Five pets you could own at uni

Natalia Wilkowskaon 30 March 2022
A grey hamster poking their head out of a cardboard tube

Pets make great friends, and if you want to have one while at uni, check out our suggestions for great pets for students.

Everyone needs company at uni, whether it comes from your human friends or an animal companion. If you’re thinking of getting a pet during your studies, here are five that you can easily take care of: 


A fish is a great candidate for a uni pet. It’s quiet which means it won’t disturb your studying, and there’s very little chance of it running away. If you’re new to fishkeeping, choose a beginner species as your first. Guppies and veiltails are both good choices, but you can find plenty of good starter species on Google. Remember to give your fish enough space to swim by making sure you buy an appropriately sized aquarium; you can ask for advice at a pet store. Don't forget to equip your aquarium with a filter, lighting, and decorations to enrich the environment.

Turtles and tortoises

These are a bit more demanding than fish but just as quiet. They live for a long time, so remember that it will probably stay with you for a good few years. In the right conditions, turtles and tortoises are relatively easy pets. Do some research into how to look after a turtle or tortoise to decide which species would be best for you. They’ll have different needs, so buy an appropriate terrarium. The initial cost can be quite high; they’ll need plenty of space to walk, bask under a lamp, and cool down in water. Don't forget to provide shelter and places to hide. You can use coconut shells, dry branches, or even flower pots. 


Rats are intelligent and social animals, so think about buying at least two if you go for this pet. A lonely rat can get bored and even depressed. If you can afford it, it's worth investing in a big cage with plenty of space to play. Make sure you also get some accessories for their cages, like wheels or tunnels, so they don’t get bored.

It's also advised to let them out of their cage from time to time to help them socialise with humans. Food shouldn’t be a problem as special rat food is easy enough to find at pet stores. You can also hand feed them some fruits and vegetables to ensure a varied diet.


Birds are another cute candidate for a future roommate. There are many species to choose from, such as parrots, canaries, and finches. When choosing a cage, consider the size of the bird and whether it lives alone or in a group. The food is often inexpensive, which is good for a student's budget. You can vary their diet with a nibble of dried or fresh fruit or vegetables every so often. Some species will greet you in the morning with beautiful birdsong. Parrots are really good at mimicking speech, so you can get them to learn some of your favourite TikTok trends.


Hamsters are easy to take care of and don’t need lots of space. Firstly, make sure your hamster cage has tunnels, toys, and a running wheel. Choose a wheel that doesn’t make too much noise to avoid having a hard time sleeping when your hamster decides to exercise. Their cage must have shelter for them to hide and sleep in. It’s also important to train your hamster to not bite. It's not hard. Put treats and snacks on the end of your fingers so they can get used to your smell and won't be afraid.

Remember to check with your landlord or accommodation provider before getting yourself any of these pets. You don’t want any nasty surprises if you are in breach of contract!

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Natalia Wilkowskaon 30 March 2022