What Should I Add to My Sugar Glider’s Cage?
Do you have a sugar glider, or are you thinking of getting one soon? Sugar gliders can make excellent pets for most adults. They do fairly well with an owner that has done proper research about housing and nutrition for these unique pets, or has owned them before.
When setting up your sugar glider’s enclosure, it’s important to pay special attention to their particular needs. They will require several items that can make them safer and more comfortable in their cage. In the article below, we’ll walk you through the basics so you can create the best environment for your new pet.
What Your Sugar Glider Needs in Their Cage
Food and Water Dishes
Your sugar glider will need fresh food and water every day, so make sure to add dishes for both of these. One option are the clip-on food and water bowls that can be found in the bird section of pet stores. Sugar gliders prefer to eat and drink high off the ground, so hang their food and water dishes up high for their comfort. Small ceramic dishes can also be used, as they can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning purposes.
It is possible to train a sugar glider to drink out of a water bottle. However, these bottles can be dangerous for small animals, because the animal’s tongue can become caught in the roller ball portion of the bottle spout. The spouts can also be a source of bacterial contamination if not cleaned properly. Dishes are a better solution for a sugar glider.
Sugar gliders need a nest box or a soft pouch to hide in for security purposes. It is best to add one per each sugar glider owned. Even if they choose to share a nest box with each other, they will enjoy having separate spaces now and then.
Nest boxes can be made of just about any material. If you choose wood or wicker boxes, they may be chewed on over time, but likely will last a while regardless. Pouches can be found at most pet stores, pet fairs, or on-line. The pouches are generally made of a fleece fabric to avoid getting caught on their nails.
Bedding can come in a variety of forms. Most types of appropriate bedding can be found in the small animal section of any pet store, or you can order them online. The most common bedding used for sugar gliders is recycled paper bedding that comes in a small cube or rectangle. The fiber can be opened and fluffed to create a softer and more absorbent surface.
It is possible to use wood chips or even cat litter made of recycled newspaper. However, make sure you do not use Pine or Cedar Shavings, or clumping cat litter, as they can be very dangerous to sugar gliders.
Climbing surfaces are important for these animals, since they love to climb and jump around. Bird perches are a great addition to cages for sugar gliders, and you can add both wood or plastic perches as well. You can also add ladders, ramps, steps, and more.
It is possible to add branches from outside, but take care when doing this. If you want to use a branch from your back yard in your sugar glider’s cage, sterilize it first by baking it in the oven on a very low setting (around 200 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes. This way, it won’t introduce any bacteria or parasites. Do not leave this wood unattended in the oven.
Toys can be as simple or as complex as you want, as long as they’re safe for your sugar glider. Most sugar gliders like toys that are made for birds, but it’s important to remove any small parts that could be chewed off and swallowed by a sugar glider.
If you prefer to keep things simple and affordable, however, you can add items like PVC piping tubes from hardware stores. These toys are great tunnels and climbing spaces for sugar gliders and can give them just as much entertainment as something more expensive might.
It is recommended to have a running wheel for your sugar glider as long as you pay attention to their needs. Sugar gliders should never be given a running wheel with a wire bottom, as this can cause damage to their feet and toes.
Instead, give your sugar glider a running wheel with a solid surface. Some styles of wheels are designed more like a flat plate that spins nearly horizontally instead of vertically, and these are by far the safest choice for sugar gliders to use.
Your Sugar Glider is Now Ready for an Awesome Cage
With the help of this information, you should be well on your way to setting up the perfect enclosure for your sugar glider. Your pet is sure to enjoy the environment you create for them when you pay attention to these recommendations and requirements.
Remember to always choose an enclosure that is big enough for your sugar glider. Sugar gliders jump and climb a lot, and they should usually be kept in pairs as well. For this reason, a cage needs to be at least 2 feet wide, 2 feet deep, and 3 feet tall. The bigger the better for your sugar glider, however!
Sugar gliders do require a specific diet to remain in good nutritional health. Consult your Exotic Mammal Veterinarian for proper dietary instructions.
About Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana
Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital of Louisiana, formally West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic, is Louisiana’s only veterinarian that provides care exclusively to avian and exotic pets. From parrots to rabbits and ferrets to a wide variety of reptiles, as well as a multitude of small mammal exotic pets, we welcome them all to our practice!