When you think of low maintenance pets, you might think of goldfish or gerbils or some kind of other animal who needs food, water, cleanliness, and little else. But if you want low maintenance pets that like to cuddle, that's a whole different ball of fur.
You certainly can't cuddle with a goldfish, for long, and gerbils generally like their space. You might even wonder if cuddly pets and low maintenance pets fit into the same category at all. Lucky for you, there are some that fit into both categories.
But first, we need to zero in on your definition of low maintenance before we get to the cuddly goodness.
Characteristics of a Low Maintenance Pet
Different people have different ideas about what a low maintenance pet means. For some it might mean food, water, wash -- basically your set it and forget it friend.
That level of care usually doesn't pair well with a cuddly pet. That's true for a couple of reasons. If your pet requires very little care and attention, chances are they're fine in their independence. If that's true, cuddling is not high on their priority list. They may tolerate it some, but not for long periods and certainly not as much as you would probably like.
For a pet to want to cuddle with you, there has to be a bond. Bonding means work and lots of attention. Work and lots of attention isn't the first thing on your mind when you think of low maintenance.
See where we're going here?
To have low maintenance pets that like to cuddle, the truth is, they're not going to be completely low maintenance. You're going to have your basic food, water, cleaning, and general care. That's just part of having a pet.
Just as there are degrees of low maintenance, there are also levels of cuddling.
When you think of low maintenance pets that like to cuddle, are you thinking:
Cuddles every now and then?
Lengthy cuddles on the couch?
Hugs and kisses and lots of pets?
Of course, you could probably get any pet to cuddle to some degree, but you don't want to force your pet to cuddle. You want one who genuinely likes to cuddle, and we've got that.
For our purposes here, we're going to assume you want low maintenance pets that like to cuddle at least some of the time.
Why You Need Low Maintenance Pets That like to Cuddle
There are different reasons why you might want low maintenance pets that like to cuddle. These types of pets are really great for kids, the elderly, the disabled, and the chronically ill.
Not only that, people are busy. We've got most families where both parents work, and the kids go to school, and it's hard to have a high maintenance pet. But you still want those snuggles. Am I right?
Just because we live in a busy world, doesn't mean we don't want a loving face to come home to and cuddles on the couch while catching up on our latest Netflix obsession.
And hey, we could all use a little extra love.
One Size Fits Most
Now, while we've found low maintenance pets that like to cuddle, that's not to say if you get one, they're guaranteed to cuddle with you.
Just like all of us, our pets have their own personalities, wants, and needs. You may get that odd potato who doesn't really like to cuddle. But we hope you love him just the same.
On the other end of the spectrum, you could have a pet who isn't a typical cuddler turn out to be the biggest cuddler of all. Bottom line, you never know.
So, if your chinchilla, Charlie, likes to cuddle and all he needs is food, water, and a bedding change every once in a while. Great! But chinchillas, in general, get stressed out while cuddling, so they didn't make it on the list. Sorry, Charlie.
Above all, remember, just because your pet doesn't want to cuddle, doesn't mean they don't show their love in other ways. So, be on the lookout for clues and accept your pet as is.
The Best Low Maintenance Pets That like to Cuddle
We scoured the internet looking for low maintenance pets that like to cuddle, and we've whittled our list down to six. Like we said, there's no guarantee, but these low maintenance pets will give you the best shot at finding a cuddler.
Your best friend
It should come as no surprise that dogs are on the list. That said, not all dogs
are low maintenance, and not all dogs like to snuggle.
Terriers, for example, may cuddle with you, but their high energy generally puts them into the high maintenance category. Plus, their cuddles might be few and far between or even non-existent.
Spaniels, on the other hand, might love to cuddle, but their grooming care alone puts them into high maintenance.
Yellow lab -- faithful, work closely with humans, ideal companion, cuddle bug
Collie -- good with kids, devoted, snugglers
Greyhound -- couch potato, loafer
Rescue dogs -- grateful, loyal, loving
You might be surprised to find cats on our list of low maintenance pets that like to cuddle. While it's true cats have a reputation for being aloof and independent, their independence is part of the reason they're on this list.
One of the qualities that give cats their rep is what makes them low maintenance. And while not all cats like to cuddle and like to play "hide and don't seek," not all cats are that way.
Rescue cats are especially affectionate and are more likely to want to be close to you. There are also breeds who may be more cuddly than others.
The snuggly mudder
Before you run out and get a special teacup to put your miniature pig in so you can join the Instagram hysteria, put away your wallet. I'm about to blow your mind.
Teacup pigs don't actually exist. Even the smallest potbellied pig will weight 60 pounds, and most weigh in around 100 to 200 pounds. Let that sink in for a second before you move on.
Still with me? Great! If you can own a pig (check your local laws to make sure), these guys can be very cuddly. Plus, they're low maintenance to boot.
They are super intelligent, though, so you have to keep them stimulated with your time and energy. But they only have to go to the vet once a year, and pot-bellied pigs don't eat an enormous amount like you might suspect.
Pot-bellied pigs are clean, they don't smell, they're quickly trained, and they don't shed.
Their low maintenance and propensity to cuddle landed them at number three on our list.
A feathered friend
Among the low maintenance pets that like to cuddle, you'll find the umbrella cockatoo. Now, this is a cockatoo -- the big guy -- not to be confused with the little cockatiel. As you can see, you don't need fur to be a cuddle bug.
Umbrella cockatoos become very attached to their owners and love their cuddle time. In fact, they are infatuated with their owners. But beware, owning a parrot of any kind isn't for everyone. These birds, in particular, can live up to 70 or 80 years. That means not only is it a lifelong commitment, but you'll also likely have to will your snuggly friend to someone you trust.
If you do decide to get an umbrella cockatoo, know that they're funny, gentle, sweet-tempered, and smart. Since they're exotic, be sure to have a vet lined up who specializes in birds.
That said, they're easy to take care of. Just feed them, give them fresh water, attention, and exercise. You need no special skills to tame this bird, and you'll have an interactive pet who loves to cuddle with you.
Next on our low maintenance pets that like to cuddle list is another exotic animal: the ferret. And even if your ferret doesn't like to cuddle when they're awake, they sleep up to 18 hours a day and are more than happy to do that in your arms, on your lap, or beside you on the couch.
And taking care of these intelligent balls of fluff is easy. They're quiet, social, and playful, and only require food, water, playtime, training, and love. It doesn't get much easier than that.
If you're going to own a ferret, though, a word of advice. Have a vet lined up who specializes in ferrets, learn how to ferret-proof your home, and above all, please don't leave them for long periods in a cage. Cages are for sleeping and safety only. These guys want to be with you.
Also note: Ferrets are illegal to own in some states, so make sure you check your laws beforehand.
And finally we have:
Is that a fork in your tongue?
Yes, we're talking about snakes. These pets are very low maintenance, as they don't even need to be fed every day. That fact alone can lead you to assuming they don't need attention every day, but that's not the case.
Snakes need fresh water and attention, just like all other pets. And they bond with their owners. But you might be wondering how they could possibly cuddle. Well, they wrap around your arm, of course.
They can be independent, for sure, but these particular breeds like to be with their owners, hanging out around their arms or in their laps.
King or milk snakes
These types are good for beginner snake owners too because they're easy to take care of and they're friendly. Plus, they snuggle because they like your body heat.
Beware though, snakes are notorious escape artists, and since they're reptiles, they need to be kept at a certain temperature. Make sure you have proper housing for your snake, and a vet lined up before purchasing.
Get Your Lap Ready
You wanted low maintenance pets that like to cuddle, and we've given you just that, although our list may have caught you off-guard.
To be honest, some of them caught us off-guard too. In our research, we found lists that included different animals. These animals included guinea pigs, rabbits, horses, and sugar gliders, to name a few. But as we looked further into these selections, we discovered their selections either didn't actually like to cuddle or were too high-maintenance for our purposes.
And while you may find other low-maintenance pets that like to cuddle in your quest or you own a certain pet who likes to cuddle that didn't make it on our list, our selections give you the best shot at success.
But when it comes down to it, the cuddle factor comes down to your individual pet.
Have you owned any of these pets? Did yours like to cuddle? Which one are you going to own next? Tell us your pet adventures in the comments below!