The 6 Best Pets for Introverts

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: November 27, 2023
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Some may observe you as withdrawn or aloof, but you know how rich your inner world is. While socializing with others may not be your go-to cup of tea, you can bring home a pet that ensures you’re never completely alone (yet respects your reticent nature). Discover the six best pets for introverts!

1. Cats

woman's hand stroking a ginger cat on Isolated white background

Cats make wonderful companions for introverts because they’re relatively low-maintenance and enjoy a quiet environment.

©Seregraff/Shutterstock.com

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Kitties can live out their entire lives in a cozy indoor environment alongside their owners. They don’t demand to be outdoors, but you can certainly harness-train them or take them out in a cat stroller or cat backpack if you’d like to take a walk around the neighborhood. Felines are very low maintenance, requiring at least two 15-minute play sessions per day along with plenty of fresh water, nutrient-dense foods, and a clean litter box. Some cats are cuddlier than others, but introverts are quite content enjoying the company of a cat, whether they’re reserved or extra snuggly.

The beauty of cats is that you can have more than one and they are not disruptive to your generally quiet home environment. Introverts have specific preferences when it comes to their choice of music, TV shows and movies, and general hobbies. Cats align well no matter if you’re a gamer or the type to spend hours at your reading nook. A cat adjusts to you, happily snoozing throughout most of their days. Cats also offer the loveliest excuse when having to depart early from a social outing: “I’m so sorry, this was fun. But I have to go feed my cat(s)!”

Kim Somers Egelesee, Author, Speaker, Life Coach, and Intuitive, told A-Z-Animals that, “Introverts benefit from having pets like cats, dogs or birds because it enables them to feel a connection and love without compromising their comfort or ways of living. A pet adds years to one’s life, warmth to each encounter, and love to those who have them. When someone is introverted, a pet can also help them get out of the house and socialize in a dog park or walk outside. Even at home, pets give them a friend to cuddle with, talk to, and care for.”

2. Rats

Pet rat being pet by children

Rats make good pets for introverts because they are social, intelligent creatures.

©iStock.com/Olga Evtushkova

Even though rats are small pets, they still keep you occupied and make for fantastic company. These are social creatures so you can plan to adopt at least two bonded rats. In a quiet home, rats can thrive, especially because they get the care they deserve. If your home is much too busy and includes children, a rat may not be the best pet, considering they do nip at the skin when they are frightened. They need gentle handling, and you must wash your hands after having close contact with them.

Although rats are relatively low maintenance, they need some time outside of their enclosures for proper exercise and play. This is time you can spend with your rat as it enjoys stimulation outside of its cage. The more you bond with your rat, the more you realize how intelligent and charismatic these little creatures are. However, if you are immuno-compromised or pregnant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a recommendation that you avoid having a pet rat or other pet rodent in the home.

Your responsibilities with a pet rat aren’t just supervision during playtime outside of their cage, but also keeping their cage clean each week. This means you’re going to be replacing their bedding a couple of times each week as well as cleaning up their soiled litter regularly. These are small, sweet, and social mammals with a lifespan of only two to three years. As much as you get a chance to enjoy their company, you have to prepare yourself for their rather short lifespan.

3. Mice

Little pet: mouse on arm. Long haired decorative little mouse. Home animal, fun pet. Cute mice. Bicolor splashed mouse on white background. Decorative satin mouse. Photo of mice, pet. Animal and hand

A mouse can be enjoyed through gentle handling and by simply watching them interact in their cage.

©Sergey Bezgodov/Shutterstock.com

Mice, like rats, are a rodent species that can make wonderful companions for introverts. They also have short lifespans of about three years, so it’s not too much of a long-term commitment if that’s what you’re looking for. If you’re the type of introvert who is sensitive to noise, you and your pet mouse will get along just fine. Mice are also sensitive to noise (and light). They like building their own nests to create comfort in their cages.

They don’t demand much from you and offer you companionship in a unique way. You can observe them and how they behave in their cages, getting to know their characteristics and unique personality traits. If you’re more of a shy introvert, you can probably relate to a mouse because it can be quite skittish and prefers to be with one of its own on a one-on-one basis. The ideal scenario is having two females, but you can also opt for housing a small group of bonded mice together.

Some mice, when not properly socialized early on, do not like being handled and can get quite stressed. However, if you raise a mouse and socialize it early on, ultra-gentle handling may be okay. Your primary responsibilities with pet mice are keeping their cages clean each week, focusing on feeding, and ensuring they have all they need. If you’re a night owl, you can keep pet mice in your bedroom as they are also most active after nightfall.

4. Dogs

Joyful woman spending time running with dogs on sandy beach

Dogs are good for those who are introverted because they offer loyal, loving companionship and are available in different sizes and temperaments!

©Aleksandr Zotov/iStock via Getty Images

While some dogs are high-energy, requiring an active, outdoorsy type of owner, other dog breeds are perfect for a slower-paced introvert. For instance, a Shiba Inu is the most cat-like dog you can imagine. They are loyal to you, but they’re not interested in strangers so they’re not going to drag you into uncomfortable conversations when you’re out on your daily walks. They’re impressively intelligent, which means you get a chance to train them and bond with them at home, where you are both comfortable.

If you’re looking more for a lapdog, you might consider a Chihuahua. These pups have a reputation for being quite sassy and can also help you keep new people from overstaying their welcome. A pug is a bit chunkier, but it’s the type of dog that needs some time at home to recharge after a particularly eventful day. They’re cuddle bugs which makes for a cozy sleep routine (but prepare yourself for some snoring once they’re snoozing).

5. Hamsters

Hamster eating carrots.

Hamsters are cute, tiny, and make the perfect pet for introverts.

©tanya_morozz/Shutterstock.com

Different types of hamsters have different temperaments. Like rats and mice, hamsters also have a short lifespan, so be sure to prepare for that. They typically live up to two years and in some cases, they may live a little bit longer. These small mammals are explorers, curious about their environment, and especially active at night.

Some hamsters, like the Syrian hamster, are solitary. Like you, they enjoy life on their own. Other types of hamsters can live in pairs, but you must double-check before deciding on which might be best for you. No matter what, you are going to be responsible for their enclosure so make sure that it is escape-proof, adequately ventilated, and lined with bedding that is highly absorbent. Weekly cleanings, plenty of exercise, chew toys, and play are all these creatures need for a life well lived.

6. Fish

As pets, fish become a wonderful project that takes up your time and fills your heart (especially if you’re a beginner!).

©iStock.com/Kanawa_Studio

These beautiful creatures are surprisingly rewarding. When you set up their aquariums with everything they need, they thank you by simply existing, swimming around, and offering you 24/7 entertainment. Not all fish are for beginners, however. If you’ve never owned fish, there are a few that are both beautiful and relatively easy to care for like the betta fish, goldfish, and guppy, to name a few.

When you decide on the type of fish you’d like to care for, consider the type of tank they need, the type of food they require, and all other details, including the proper pH and temperature of their water. Some fish do well with other tank mates while others prefer to be alone. It becomes a fun project planning all these aspects of owning fish and when you have it all settled, the end result is absolutely worth it.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Look Studio/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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