Sugar Glider Cages - A bad example
These images are all examples of poor cages
for keeping sugar gliders. Each one has been pulled from
a real Craigslist sugar glider post in order to present you a
For a comparison, you can see some examples of popular
acceptable cages HERE which are often referred to
as flight, aviary or tower styles.
Each one of these cages is too small for even a single
animal. A few of these might be used as "temporary"
medical issues or other various reasons, but not a single one is
long term keeping of a single animal. Odds are that the cage which came
with your sugar
glider(s) is way too small. Most breeders, flea market or fair sellers,
mall kiosks or pet shops
will offer a cage that is very small and unacceptable.
Understanding that sugar gliders
are arboreal (tree dwelling), you can realize that their cage
requirements might not be the same as they are for common rodents of
the same size. Much like squirrels, sugar gliders live in the
tops and commonly leap and glide large distances in the course of an
evening outing. There is no real way to duplicate this in a caged
environment, but one can at a minimum allow for a very large "flight",
"aviary" or "tower" style of cage and also install all sorts
branches, shelves, floors, cubbies, boxes, pouches and anything else
you can devise for them to romp around on and explore. The
truth to what kind of cage you should keep your sugar glider(s) in is
simply the largest one that you can find, afford or make.
Many of these examples have absolutely nothing in them. Sugar gliders
are cerebral animals and they need daily mental stimulation in order to
be healthy. In the wild these animals have to work constantly to
survive which includes endless activity and interaction while awake.
Small cages with nothing in them lead to mental disorder behaviors
which are generally non-correctable after the fact. Exercise wheels are
an absolute must. Pouches are a must. Bird toys,
boxes, chains, tunnels, swings,
slings, tents, and so forth can all be used to give the animal
something to have while imprisoned in a cage environment.
Many of these examples have very little to no comfort inside the cage.
Thin bare wires are very difficult on sugar glider feet long term. This
can lead to malformed feet, pain and possible self mutilation
and death. It is very easy to add more comfort to any cage by simply
the floor grate with a fine plastic mesh or fleece. You can
easily install solid shelves in order for the
animal to perch while at rest. All of the items listed in the previous
paragraph are also good examples of comfort items.
- Two water bottles
per cage is common practice to prevent accidental dehydration. This
makes it easier on you and the
animals. One of the examples shows an empty water bottle which is bad
- You can repurpose unused hardware such as
shelves covered in mesh to make a second floor in the cage for
additional room to place toys and other things to explore.
- Budget cage lift-up doors are dangerous.
- Sugar gliders should not have direct
access to their
waste or substrate. A raised floor cage is needed so that the mess can
fall through typically to a newspaper layered drop pan
- Sugar gliders are tree-dwelling, and much
they poo and pee absolutely everywhere. Cage
walls and surfaces need to be kept clean.
- Nails have to be actively maintained which is often too much
effort for new owners.
- Diet is an expansive topic and is
often too much for new owners to manage correctly.
- Being colony animals, two is the absolute
number of animals you should have. A single animal will most likely
suffer long term mental distress no matter how much you play with it
for the first six months. They need each other for interactions
that human contact simply cannot substitute for.
is a thing that animals do with each other; their own species. Sugar
gliders do not bond
with humans, they are tamed. Human companionship is not a replacement
for another animal of its kind. Keeping 2+ animals as a colony
does not hinder taming in any way and may in fact assit it as the
animals begin to compete for treats and attention.
- There are a whole lot of health
issues to become aware of in order to be able to identify the signs of
and also work to prevent. Very few vets are experts with sugar gliders
and it is hard to get good professional advice when one is sick. As an
exotic animal owner, you must be aware of specific health issues in
order to help your vet diagnose and treat.
These items listed above are brief and only a few of the many things a
sugar glider owner must know to be successful. This post
is designed to start you on the
learning. You are welcome to visit the Sugar Glider Encyclopedia
and come read through, search and join in any of the forum
discussions. The sugar glider chatroom is often busy in the
evenings for real-time interaction with other owners.
You are welcome to come discuss this article to add/modify
some of the content or simply leave a comment.
Also, please read my other introductory articles: Christmas Sugar Glider , My Sugar Glider Is Sick!
Life is full of questions, never be afraid
to ask any of them. Please never stop learning and always share what
you learn with others.
wanted to say thank you for for your post. Many people don't
realize what can go wrong with gliders, they also don't realize they
are not good pets for kids or alot of people really. They require ALOT
of care and work. - Christy
so much for posting this. I adopted a glider from craigslist and he
came in a horrible tiny $15 bird cage. -Taylor
an excellent post! Thank you for
being so caring and putting this together in one place! I
girls. 4 are in the Oriental Tall and the other two in the
Everybody has plenty of room! Kudos to you!!! Whomever you
Thanks for that. I often see glider sellers on CL who are
unable to write a simple declarative sentence, free of spelling and
grammatical errors. Seems to me that these folks do not
possess the knowledge and skill needed to care for such a fragile
animal. -Dr R Hamilton
Thanks for the info. I always wanted a sugar glider, but after reading
this, i think i will leave to someone better able to care for them.
Thank you for the craigslist post about cages!! We are
considering gliders, but have a lot to learn! -Gabrielle
Hello, I just wanted to say "thank you" for your craigslist post on
improper sugar glider care. I own two gliders myself and it was
actually painful to see some of the conditions that other people were
forcing their gliders to live in. Hopefully your post will educate
current owners and make potential new owners more conscious of the time
and work involved in keeping gliders happy and healthy. again
thank you -Christine
we have just recently found out about sugar gliders. I do not think
that we are going to get any though because believe it or not we did
think of some of the things that you mentioned. I think it is awesome
that you took the time to hopefully make people think about how they
cage any animal. I hope people really do their research so that all
animals are cared for properly. Thank you -Cheryl
Who are you? You are my damn hero! rofl!!!!
love your post. Do you mind if I print it out and hand out to
people who purchase sugar gliders from me? I just had someone
return a pair after 2 weeks because they didn't have time. Even after
telling them what type of cage was inappropriate, they purchased one
that is on your list. It is a piece of garbage and already
falling apart. -Dawn
I don't know who you are but I appreciate your post so much on
I have seen some horrible conditions that people try to claim are ok
for their gliders! I have 4 myself and the smallest cage I have is 5'
tall. Hopefully this will try and deter people from buying one on a
whim and not knowing what they are getting themselves into. -Jennifer
have been researching sugar gliders and their care for awhile, and have
been considering adding some to my family soon. There is
and contradictory information all over the web ... and it helps to have
concise and scientific resources for those of us considering this
important commitment!! Thanks for your post!! -Trish