The easiest pets to own

cat in bagAre you interested in getting a pet? If so, it's important to know beforehand what to expect. It's helpful if you have family members or friends who have owned the pet you are interested in. This way, you can talk to them so you understand the complete scope of responsibilities. Many new pet owners underestimate the work and commitment involved in owning a pet. This unfortunately leads to many pets being brough back to shelters. Thus, it is best to know what you're getting into beforehand by doing research online.

Some people go from not owning a pet to owning a high-maintenance pet, only to get overwhelmed by the amount of care it takes. For this reason, I think a better approach for new pet owners is to start out with a low-maintenance pet. In this article, I will go over some of the pets that are easy to own.

1. Fish
A beta fish is often cited as one of the easiest pets to own. But in all honesty, any fish is relatively low-maintenance compared to other pets. The only real work involved is feeding and cleaning the tank every once in a while. You must be diligent about cleaning the tank, however, since the water can become dirty quite quickly. The total amount of time involved per week in caring for fish is probably 30 minutes or less.

That said, fish are also among the most boring pets to have. You can stare at them and they can be quite pretty, but the interaction with pet owners is almost zero. Therefore, unless you really like fish, I'm not sure how gratifying it will be to have them as pets.

2. Guinea Pigs
Guinea Pigs are great pets for those who crave more interaction with their pets. They can squeal when happy, and are not active at night. This means you can play with them quite a bit during the day. They do require more space than hamsters or mice, but are bigger and more fun to have around. They also require fewer toys like mice wheels. You will have to let them out regularly, but they are generally well-behaved and mellow pets.

Guinea Pigs are also quite cheap, and only cost about $30 at most pet store. The cage will be a bit more, but that's a one-time cost. It is recommended that you give 4 square feet of cage space per guinea pig. That's a cage that is 2x2, and can take up a decent amount of space, depending on the size of your living space. Most guinea pigs live about 6 years or more.

3. Cats
If you want a large pet that is not in a cage, your choices are typically a cat or a dog. Of the two, cats are much easier to take care of, especially if you get an indoor cat. Unlike dogs, you don't have to take them out for walks, and it's easy to train most cats to use the litter box. Cats vary quite a bit in personality, but most of them are quite independent and won't require you to spend a lot of time with them unless you want to. This is not the case with dogs, as you can probably imagine.

The downside of having a cat is that they have a tendency to scratch furniture. A scratching post can often take care of the problem, but if that does not do the trick, you might want to consider declawing the cat. Some people consider declawing to be cruel. If you don't want to be responsible for declawing, you can always adopt a cat from a shelter that has already been declawed. Adoption fees are usually $50 to $100.

In terms of maintenance, the only things you really need to worry about are cleaning the litter box and brushing, both of which only take a few minutes a day.

Note that if you adopt a kitten, they tend to have bundles of energy and may feel like a handful at first. First-time pet owners may therefore want to adopt a mature cat. Most cats live 12 - 18 years, so be aware that a cat, while low-maintenance, can be quite a long-term commitment.

Of course, this is just my list of easy pets to care for, and lots of people have different opinions on this topic. Below is a video to give you another perspective: