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Sugar Glider Out-of-Cage Time

Use these tips to sugar glider-proof a room before taking your small pet out of the cage.

By Audrey Pavia

Sugar gliders can be let out of their cages to play and exercise, but you must sugar glider-proof the room first.

Household Hazards
Start by removing all other pets from the room. Seal off cracks, holes (any space that can hold more than one of your fingers), fireplaces and vents. Close windows, doors, cabinets and drawers. Remove electrical cords and unplug appliances. Use child safety plugs to close off electrical outlets.

When choosing a room to sugar glider-proof, remember that certain types of furniture can be deadly for a sugar glider. Recliner chairs, futons, and some gliding chairs can pose hazards. These items should be removed from a room before the sugar glider is let out to play.

Be sure to cover open water and toilets. Avoid rooms with garbage, laundry or excess clutter. Be mindful of harmful chemicals, medicines and houseplants. Be sure all fans, including ceiling fans, are turned off. Remove space heaters and other items that create hot surfaces. Unplug and cover appliances that have spaces sugar gliders can crawl into, such as paper shredders, VCRs and printers.

Even in a sugar glider-proofed room, sugar gliders should never be left unsupervised. Their curious nature can eventually lead to injury or worse.

Sugar Gliders Outside
Avoid taking your sugar glider outdoors. If your sugar glider escapes outdoors, the chances of finding it are low.

If you still want to take your small pet outside, be sure the sugar glider is bonded to you and reliably stays on your body. Fit your sugar glider with a small harness designed for reptiles as an extra safety measure.

Try not to take your sugar glider outside in bright sunshine as the light can lead to damage of the eyes.

Be careful about getting too close to trees or other tall objects because a sugar glider can jump onto those objects and climb up where it can’t be reached.

If A Sugar Glider Escapes
If your sugar glider escapes indoors from its cage, immediately confine other pets and close all windows and doors. Check beneath seat cushions, inside shoes and inside locations where a sugar glider might nest. If you can’t find your small pet, place a few nest boxes around the house with fruit inside. Check the nest boxes the next morning to see if your sugar glider is asleep inside.

If your sugar glider gets loose outdoors, set up a few nest boxes with fruit inside on a tree near where the sugar glider was last seen. Check the nest box the next morning to see if your sugar glider is asleep inside.


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Reader Comments
A tip about finding an "escapee" indoors: look in high places. Also, re-emphasize closing toilet lids - toilets are a common death-trap (they can't swim).
Eric, Phoenix, AZ
Posted: 11/16/2012 8:48:58 PM
NEVER, EVER use a harness on a Sugar Glider!
They don't understand restraint and when they pull against it, it could tear their patagium ("wings") - a very painful, and potential lethal injury.
Eric, Hudson, NH
Posted: 9/27/2011 9:33:15 AM
I use a tent. I have a glider proofed room, just for their safety should they ever get out of their cage, but I don't allow them free roam of the entire room because at first you want to keep them close to you, and kinda force them to be around you so they have to interact with you. If you give them a whole room before they are bonded, they are just going to run off. It also keeps their mess off the carpet, and is a completely safe space. So try a tent! I use a stadium chair inside the tent so I have something to lean against while I'm in there, so I can relax also.
Casey, Southeast, IA
Posted: 9/2/2009 8:17:24 AM
WOW and I thought Ferrets were a handfull.that is something that all prospective owners should know.
eve, louisburg, NC
Posted: 5/6/2008 10:09:47 PM
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