What are Cockatiels Like as Pets?

‍The beautiful cockatiel is a wonderful pet for an experienced bird owner. These small parrots have the potential to be sweet, loving pets. However, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before making the commitment to owning one as a pet. Cockatiels are high-maintenance birds that require time and attention every day. They aren’t cuddly like a cat or dog but prefer spending time on their own rather than with humans. If you don’t have time to put in effort each day and can only spend short amounts of time with your new feathered friend, then maybe a cockatiel isn’t the right pet for you. Cockatiels make excellent pets for people who understand what they are getting into and want an independent pet that doesn’t need constant interaction. Here are some things you should know about keeping a cockatiel before adopting one as your companion.

Long-Term Commitment

Cockatiels make long-term commitments, so you should as well. Cockatiels can live up to 15 years in captivity. You’ll want to make sure you’re ready to make a commitment like this before bringing one home. Cockatiels are social animals, but they don’t always want or need interaction. While they can be loving, they aren’t cuddly like a cat or dog who insists on being in the middle of everything you do. Cockatiels prefer spending time on their own and interacting on their terms. If you aren’t okay with that, then again, a cockatiel isn’t for you. Cockatiels can be loud and noisy. They often like to sing but can get quite belligerent about it. If you’re hoping for a quiet pet, a cockatiel isn’t it. They also have the potential to become quite territorial and loud. More often than not, cockatiels growl and make other aggressive noises when other birds are around. If you’re hoping to keep more than one cockatiel together, you might want to consider another species of bird instead.

Nice Talking Voice, But…

Cockatiels can talk, but only when they want to. They are notorious for being selective about when they decide to speak. Most people who keep cockatiels report that their birds only speak for their human companions for a few years before stopping altogether. Cockatiels have the potential to learn many words but may never decide to speak at all. In general, cockatiels aren’t very social and prefer to be on their own. They won’t cuddle with you or demand attention, so they are often a poor choice for people who want a social pet they can cuddle with. Cockatiels also have the potential to learn how to be aggressive. Most cockatiels aren’t friendly and will bite their owners if they feel threatened or handled the wrong way. Cockatiels aren’t the best option for people who want a social pet that will cuddle with them.

Crafty, Independent, and Stubborn

Cockatiels are extremely clever and can be downright sneaky. You may want to watch out since they can learn how to open doors and cabinets and even sneak out of the house. Cockatiels tend to be stubborn, so you may find that you have to be even more stubborn to keep your pet healthy and safe. Cockatiels like to eat different foods and have strong opinions about things. You’ll want to make sure you’re putting the proper foods in your pet’s bowl or he may decide to eat something dangerous. Cockatiels are also independent and may not want your help at all. Be prepared for your new pet to ignore your every attempt to help. Cockatiels may also prefer to spend their time in a cage with their own toys, food, and other belongings. They are best suited for people who don’t mind their pets being independent and prefer to spend time alone.

General Care Requirements

Cockatiels need a large cage with plenty of room to exercise and climb. They also need toys to occupy themselves with and a few places they can hide out when they want to be alone. You’ll also need to provide a few baths a week and let your cockatiel out every day. It’s best to keep your cockatiel in a cage when you aren’t home to keep them safe. Cockatiels need to have their wings clipped to prevent them from flying away. You’ll also need to provide your cockatiel with fresh water, a healthy diet, and clean bedding. Cockatiels are loud pets that are best for people who have time to devote to them every day.


Cockatiels are beautiful parrot birds that make great companions for the right people. If you’re looking for a cuddly, sweet pet that likes to be held, you may want to consider another bird or animal. Cockatiels like to spend time on their own and aren’t always the best pets for people who want a constant companion. If you’re ready for a long-term commitment and are willing to put in the time, a cockatiel may be the right pet for you.