Build a Perfect Habitat For Your Sugar Glider

Build A Perfect Habitat For Your Sugar Glider

If you’re looking to own an exotic pet, a sugar glider is a good choice.

These small animals weigh around 100g and are playful, social, as well as affectionate. They can live for up to 15 years!

Are sugar gliders part of the rodent family?

Although you might assume that sugar gliders are part of the rodent family, they’re actually marsupials, like kangaroos. If you want to purchase a sugar glider, you can find one for around the price of between $100 to $500.

However, just because they’re small, that doesn’t mean that you should assume that you don’t need to set up the right habitat for them – not just any one will do and there are important considerations to bear in mind.

Ultimately, you have to make sure the sugar glider’s habitat is as close to what the animal would choose as its habitat in the wild.

Here’s what you need to know about setting up the perfect home for these cute pets.

Where Do Sugar Gliders Live In Nature?

Sugar Glider In Tree

Sugar gliders are found in regions such as Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

They can be found in wooded areas where there are forests.

They like to make nests for themselves in the hollows of trees, and these are usually made out of leaves.

In addition, they like to be in dense vegetation because this protects them against predators, such as foxes and feral cats.

Sugar gliders like to eat their food and have shelter in places above the ground, probably also for this reason.

That doesn’t mean they are solitary animals, though. Sugar gliders are very social creatures and like to live in groups.

What Is The Perfect Size Habitat For Your Sugar Glider?

Keeping your sugar glider in captivity means that you’ll have to ensure it has an indoor enclosure, such as a cage.

It’s not ideal to keep it outside as this can cause it to run away or get into trouble, such as if you have pets that could attack it.

In addition, since sugar gliders are social beings they can become lonely.

Your sugar glider’s cage should be at least 24 inches in length, 24 inches in width, and 36 inches in height, to ensure that you give the sugar glider enough space to move around freely.

That said, you should always make the cage as large as you possibly can. The bigger the better!

Sugar gliders get their name because of how they appear to glide when jumping from one surface to another.

It looks like they can fly, when actually they can do this because they have folds of skin that attach their wrists to their sides.

These create a parachute-like effect when the glider jumps. Sugar gliders are very active and can jump up to 150 feet, which is 15 meters!

Since they love to glide, this is an important reason why you should try to make your pet’s cage as large as possible.

It’s also a good idea to take your sugar glider out of its cage from time to time.

As long as you stay with it in a room of the house where it’s safe and from which it can’t escape, you can allow it to explore and leap around its surroundings.

What Should Your Sugar Glider Habitat Contain?

Sugar Glider Cage

What you put in your sugar glider’s cage is very important because it will be living inside it for most of, if not all of, the time.

Since sugar gliders are energetic and playful, you want to ensure that you keep them stimulated.

For starters, it’s always a good idea to have two sugar gliders in the same cage.

This is because they love having company and can become lonely if left on their own.

Sometimes, human interaction just isn’t enough. The earlier-mentioned specifications for your sugar glider cage will be perfect to accommodate two of them.

There are other important things to put in your sugar glider’s habitat. Here’s a rundown of the most important tools and accessories they will love.

Branches or shelves

Place a few small branches or shelves inside the cage as your sugar glider will love to jump from one of these to the other and perch on them.

Pouch or hammock

Set down a small pouch that’s big enough for your sugar glider to climb into, in one of the corners of your sugar glider’s cage.

Sugar gliders love to hide in pouches and pockets, similar to how they love to hide behind dense vegetation in the wild.

When they bond with their owners, they can stay inside their pockets for the whole day, a behaviour that has given them the informal name of “pocket pet.”

You can also purchase hammocks for sugar gliders that get attached to the bars of their cage so that your exotic pet can have a lovely resting place during the day when it feels tired.

Ladders and ropes

Ladders For Sugar Glider

These will keep sugar gliders entertained because they love to climb and play.

Bedding

Create a comfortable place for your sugar gliders to relax and sleep.

You can use items such as aspen shavings or butcher paper and lay these out on the bottom of the glider’s cage.

These can also help to make the cage easier to clean.

Food bowls

Your sugar glider is an omnivore, so you should feed it a range of meat and plant-based food.

Here’s how to give it a balanced diet: 25 percent of the sugar glider’s diet should be cooked meat such as in the form of crickets and mealworms, 25 percent should comprise leafy green vegetables and fruits, such as mangoes, and 50 percent of their diet needs to be commercial pellet food.

Finally, a vitamin supplement that contains calcium should be sprinkled over their food daily to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need.

Put their food in sturdy bowls that can’t easily be moved around.

Water bottles

Instead of water bowls, invest in pet water bottles for your sugar gliders to drink from. This is preferable to setting down water bowls in their cage as they can be messy.

Exercise wheel

This can be a good idea to put in your sugar glider’s cage to keep them busy, especially because they’re nocturnal creatures and they’ll want to be stimulated at night.

Just make sure the exercise wheel is quiet if your sugar glider’s cage is in your bedroom so you won’t be disturbed by the noise when you’re trying to sleep.

When choosing an exercise wheel for your sugar glider, make sure you avoid pet-store exercise wheels.

These are simply not made with sugar gliders in mind.

You want a wheel for your sugar glider to be free of bars or rungs between which your pet’s feet or tail can get stuck.

Rather choose an exercise wheel that has a mesh or solid plastic running surface as this will ensure its safety.

How Often Should You Clean Your Sugar Glider’s Cage?

Woman Cleaning Cage

It’s essential to keep your sugar glider’s cage as clean as possible.

This prevents germs and infections.

On a daily basis, you should spot clean items in your cage, such as the food bowl when you refill it, and any areas in the cage that have become dirty.

For a deeper clean, you should clean your glider’s cage at least once a week with a cleaning product that is suitable for cleaning animal cages.

It should say that it’s non-toxic on its label so that you can be sure it won’t harm your pet.

Before cleaning your animal’s cage, remove your sugar glider and make sure you put it somewhere safe so that it can’t get lost or escape.

A travel cage or second cage can be useful in this situation. 

Before and after cleaning your sugar glider’s cage, always wash your hands well for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

This not only keeps you germ-free, but will also prevent you from transferring germs to your sugar glider. 

Should You Clean Your Sugar Glider?

Although you might think you need to give your sugar glider a bath, you actually don’t need to.

This is because sugar gliders are not like other small pets who get themselves dirty, such as by having dust baths.

In addition to this, since your sugar glider will always be indoors, you won’t have to worry about cleaning it.

Sugar gliders also clean themselves, in the same way that cats do, which further makes cleaning them unnecessary.

Can You Potty Train Your Sugar Glider?

As you probably know by now, sugar gliders are fascinating creatures.

One of the interesting facts about them is that they can be trained to use the potty!

You can teach your sugar glider to use a litterbox, but you can also train the sugar glider to have bladder and bowel movements at certain times.

So, in other words, you can get your glider used to a toilet schedule.

  • To do this, you’ll need to get unscented baby wipes.
  • Then, gently pick up your sugar glider and use the baby wipe to encourage a bowel movement by gently wiping its bottom. As you can understand, unscented baby wipes are important as you don’t want fragranced ones to irritate your sugar glider’s skin.
  • After the sugar glider has a bowel movement, gently move it from one hand to the other for a few minutes to stimulate its digestive tract. This is important as it will ensure that the glider has properly released all the contents of its bowels.
  • Then, use another unscented baby wipe to wipe the sugar glider’s bottom again to encourage it to release any contents that have not been released. After it has had a final bowel movement, it probably won’t need to have another one for a few hours. By getting used to your sugar glider’s bathroom routine in this way, you can prevent it from making a mess in its cage.

Now for how to train your sugar glider to use the litter box you have placed in its cage, here’s how to do it.

  • Notice what part of the cage your sugar glider likes to urinate or have a bowel movement in.
  • When you clean its cage, place a small litter box in that area that it usually uses. Your sugar glider will be prompted to use the litter box instead of the floor of the cage.
  • When your sugar glider uses the litter box, give it a reward, such as a food treat, so that it knows it should continue using it when it has a bowel movement.
  • To further encourage your sugar glider to use its new litter box, make sure you fill it with shredded paper, paper pulp, paper towels, or fleece. Don’t use cat litter for your sugar glider as it might try to eat it!

Conclusion

Owning a sugar glider is a rewarding and fun experience.

These exotic pets are playful and affectionate. However, in order to thrive they need to have the correct habitat.

In this article, we’ve looked at why you should keep your sugar glider in a large, comfortable cage and what items you should fill the cage with so that you create the perfect sugar glider habitat in your home.

We’ve also looked at other information you should know if you own a sugar glider, such as how to maintain your pet’s cage and how you can even potty train your sugar glider.

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