Sugar gliders are tiny marsupials covered head to toe in luxurious, mink-like gray fur. A black stripe runs the full length of their bodies, stretching from the crown of their heads down their spines to the tips of their tails.
Among their most surprising features are thin membranes attached from their ankles to their wrists used to glide from tree to tree like flying squirrels. In the wild, sugar gliders skate across the sky covering distances of up to 150 feet, making domesticated sugar glider cage set up a bit tricky.
Originally from Indonesia and Australia, these tiny marsupials thrive in many peoples’ homes as beloved pets. To ensure they remain in optimal health, though, you must know how to set up a sugar glider cage. Keep reading for our full guide to building a cozy, safe habitat.
Basics of How to Set Up a Sugar Glider Cage
Constructing or buying the proper cage for your sugar gliders is vital to their health. Since they live in the wild in colonies of 10 to 15 individuals, experts recommend always owning them in pairs. The bare minimum cage size for two should measure approximately 24 inches long by 24 inches wide and 36 inches deep.
The bigger the cage you can provide them with, the happier they’ll end up being. Remember that when it comes to cage tallness, they love climbing around, so give them plenty of height.
For those families that don’t mind taking their sugar gliders out of their cages for regular playtime, the cage dimensions described above will do. Besides paying attention to the overall size of your cage, you should also select one with bar spacing no wider than 1/4 inch.
After all, sugar gliders are tiny creatures capable of squeezing through small spaces. Many owners opt for a tall, large finch cage to hold their beloved pets. Some take the extra step of wrapping their cage in chicken wire.
If you choose this second option, make sure that the chicken wire is pinched off and carefully bent to avoid exposed sharp edges.
Best Way to Set Up a Sugar Glider Cage
What are some other things that you should consider when selecting or building a cage for your sugar glider? For starters, make sure that the cage door is big enough so that you can fit one or two nest boxes through it for installation into the cage.
What kind of nest box should you choose? People rely on a variety of different structures to provide their animals with sleeping spots.
These include boxes made from plastic, wicker, cloth pouches, or untreated wood. No matter the material you decide to use, hang it from the cage near the top as your sugar gliders will feel safest there. Find a sugar glider cage now.
Food and Water: How to Set Up Your Sugar Glider Cage
How about providing food for your pocket pets? Like sleeping arrangements, sugar gliders prefer eating in a higher location. So, place clip-on bird dishes of water and food near the top of the cage.
When gliders feel more at ease higher in the cage, they’ll also be more likely to eat their food. After all, these tiny marsupials can be a little picky, so getting their eating arrangements right will help.
Should you use a water bottle to provide moisture for your pets? Or should you use a water dish?
A water dish represents your best option. If you go the bottle route, we still recommend providing a water dish until you’re confident your babies know how to use the water bottle. That said, most pets ultimately drink more water from a container than from a bottle.
Other Considerations When Choosing a Sugar Glider Cage
Once you’ve set up a suitable nesting area and placed food and water containers in the right spots, it’s time to add a layer of substrate to the tray in the cage. Or you may wish to add absorbent bedding.
Should you place absorbent bedding in the nest box, too? This isn’t necessary and could make clean up and maintenance more complicated. Instead, consider providing extra softness by placing a soft cloth or sleeping pouch in the nesting area.
There are a couple of caveats to this. First, make sure that the fabric you use doesn’t contain loops or threads. Otherwise, your glider could get trapped in the material.
We recommend using fleece to avoid these issues yet still provide your gliders with a cozy space. You should also pay attention to the fabric left in the nest over time. Make sure that your pet isn’t eating the cloth as it could cause significant digestive issues.
You should also make sure you never use wood shavings in your pet’s container, as this could also cause health problems.
Sugar Glider Cage Set Up for Maximum Fun
What else can you do to make your sugar gliders’ cage a fun place to be? Make sure you fill it with plenty of objects and items to up the entertainment factor.
Add branches and wood for your pets to climb. Give them perches to sit on and ladders to scale. Make sure you provide plenty of toys, too.
Safe toys for sugar gliders include hanging balls and bells, bird toys, and chew toys. Just make sure these items contain no parts that your pets could choke on.
Some owners also swear by adding a long piece of PVC pipe as a tunnel for your gliders to hide and play in. You may also wish to add a solid surface exercise wheel. Just make sure you stay away from wire type wheels.
Sugar Glider Cage Requirements
When you follow the specifics of the sugar glider cage set up outlined above, you can rest assured your pets will stay safe, entertained, and healthy. What’s more, you’ll enjoy watching your little rascals scamper around and play.
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