9 Low Maintenance Pets That Like to Cuddle

I love to cuddle and I love animals. But of course, not every animal loves to cuddle, and some animals require a lot of upkeep. So I wondered what are the best low maintenance pets that like to cuddle?

Here’s what I learned:

The animals that are the lowest maintenance that is the most affectionate include Bombay cats, golden retrievers, hedgehogs, chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters, and Himalayan bunnies. These animals require just a little upkeep and love to be played with, held, and cuddled.

Animals have been loyal companions to humans for centuries, and it is natural for us to want to keep a pet for their numerous benefits.

They provide us with companionship, protection, and love. However, with that being said, keeping a pet comes with its own set of responsibilities, and many of us are just not ready for that.

Luckily, not all types of pets need to be walked or make messes regularly. So I compiled a list of pets that are easy to maintain and would make great cuddle companions.

Get 30% off your first box of Pet Plate, fresh-made dog food delivered straight to your door!

If you don’t know Pet Plate, they cook fresh, real food for your dog, personalized for you and your dog’s needs. Then they deliver it fresh to your door!

You may have heard about them from Forbes, the Wall Street Journal or on NBC. They’re the ones that use no by-products, artificial ingredients or preservatives; only the good stuff for your dog!

Now, when you place your first order, you’ll get 30% off their already low price!

Just CLICK HERE to check out Pet Plate on their site and see just how great they are!

Co-authored with Shawn Richards, dog owner and expert from FeedFond.com.

What pet is low maintenance?

Low maintenance simply means a pet won’t take up a lot of time to care for, nor will it cost a lot of money providing food, toys, etc.

Some pets, of course, are low maintenance but aren’t ones you would cuddle, and those include:

  • Goldfish or Beta fish
  • Finches or canaries
  • Sea Monkeys
  • Snakes

Arguably some people might want to cuddle a snake, but for the most part, those are the top low maintenance pets that you would NOT cuddle.

Of course, as we’ll get more into below, there are also some low maintenance pets that are cuddly, such as:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Rabbits
  • Guinea pigs
  • Rodents

With the exception of dogs and cats, you’ll notice everything else on the list would typically live in a cage or a tank.

Being contained in a small space is part of what makes a pet low maintenance as they don’t freely roam your house (and potentially add to your cleanup duties).

Which pets are the most affectionate?

We just covered the top low maintenance pets, but of course, some of those, like a goldfish, isn’t terribly affectionate.

Some of the best pets to be affectionate with include:

  • Dogs (especially Golden Retrievers, Collies, and English Bulldogs)
  • Cats (especially Bombays, Cornish Rex, and Siamese)
  • Parrots (not terribly physically affectionate, but they grow very attached to their owners)
  • Pigs (especially pot-bellied pigs)
  • Horses
  • Rats

Are turtles low maintenance pets?

The short answer is not really.

Turtles need the perfect environment to live in properly. That includes the right space, the right light, temperature, and water.

It’s also good to know that turtles can live for decades, so if you found one in the yard or just want to get one for your 8-year-old, remember it will need love and care long after little Johnny has moved on.

Think you’ll just let it loose in the yard? Think again. Turtles raised and bred in captivity don’t often survive when released in the wild, and sometimes spread diseases to other animals too.

Speaking of diseases, it’s also worth noting that turtles do sometimes carry salmonella which is why turtles under 4″ in length were banned for sale in the US in 1975 as smaller turtles were more likely to carry the virus.

So if you are looking for a low maintenance pet, the turtle is probably not the right choice.

Best small pets for cuddling


Cats are known for being a bit aloof and being affectionate when and where they want to be.

But there are some breeds that are more consistently affectionate than others. I don’t have any now, but in my life, I’ve owned 7 Cornish Rex cats (they look a bit like Mr. Bigglesworth in the Austin Powers movies after the cat shrinks).

They are incredibly affectionate and loving. Not fluffy, mind you. But loving nonetheless. But the sweetest cat I ever owned was a Peterbald.


Not all dogs are small, of course. And not all dogs are affectionate. But when you get the right combination of size and temperament, you’ll get a best friend for life.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or a French or English bulldog make great choices as would almost any type of terrier.


Some rabbits are a bit more aggressive or aloof than others. But the Himalayan or Californian rabbit are great choices for a small cuddly pet. Fluffy and low maintenance, rabbits are easy to care for. 

Best of all, they don’t make much mess and are really quiet. But they’re always ready for you to love on them when you’re ready.

Guinea pigs

More loveable than a rat or hamster, and almost as fluffy as a rabbit, guinea pigs make a great choice if you’re looking for one of the best small pets for cuddling.

They show their emotions well, so you’ll know how they feel about you.

Plus, they don’t really need a lot of attention unlike many of the animals we’ve listed. But they’ll be ready to cuddle when you are.

Pot-Bellied Pigs

Of course, some pigs grow quite large, and when they live outside, they can be pretty dirty. Often those pigs have rough, coarse hair too.

But a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is different!

These are as small as a small to medium-sized dog and won’t grow beyond that. Plus, they LOVE affection. They crave it, in fact. If you’re looking for a sweet, loyal animal who will follow you around and curl up on the couch with you to watch a show, this is your animal!

Low maintenance office pets

Sometimes it’s nice to have pets where we work.

It’s a nice distraction, tends to bring the staff together, and it’s fun to take care of animals and can improve the overall mood of the workplace. But don’t just take my word for it.

Banfield conducted an extensive study on pets in the workplace and its impact on:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Feelings about work-life balance
  • Productivity
  • Turnover

Overwhelmingly, that study found that “Pet-friendly workplace policies were shown to not only help companies retain current employees but to help them attract new hires as well”.

But, of course, not every pet is going to be a good pick for your office.

Some are too messy, some just need too much attention, and others would just be too big for the average office space. While people bringing their own dogs to work, is most common, other common pets that live at the office include:

  • Goldfish
  • Hamsters
  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Rabbits

So now let’s review the top 9 . . .

Lowest maintenance pets you can cuddle with:

1. Bombay & Scottish Fold Cats

Cats are a good balance between minimal effort and a companion.

As natural hunters, they will sometimes tend to look for food on their own and look for their own entertainment. Furthermore, they do not shed as much like a dog and also do not need to be walked.

If trained properly, they will even go to the bathroom in the specified area.

All you need to do is train them a little, clean, and feed them. In return for this small amount of effort, they will reward you with an immense amount of affection and cuddles.

Of course, everyone knows cats are low maintenance pets and most do like to cuddle, so here, we’re focused on which breeds of cats are the most affectionate.

Topping that list is the Scottish Fold and the Bombay, but there are few other cats that both love to cuddle and are low maintenance and those includes:

  • Cornish & Devon Rex cats
  • Sphynx cats
  • Siamese
  • Peterbald cats

Some cats shed more than others, of course, so if you do find yourself overwhelmed with cat hair, check out some of the most effective ways to Get Rid of Pet Hair (click to read on my site) in your home.

2. Golden Retrievers and English Bulldogs

Dogs are not called man’s best friend for no reason. They are easy to maintain and also are fantastic companions!

When it comes to maintenance, you do have to put in a bit of effort such as cleaning after them, taking them on walks, and feeding them on time. However, a huge portion of these responsibilities can be omitted or reduced simply by training them properly.

Though it’s not applicable for all breeds of dogs, some breeds often shed fur. To make your cleaning process easier, make sure to brush up on the best tips to Get Rid of Dog Odor in Carpet (click to read on my site).

Not all dogs love a good cuddle, which is why our top picks for low maintenance dogs that love to cuddle include both the English Bulldog and Golden Retrievers.

But in addition to those two, you’ll also find great low maintenance affectionate companions in:

  • Collies
  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Irish Wolfhounds
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These are all dogs that will love to love on you and don’t require a ton of upkeep.

3. Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs have recently been increasing in popularity as pets, especially because they are so cute and cuddly!

These small creatures are also easy to care for. They are friendly and playful, yet quiet.

So, you might even consider adopting a hedgehog! But make sure to check if it’s legal in your area to adopt a hedgehog or not.

4. Chinchillas

When it comes to maintenance, chinchillas require most of the same things as others such as feeding and cleaning, but it’s not so difficult taking care of a chinchilla. They are beautiful, caring and make for wonderful pets

They might be small but they make it up with their affectionate cuddles.

5. Hamsters

Hamsters are one of the most popular introductory pets around the world, so we just couldn’t leave them out of our list! These small creatures are perfect pets for your child, to introduce them to the responsibilities of a pet.

Hamsters are very playful and active, not too loud and are very loving. They will stay in a limited place if you keep them in a cage. Even if you feel like you cannot manage time to play with them, installing a wheel in their cage will keep them busy!

Besides, as they are popular pets, information on their care is widely available. However, though hamsters don’t require your attention at all times, you should ensure that you clean and feed them on time, and also take care of them when they fall ill.

6. Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are excellent pets. Compared to many other pets, the initial cost of them and regular maintenance costs are not too high. Like hamsters, they require some attention but they can easily entertain themselves and can stay in limited space if given a cage.

In general, they are very emotional and caring animals and would love your cuddles.

7. Ferrets

Ferrets are extremely energetic, loving and fun!

They even have a good lifespan of 6 to 10 years. Ferrets love to play, so you’ll have a great time keeping one as a pet.

However, do keep in mind that ferrets cannot be left in the cage for long hours.

They are a bit mischievous, but if you get close to one, they will love you like of their own and shower you with hugs and cuddles.

It’s also usually recommended to keep ferrets in pairs as solo ferrets tend to be less social.

8. Himalayan or Californian Bunnies

These adorable creatures are another great low maintenance pet.

When it comes to maintenance, you will surely have to feed them regularly, clean up after them, and play with them as bunnies are very active animals.

It’s best to keep bunnies in pairs as they are quite social animals. And it would be a good idea to neuter one of them if your pair of bunnies are of the opposite genders.

Other than that, bunnies do not need too much attention. They are not too loud and are able to stay in limited spaces most of the time. And not to forget, they are amazing cuddle buddies!

Like most animals, certain breeds of rabbits are more affectionate than others, which is why we selected either the Himalayan or Californian rabbit as our top picks for low maintenance rabbits that like to cuddle. But other great choices include:

  • Dutch rabbits
  • Chinchilla Rabbits
  • Thrianta Rabbits
  • Sussex Rabbits

9. Teacup Pot-Bellied Pigs

It might sound strange to think of cuddling with a pig.

After all, we picture them living in filth, rolling around in mud. Some pigs can also be aggressive and grow quite large.

But a pot-bellied pig is different.

Pot-Bellied pigs LOVE and crave attention and affection. They respond extremely well to touch. In fact, sometimes they are so affectionate that some might not also think of them as low maintenance.

There are a few different types of pot-bellied pigs and some get bigger than others, although all are affectionate. We selected the Teacup Pot Bellied pig since it is one of the smaller pigs, getting to between 35-45 lbs and 14 1/2 inches tall when fully grown.

Did we cover all you wanted to know about low maintenance pets that like to cuddle?

In this post, we took an in-depth look at the world of super affectionate pets that don’t require a lot of upkeep.

After all, some are super loyal but are (literally) as big as a horse.

Others are just content in a cage or tank but don’t really interact with us or not, so we don’t even really know if they’re aware of our existence.

So we listed out all of the best low maintenance pets that like to cuddle, so you and your family can make the right choice for your household!

So, which one of these are you adopting soon? Let us know in the comments section.

Who doesn’t want a $100 Gift Card to PetCo?

Right now, you can answer 3 simple questions about your shopping habits and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to get a $100 gift card to PetCo

Ready to answer those 3 simple questions? Just click to go to the National Consumer Center and get started right now!

Co-authored with Shawn Richards, dog owner and expert from FeedFond.com.

About the co-author of this post: 

Shawn is a content writer at FeedFond. He’s a doting father not only to his two children but also to his two Golden Retrievers. Check out more at FeedFond.com.

Want to write for Middle Class Dad too? Check out everything you need to know on my Guest Blog Page.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

Top Related Posts