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15 Best Small Pets That Like to Cuddle

By Eddie Chevrel


Updated on

Some people like to be active and go on fun adventures with their pets; other people would rather cuddle up on the couch with their pet and favorite book or movie. If you are part of the latter group, you are in the right place.

Today we are going to go over the 15 best pets that would love to curl up and cuddle with you all day long. So, here are the best breeds of dogs, cats, and other furry exotic creatures that are affectionate and make great cuddle buddies.

Dog Breeds That Are Very Cuddly And Affectionate

1. Pugs

Pugs are one of the best dog breeds that you can get if you want to spend the day cuddling with your pet. They are a small and very affectionate breed that your entire family, from the youngest to the oldest, is sure to love. While they are awake, they do tend to be more playful and even comical at times. However, they sleep more than most dogs, which is part of what makes them such great cuddle dogs. As they snooze through the day, they will love to curl up with you.

  • Size: About 12 inches long and 14 – 18 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
  • Average Price: $600 – $1,500

2. Jack Russel Terrier

If you want a dog that is the best of both worlds (active and cuddly), the Jack Russel Terrier may be the perfect option for you. Jack Russel Terriers love to run around and play, but after they get all that energy out, they will love to curl up with you on the sofa to watch a movie before bed. But, you should only get the Jack Russel Terrier if you have the time to wear them out before crashing on the couch at the end of the day.

  • Size: 10 – 15 inches long and 13 – 17 pounds
  • Lifespan: 13 – 16 years
  • Average Price: $800 – $1,300

3. Dachshund

Dachshunds, with their cute floppy ears and long bodies, are one of the cuddliest dog breeds. Dachshunds are extremely loyal to their ‘pack,’ they tend to be extremely clingy, and they love to be affectionate. All of these different factors make them great cuddle dogs, but they do hate to be home alone, so if you are only getting one dog or if you are gone all day, you might want to go with a different breed.

  • Size: 21 – 25 inches long and 17 – 32 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 – 16 years
  • Average Price: $450 – $1500

Cat Breeds That Like To Be Squeezed

1. Ragdoll

Some cats seem to just tolerate the presence of humans rather than actually loving them, but that is not the case for Ragdoll cats, also known as Raggies. Raggies are extremely affectionate and crave attention. They often will follow their owner around the house throughout the day and cuddle up with them whenever the opportunity presents itself. They are extremely sociable creatures, so you only want to get a Raggie if you are home a lot or if you can get multiple cats.

  • Size: 17 – 21 inches long and 10 – 30 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
  • Average Price: $800 – $2,000

2. Maine Coon

Main Coon cats are one of the bigger cat breeds that you can get, but they love both giving and receiving affection. Kind of like a dog, Main Coon cats often greet their owners at the door, and they love to be held. In fact, Main Coon cats will often follow you around, cuddle up on your lap whenever you sit down, and even demand to be carried around despite their larger size.

  • Size: 19 – 40 inches long and 8 – 18 pounds
  • Lifespan: 13 – 14 years
  • Average Price: $1200 – $2,000

3. Birman

Birman cats have beautiful blue eyes and long silky coats, which is great since they love to be petted and soak up all the attention that they can get. In fact, Birmans are one of the most affectionate cat breeds that will love to cuddle up to you and any other animals you have in the house, like your dog. For this reason, Birmans are great if you have or want to have a lot of pets.

  • Size: 15 – 18 inches long and 10- 12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 13 – 15 years
  • Average Price: $700 – $1,000

Exotic Pets That Are Cuddle Bugs

1. Chinchillas

As far as exotic pets go, Chinchillas are one of the more common options. Chinchillas tend to be very affectionate creatures, in addition to being curious about the world around them. They are also extremely social creatures, so they will love hanging out with you whenever you are home. Whether you are working or watching TV, your chinchilla will love being held close and cuddled. Keep in mind that Chinchillas are nocturnal, so they tend to be more active at night and early in the morning.

  • Size: 9 – 19 inches long and 1- 3 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
  • Average Price: $150 – $350

2. Degus

Degus are a lesser-known breed of rodent, but they can be quite affectionate, just like the chinchilla. When you first get a degu, they tend to be more stand-offish and cautious, but as they get to know you, they will become much more affectionate to you and even other degus if you have several. They are also very intelligent animals that can be easily tamed and can even learn their names.

  • Size: 9.8 – 12 inches long and 6 – 11 ounces
  • Lifespan: 6 – 8 years
  • Average Price: $30 – $300

3. Ferrets

Ferrets are extremely entertaining pets to have. They love to get out of their cages every day to play and run around. They tend to have fun personalities and can even be a little bit mischievous at times. However, once they are done playing, ferrets tend to be cuddly animals. They bond to their owners and will love to be held and cuddled once they have spent all that energy. But you should only get a ferret if you are home a good bit and have time to take them out regularly.

  • Size: 15 inches long and 1.5 – 4.4 pounds
  • Lifespan: 5 – 10 years
  • Average Price: $75 – $250

4. Hedgehogs

While you may not immediately think of a hedgehog as an especially cuddly animal due to their spines, many of them are quite friendly and affectionate. However, they will have to get to know you first as they tend to be more solitary in nature. But, over time, hedgehogs are known to become quite affectionate and will enjoy snuggling up in your lap as you watch a movie or read a book.

  • Size: 6 – 11 inches long and 0.6 – 2.6 pounds
  • Lifespan: 2 – 5 years
  • Average Price: $100 – $300

5. Rabbits

Lionhead Rabbit

Just like the name implies, lionhead rabbits are extremely fluffy with mane-like hair. While all this fluff does require a lot of grooming, it makes them super fun to cuddle up with. They are definitely one of the more loving and affectionate breeds as they do not just tolerate being handled but actually enjoy it. For this reason, they make great pets for both adults and children. However, lionhead rabbits can get extremely lonely if left behind all day long, so they are best for people who are home most of the time.

  • Size: 8 – 10 inches long and about 3 pounds
  • Lifespan: 4 – 7 years
  • Average Price: $50 – $100

Rex Rabbit

Unlike some other breeds of rabbits, Rex rabbits very quickly grow attached to their family, and they love to be picked up, cuddled, and carried around. They are also one of the more intelligent and playful breeds of rabbits which makes them an excellent family pet. They are also generally a very gentle breed.

  • Size: about 12 inches long and 7.5 – 10.5 pounds
  • Lifespan: 5 – 6 years
  • Average Price: $20 – $60

Mini Lop Rabbit

The final kind of rabbit that tends to be more cuddly is the Mini Lip rabbit. Mini Lops are extremely loving, and they really enjoy being petted, held, and cuddled throughout the day. Plus, if you have children, this rabbit loves to play too, so your bunny and your kids will be able to wear each other out throughout the day.

  • Size: 3 – 6 pounds
  • Lifespan: 7 – 14 years
  • Average Price: $35 – $100

6. Guinea Pigs

Abyssinian Guinea pig

When you think of cuddly pets, the guinea pig might not be the first thing that pops into your mind, but Abyssian guinea pigs are actually really affectionate. They are one of the bigger breeds of guinea pigs, and they are content to be held, but they are also extremely intelligent and can be trained. Keep in mind that they do have longer fur, so they do require more grooming than some other guinea pig breeds.

  • Size: 8 – 12 inches long and 2 – 3 pounds
  • Lifespan: 5 – 7 years
  • Average Price: $10 – $40

Peruvian Guinea Pig

Peruvian guinea pigs do take more care, and attention than some other breeds as their hair needs to be brushed regularly. But if you have the time to take care of them, Peruvian guinea pigs make great pets that love attention. Because they are so social, like most guinea pigs, if you are going to get one, you really should get two.

  • Size: 10 – 14 inches long and 1 – 3 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6 – 8 years
  • Average Price: $20 – $30

Things to Consider When Looking for a Cuddly Pet

When you are in the market for a cuddly pet, there are a few important factors that you should consider:

  • Friendliness: Generally speaking, friendlier breeds and animals are more likely to cuddle up next to you. This is why, for example, some cat breeds make great cuddle buddies while others do not.
  • Size: It is hard to cuddle up with a really big animal like a horse or huge dog, even if they are really friendly and affectionate, so you definitely want to look towards smaller animal breeds.
  • Easiness of care: This factor is more personal preference. How much time will you be able to commit to caring for the animals? Some breeds are really easy (just put out some food, water, and a litter box), while others take more intense care such as regular baths and grooming, exercise, and vet checks.
  • Time: Time goes hand-in-hand with easiness of care. Some breeds of animals are much more self-sufficient than other animals. While a cat may be able to take care of himself while you are at work all day, a dog will likely need you to be around more.
  • Lifespan: Some animals have really long lifespans while others only live for a couple of years. You should always take this into consideration when choosing a pet.
  • Active or not: While cuddle-bug pets tend to be less active than other pets, some breeds still need a good bit of active time to be happy and healthy. When picking a breed of pet, consider what they need and whether or not you have the time and desire to provide them that.
  • Allergies: No matter how much you want to cuddle with your pet, if you are allergic to it, neither you nor the animal will have a good time, so make sure you keep any allergies in mind when buying a pet.

Affectionate Pets That Are Not Necessarily Cuddle Bugs

It is important to keep in mind that just because a pet is very friendly and affectionate does not make it a great cuddle pet. Some affectionate animals are huge or simply not great cuddle buddies. Let’s take a look at some possible pets that are extremely affectionate but not necessarily cuddly.

1. Horses

Horses tend to be very affectionate. They form a bond with their owner that they often show through hard work, and it is clear that they love some tender love and care through the form of grooming, pets, and yummy treats. However, horses are very active, outdoor animals, and they are huge. As much as your horse may love you, they are not going to be cuddling up on the couch next to you.

2. Exotic Birds

There are some exotic birds that are known for being extremely affectionate and friendly such as the Cockatiel, Dove, and Parrotlet. However, while these birds may be easier to handle and hold, they are too small and too delicate to cuddle up with you, though they might sit on your shoulder while you watch tv.

See also: 12 Best Beginner Birds – A Complete Guide

3. Large Dog Breeds

Have you ever met a really large dog that thinks he is a lap dog? This is actually really common as some of the most friendly and affectionate dog breeds are huge such as labs or even Great Danes. However, while the dog may love cuddling with you, it likely will be a lot more comfortable for them than it will be for you.

References and Further Reading:

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About Eddie Chevrel

Eddie Chevrel is an animal journalist and the founder of ThePetSavvy. He's very passionate about exotic pets and spends most of his free time doing research, meeting, and interviewing people working with animals. Learn more about The Pet Savvy's Editorial Process.