who gives them food. But at least they recognize you, right?
- You know that a snake likes you if one is already comfortable enough to wrap itself around you. A snake will never do that unless he trusts you and likes the way you handle him.
Snakes also do not make any noise. This makes them the perfect pet in case you live in an apartment where making lots of noises is forbidden. They're low maintenance - all you need is to feed it and t's good to go for about a week.
9. Fancy Rats
Rats already have a bad rap from the Pied Piper to Ratatouille. However, what we are actually referring to here are "fancy" rats. They're not your run off the mill sort of rodent that springs out of the sewer.
Fancy rats are actually fast becoming a big favorite among pet owners and for a good reason too. They are loving, cute, and friendly creatures.
On top of that it doesn't take a lot to care for fancy rats. You basically just need a few things - toys, food, and a cage that is big enough for these little critters to run around in.
These cute furry guys are very easy to handle. They also love to play games and it's a lot of fun watching them do their crazy antics. You can setup obstacles for them and watch just how smart they really are. Sometimes all they want to do is hang out on your shoulders, which is pretty cool by the way.
Here are some of the common interactions you can get from fancy rats:
- They hang out on your shoulder.
- They will love to play games, puzzles, and obstacles that you set up.
- They're also game for some snuggling too.
Now, how in the world did skunks get on this list? Just like the other animals on this list skunks have also become a bit notorious and it's not just in the movies. They do stink in real life but that is just Mother Nature's gift to them – it's their defense Mechanism.
NOTE: Before you can keep a skunk as a pet, it should first be de-scented. That will require a quick trip to the vet.
Surprisingly, skunks are actually really cuddly and friendly too. On top of that they have no problems interacting with kids. That kind of puts them at par with cats and dogs.
Other Low Maintenance Pets That Like to Cuddle
The following are some pets that also like to cuddle, who are also low maintenance, but aren't that common among pet owners. Well, they're growing in popularity though. That means there is a growing number of pet-owners who own them-be one of the first to own and care for them and pioneer the way for others.
11. Bearded Dragons
Nope, they're not real dragons and no they don't breathe fire. But they make excellent easy to manage pets. These are gentle lizards and they can be quite expressive too.
On top of that, beardies can also be very affectionate. And they communicate it too via body language.
They do this funky dance by spinning one front leg around in a circle and then followed by another spin of the other front leg. They actually do this whenever they spot something or someone that they think is a threat.
It's their way of telling the other fella that they mean no harm and they don't want any trouble. When they do that to you, then you should quickly reassure your bearded dragon that you don't mean any harm.
Can they recognize the hand that feeds them?
Of course they can. Well, they do not only recognize the hand-they actually remember your face. After getting used to the one feeding and tending to them, beardies often come running to you when they see you come close.
Well, mostly they expect you to give them food. But they also come over for a nice cuddle sometimes. Yes, these guys get clingy sometimes.
Bearded Dragon Care Tips
- Beardies grow fast and they eat a lot and they eat often. Note that they have very fast metabolisms. They usually eat 3 times a day. Give them as much food as they can eat in 15 minutes.
- Remember to keep them hydrated. Even though some bearded dragons have a small body mass (but some can be quite large too), they tend to get dehydrated especially during hot days. They need routine misting and a shallow dish of clean water all the time.
- Provide some heating and lighting in the tank where you keep your beardies. You know that they need some lighting and heat when they tend to lie directly where the light is-it's as if they're sun bathing. Sometimes they lie on top of each other with the most dominant beardie on top where it's closest to the light source.
- Handle them with care. Bearded dragons love to cuddle and they also like it when you pick them up and pet them. But don't overdo it. Sometimes they like to be on their own and get some alone time.
Another pet that is considered as something that is not traditional is the chinchilla. Just like the bearded dragon, this one is also fast becoming a popular pet of choice.
These guys have very soft and cuddly fur, which make them really cuddly too. The downside of caring for chinchillas is that they may require as much time and attention as you would for a dog or cat.
It has been said that a chinchilla combines the cuteness of a puppy, a kitten, and a hamster all rolled into one. Another thing that makes them endearing is the fact that they have an impressive intuition.
Chinchillas also have a happy demeanor, which makes them quite endearing. That also makes them oh so cuddly. They thrive well in a dedicated space just for them-just remember to supply them with enough food and water.
Chinchilla Care Tips:
- There's that getting to know you period in their lives. Chinchillas need some time to get acclimatized to their environment. And they also need time to get to know you.
- They can be a bit resistant to handling at first especially during the first week when you take one home. Don't force your pet – that means don't carry it or even touch it.
- They make friends slowly. Because they can be skittish, that means they also have time getting to know other chinchillas and other pets in the house. Again, give your chinchilla time to acclimatize to its new environment.
- They also need space. Give it enough room where it can climb and run around. That means a small cage won't cut it for your cuddly friend.
- They're finicky eaters. Stick to their diet of raisins, hay, and pellets. Follow feeding instructions strictly too or else your chinchilla may get some gastrointestinal problems.
- Give them lots of love.
Hamsters are fairly common but may need some extra care especially when you're trying to teach your kids how to take care of pets. They do love to nuzzle with their humans and they also love to play games.
However, it's a bit of a sad story that a lot of owners don't give their hammy the love it truly deserves. Sure they're cuddly and fun alright but some of the things we thought were great for them may not exactly be what they really need.
Hamster Care Tips:
- Get a large cage. We all know the sad story-a lot of owners confine hamsters in a small cage thinking that these little guys are already good in small confined spaces.
- It may come as a surprise to some that one hamster actually needs a 30 x 12 inch cage (minimum!). At the most they need somewhere around 360 square feet of space, well that is if you have that much space that you can dedicate for your hammies.
- Get the right sized hamster wheel. Some hamsters are bigger than others and thus some require a bigger wheel. Check the breed of your hammy and that will give you a clue. A dwarf hammy will need a minimum of a 6.5 inch wheel. A Syrian hammy on the other hand will need a 9 inch wheel (minimum).
- Give them something that they can chew on. Isn't it interesting that hamster teeth keep on growing? That also means they always need something to chew. Giving them that will help to keep the teeth from growing way too long.
- Make sure to clean the hammy cage. You know what, hamsters are really clean creatures. They don't make a lot of mess. That is why they are really low maintenance, which means you only need to clean the hammy cage once a week.
- They need food and water on a regular basis. Feed your pet hammies like you would any cat or dog. Give them fresh feed and water daily.
- Let them sleep. Just like cats, hamsters also need plenty of sleep. Believe it or not but hamsters are actually nocturnal. If they sleep during the day make sure not to disturb them. You can wake them up at 6 pm though, which should be their regular waking time.
- No loud sounds during sleep and nappy times.
- Give them plenty of attention every day and they will love you forever.
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- The Best Pocket Pets for Your Lifestyle, United Veterinary Center. Retrieved on January 14, 2018
- What kind of pet is affectionate, calm, small, and low maintenance?, Quora - Users Choice. Retrieved on January 14, 2018
Seth on November 08, 2019:
Isabella from Canada on October 16, 2019:
I enjoy the amount of detail and effort put into the article, greatly done!
Avalyn Jones on September 17, 2019:
Very Informative and well-described article. I am also writing about small pets but this article is really full of a lot of information I didn't know earlier.
If someone I willing to read more visit my article vettycare.com/pocket-pets