If you are looking for a pet that doesn't require a whole lot of attention from you to thrive and be happy, then you have many options to choose from. This is good because it allows you to choose one that is going to meet your lifestyle needs by allowing you the freedom you want while still giving you the companionship you will also want. Here are some of the different types of pets that can be a bit less maintenance than a cat or dog would be:
Birds can be low maintenance
If you think you may want a bird, then you should know that some of them are quite sociable and won't do well with being ignored most of the time. However, there are other types that will be perfectly fine without getting much attention from you but may do a lot better if you get them a mate. Lovebirds and parakeets are good examples of birds that will do fine with another mate but will also make good pets as long as you make sure you hold them often enough to keep them tame. Their regular maintenance will include making sure they are fed watered, provided a clean cage, have the proper amenities to sharpen their beaks and rub down their claws. You should also have their wings clipped, so they don't fly off if given a chance.
Fish can be a great choice if you want really low maintenance
If you really want something that will fulfill your pet needs, but won't need any personal affection from you, then you may want to go with a fish tank full of fish. You can go with a freshwater tank or a saltwater tank. However, you should know that a saltwater tank needs regular monitoring and servicing, but the fish are absolutely beautiful. Fish only need to be fed once a day and have their tank cleaned as needed. As long as you use a good filter, the tank can go a long time between cleanings.
Reptiles can be great low-maintenance pets
There are a lot of different reptiles out there, from lizards to snakes. You should hold your reptile somewhat regularly to keep them used to you, so they don't turn aggressive, but they won't require the constant attention some other animals do. The biggest part of keeping a reptile is making sure you learn about their heating, water, and feeding needs and then doing these things the way they should be done.
Contact a pet store that has reptiles for sale for more information and assistance.