Pets aren’t a subject I get to discuss very often when talking about soundproofing, but make no mistake: I’m a huge animal lover! I’ve even found an excellent excuse to write about animals. As you can see, today we’ll be discussing quiet pets that won’t disturb you, your family, or your neighbors.
Personally, I’ve had several pets over the years, starting with a little goldfish when I was a kid. Still, I loved my noisy terrier mutt the most. The dog was very inclined to bark, so much so that my family used to beg me to control her. I tried everything:
- Soundproofing her big outdoor kennel and keeping her in it overnight, when she was most likely to bark
- Moving her inside at night and keeping her in a crate
- Having her sleep on the floor next to my bed — which would work, as long as she didn’t hear anything through the window.
In the end, we all made our peace with the fact she was just going to do as she pleased. And we loved her for it — when we weren’t annoyed with her. However, I want to present additional options so that you can make an informed decision when choosing your own pet.
How to Choose the Perfect Quiet Pet for You
If I were to start listing the many animals that would be perfect apartment pets, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself. So I’ve decided to present the quiet animals I’ve found in different categories, from the quietest to the loudest. I’ve even split the pets into 7 more general species — so let’s start with fish!
As I’ve already mentioned, the first pet I was allowed to have was a little goldfish. More than anything else, that experience taught me that fish don’t really agree with me, mostly because I like having a pet I can actually interact with. Still, if you appreciate the aesthetic and the nurturing aspects of pet ownership, know that any fish you choose will be absolutely silent.
At most, you may have to put up with a bit of noise coming from the fish tank, depending on the kind of machinery you set up to filter the water. You should also keep in mind that all fish species have very specific needs. Before you decide which fish you want to get, you need to make sure that all of them will be able to thrive in the same conditions and create those conditions in your fish tank.
On the other hand, fish are hardly the most interesting kinds of pets to own. So let’s see which other animals there are.
Most reptile species that can serve as pets are incredibly quiet, if not altogether silent. Snakes, for one, can be very silent, although you’d have to do your research on the particular species you’re looking into. However, if you’re not completely on board with having a slithery, cold-blooded pet, there are other options such as lizards.
There are many subspecies to choose from, and some of them are actually full of personality too. Water dragons and bearded dragons are great exotic pet options, as are various subspecies of gecko lizards.
Once again, if you want a pet that is completely silent, you have to check the kind of noise it can make. For example, geckos have been known to produce a charming, barely audible chirping sound.
While we’re on the subject of reptiles, I should also mention tortoises and turtles. Like with snakes and lizards, you do have to check for any noises the specific animal you’re looking into could make. However, on the whole, tortoises are fairly quiet, with one exception — mating season.
If you’ve ever heard the hilarious out-of-breath noises tortoises make during mating, you’ll know that it might actually be a selling point in this case. And if you’d rather never hear the sound again, you can always just keep one turtle or tortoise and avoid mating altogether.
Next, we have the rodent family, which is as large as you can imagine. Many different subspecies make for excellent pets — I’ve even had one of them myself. So let’s talk about mice and rats first.
Yes, even though some people are afraid of mice and rats, they can actually be very friendly pets. Mice are definitely more high-strung of the two, so they’re not really appropriate pets for kids. On the other hand, rats do love to spend time with their owners.
While we’re talking about rodents, we can’t neglect to mention hamsters as well. I’ve actually had two Syrian hamsters. Despite what some people might think, rodents are capable of forming connections with their owners, and my experience can confirm that. However, as with most other animals on this list, you ought to look into the specific subspecies you want to get in order to provide your future pet with the best conditions possible.
Other popular rodent pets include guinea pigs, chinchillas, and gerbils. Some of them do squeak from time to time, though, and some are definitely more high-maintenance than others (I’m looking at you, chinchillas). Furthermore, nocturnal rodents may also use their running wheel or make other noises at night.
A word to the wise, though: most rodents are pretty nervous by nature and might bite. Still, as someone who has been bitten by more than one hamster, I have to say, it’s not that bad. In any case, it’s just a nibble that warns you that you’ve been too rough with them.
Like some rodents, rabbits can be excellent pets. However, rabbits can also be very anxious — something potential owners should be aware of. Kids shouldn’t really handle any of these smaller animals.
Every rabbit needs daily attention and care in order to get used to the family. They’re also highly individual creatures, so some of them might actually make noise.
I’ve never owned a rabbit myself, but I do have a friend who says that his rabbit has been known to bark every once in a while. My friend even showed me a video of his pet, and it looked and sounded a lot like this. As far as I can tell, they only make that kind of noise during playtime, so you shouldn’t expect any sudden barking.
Ferrets are domesticated versions of the European polecat — more similar to weasels than rodents or rabbits. These animals can live long and happy lives, and they can actually be very playful and cuddly as well.
For the most part, ferrets are pretty quiet, so they have ended up on many people’s lists of quietest pets. However, ferrets can indeed produce a series of different sounds. The most recognizable ferret noise is dooking, which sounds like this. But really, ferret vocalizations aren’t even the biggest deterrent to getting this animal.
In my opinion, the greatest con to getting a ferret would be their odor. Still, I’d be willing to overlook it because they’re such huggable and lively companions.
When it comes to huggability, cats are kind of a hit-or-miss. Even though some of them are, frankly, evil, there are many sweet kitties out there. Better still, they’re usually incredibly silent. That is, they’re silent until they decide to casually break an ashtray you forgot to move off the table.
But as far as vocalizations go, you should be in the clear. In fact, cats don’t even meow at each other as much as they do at humans. As long as you treat your cat right and give it food, you won’t hear a peep.
I should warn you, though — if you’re planning on getting a purebred pet, you may want to avoid some breeds. Siamese and Burmese cats, Oriental Shorthairs, Japanese Bobtails, and Sphynx cats seem to be the chattiest of the group.
I know most people wouldn’t exactly think of dogs as quiet pets — mine certainly wasn’t! But just as some cat breeds are louder than most, some dog breeds are quieter than others. Basically, you want to get your hands on a chill, lazy dog such as a:
- Bulldog or a Frenchie
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Shih Tzu
These breeds are naturally calmer than terriers, for example. But even a breed that is considered to be calm can make noise. For example, Bonzoi dogs are usually very calm, ethereal creatures — but some of them also have beautiful singing voices they just have to use.
Ultimately, the breed is about as important as the individual dog’s personality when it comes to these things. Some terriers are calm and quiet, too — and some Berners are aggressive. The best thing to do is to spend some time with the dog before you decide to adopt or buy it.
Final Thoughts on Quiet Pets
There you have it. If you’re looking for quiet pets you can relax with, any of the species on this list can play the part, as long as the specific animal’s personality agrees with you. They all have their pros and cons:
- Fish are great to look at and can even be therapeutic, but you won’t be able to pet them
- Reptiles can be very personable, but some people are afraid of them
- Rodents, rabbits, and ferrets can be playful and cuddly, but many of them are too high-strung for children to handle
- Finally, cats are definitely quieter than dogs, but that also comes down to the breed and the personality of the animal in question.
Hopefully, this information will be enough to help you decide what kind of pet you want. But, when you finally meet the animal you want to take home with you, trust me — noise levels won’t really be a priority at all. So use this article as a loose pointer rather than law — and just get the pet that speaks to you the most!