YOU WANT A PET, but you don’t want to deal with the stress of a creature that requires feeding, playtime, and walks several times a day, every day — you can barely look after your cactus, never mind a cat but still… you want companionship. It’s ok — it’s human to want a buddy. And there’s no shame in getting a pet with qualities to suit your lifestyle, but is there such a thing as a “low-maintenance” pet? And if so, how do you know which pet is best for you before you commit?
Inverse talked to four pet experts to answer this surprisingly common question and more — ultimately, they say, the answer may come from an unexpected source.
“I think it is less of ‘who is low maintenance,’ and more of ‘what kind of maintenance fits your lifestyle,’ which varies from species to species,” Katherine Pankratz, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, tells Inverse. In other words, you need to know yourself before you go to the pet store or you will be in for a shock.