Sugar Gliders are active, and need lots of room in their cage. Because they prefer to climb and jump, the amount of vertical space is more important than the square footage of the cage. A good cage size for a pair of sugar gliders is 24 inches deep by 24 inches wide by 36 inches tall (minimum). Larger is always better, keeping in mind that height is important for the gliders. The spacing of the wire should be no more than 1/2 inch. The direction of the bars, vertical or horizontal, should not be a concern. Some companies claim that sugar glider cages must have horizontal bars because gliders do not know how to use vertical bars or if they do, it will injure their feet and legs. This information is used as a marketing ploy to sell their specific horizontally-wired cages and the information is simply not true. Exotic Nutrition has sold thousands of cages over the past 10+ years, all with mainly vertical wiring, with zero issues reported or complaints from glider owners. Sugar gliders are extremely skilled climbers and have absolutely no problem at all climbing up, down and around on vertical wires. Some companies also claim you need to purchase a small starter cage / travel cage for a joey then a larger when they are older, because they are not comfortable in large cages as a baby. This is also untrue, and simply a marketing ploy to get you to buy multiple cages.
Cages that provide shelves are nice; shelves can also be added. Shelves are sold separate in our cage accessory department. Because most commercial cages are not available in the dimensions preferred for Sugar Gliders, it is difficult to find the correct housing in a local pet store. (We have them!) The latch on the cage should be secure, as gliders will sometimes learn how to open latches and let themselves out! There are cages marketed as sugar glider cages that do not have latching doors, avoid these cages. View our Cage Comparison Guide for a quick guide on what differentiates our 10+ cages. Remember to place the cage in an accessible spot in your home, but out of direct sunlight and in an area free from drafts. They do best a temperature slightly higher than room temperature, in the rage of 70-90 F.
Bedding and Cage Liners
A layer of shavings (never cedar; we suggest 'Carefresh Bedding') in the bottom of the cage will help absorb wastes, and should be cleaned out once or twice a week (more often if needed, depending on how many you have).
Your Sugar Gliders need a nest pouch, which is where they will be spending their 13-19 hours per day sleeping. Hang multiple nest pouches in your glider's cage to give them different areas to sleep, and so that you can remove one to wash, and still have a place for your Sugar Gliders to sleep. Although a group of Sugar Gliders will sleep together in the same nest pouch 99% of the time, it is good to give them another pouch option, so they are not forced together in the times they want space. Nest pouches can be affixed to the sides of the cage easily, and removed easily. These are also nice as they help with the taming and bonding process as you can remove the pouch from the cage, with Sugar Gliders inside, if you wish to handle them. Unless a cloth bag is used, some bedding material should be provided as well. A piece of cloth is often easiest and works well, but monitor and remove any loose threads.
Furnishings and Toys
Sugar Gliders are very interactive animals. They should have enough toys in their cage to promote interest, curiosity, and movement. Rearrange the cage often. The simplest way to enliven your pet's surroundings is to continually rearrange the toys and accessories within his cage. And the easiest time to rearrange his cage is when you clean it. It can be as simple as moving a shelf to the other side of the cage, or as complex as a complete rearrangement of everything inside your pet's home.
Sugar Gliders like to climb and jump, and you should provide lots of branches to allow them to exercise. Fresh branches are appreciated, but make sure they are free from pesticides and fertilizers, and are from non-toxic plants like Manzanita Branches. Also avoid branches from coniferous trees like pine and cedar due to the sticky sap produced by these trees. Ropes and ladders can provide additional climbing opportunities. Wooden toys make good toys for sugar gliders (check our toy department). Toys placed high in the cage will be most appreciated as gliders like to spend their time high up in the cage. Cloth toys are best avoided or at least regularly checked for loose threads that could entangle the gliders or be ingested.
An exercise wheel, if introduced to young gliders, may be a big hit and allow lots of opportunity for exercise. A larger wheel, with a solid surface is best (we suggest the Silent Runner 12 inch), so that legs and tails do not get caught. Some people also use the clear plastic globes (critter crawlers) that you can put your pet in to let them roll around the house.
Stainless steel dishes that hang on the side of the cage are probably easiest. They should be fairly large, but not so large that the gliders can climb into them and soil them. Water can be provided in a bottle, but if the gliders are not trained to a water bottle, provide another clip on dish for water until you are sure your gliders are taking water from the bottle consistently.
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