Your Joey's Cage

The cage you get for your gliders should be at least 18"d x 24"w x 36"h. The height of the cage is especially important since gliders are arboreal (live in tree-tops) in the wild. Sugar gliders like to climb and get as high as they possibly can. They also like their nest/pouch to be as high in the cage as possible.

The width and depth of the cage are also important. Gliders need to have enough room to jump from one side of the cage to the other since they can't really glide in there.

If you use have a wire cage, bar spacing should be no bigger than 1/2" in one of the directions. Any larger and you will have gliders escaping during the night. I once had a cage with 5/8" spacing - it didn't take long for the gliders to figure out that they could get through the bars. Needless to say, that cage didn't last very long.

Many people use large aviaries (bird cages) for their gliders. Another option is a Glide-arium which is a vinyl coated polyester mesh-covered cage that has a pvc-pipe framework.

Cage Cleaning

When purchasing your cage, keep in mind that it will need to be cleaned regularly. Since your gliders will scent-mark the cage, it will need to be wiped down, disinfected and hosed down at least once a month. Spot cleaning during the weeks between thorough cleaning can be achieved using a diluted white vinegar mixture (1 cup vinegar per gallon of water). If more strenuous cleaning is needed, you can use  409 or Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner. Make sure you thoroughly rinse afterwards. Caustic chemicals such as bleach and ammonia should be avoided completely as they can cause respiratory reactions making it difficult for the glider to breathe.

Car Carrier

It is important to protect your glider while traveling in your car - even for short distances. Many people carry put their gliders in a bonding pouch placed over the center of their chest. While this may seem like a safe way to travel, it's actually one of the most dangerous places to carry your glider. If in an accident, the seatbelt will contract and could potentially crush your gliders. Even if the seatbelt is not placed across the gliders, they could still be crushed by the deployment of the air bag. So what is the safe way to carry your gliders in the car? Personally, I use Day Packers from The Pampered Glider for car travel. The pvc-pipe framework protects the gliders from being crushed. The mesh insert keeps them safe and secure. The waterproof liner protects my car seats. The cotton tote is a discreet way of carrying your gliders with you into rest stops so they don't need to be left in a hot or freezing cold car. External pockets in the tote provide lots of room for travel accessories such as treat containers, bonding pouches and water bottles.

Cage Location

Since sugar gliders are nocturnal, make sure their cage is not in a high traffic, noisy area of the house. Gliders need their sleep just as much as we do, so make sure they can get that sleep in a relatively quiet area of your home. It is also important to make sure that wherever you place their cage, there is a noticeable difference between lighting for day and night. Gliders need a regular schedule and routine in order to thrive. Part of that regularity is daylight versus night-darkness. Just as humans are cued to sleep by night-darkness, gliders are cued to sleep by daylight. For this reason, a large walk-in closet or basement room is not a good option for cage placement. However, make sure there is not direct sunlight on the gliders' cage. Direct sunlight can be painful to a glider plus it can overheat the gliders in their cage.

Gliders are most comfortable when their environment is in the 65 - 75*F range. Heat rocks are dangerous and should NOT be used! Gliders have been seriously burned by sudden "hot spots" on heat rocks. Gliders have also been electrocuted by chewing on the exposed cord. If you feel their room isn't warm enough, use a space heater - preferably one that uses radiant heat. Do not aim the heat directly at the cage either. Heat lamps are really not necessary and can actually overheat an area of the gliders' cage.

Place the cage on some type of stand, if at all possible, to elevate the cage off the floor. Gliders need to feel they are as high up as they can be - this gives them a sense of security.

Cage Accessories

There are many fun accessories you can decorate your gliders' cage with that are also enriching for your glider and serve functional purposes, too. A cage cover or wall protector is a definite must in my book! Gliders can be messy eaters and they will fling food particles off to the side while they eat. You can help to limit where these particles go by keeping the sides and back of the cage or the wall behind it covered. Another way to protect your walls and floors is to make a "glider kitchen". This is an enclosure that you put the gliders' food into and the gliders have to climb in to eat. They are easily made by purchasing a plastic "shoebox", then drilling a hole or two in the sides use a doorknob drill. Smooth the edges of the hole with fine grit sandpaper and Voila! your glider kitchen is complete.

Enrichment toys keep your gliders from getting bored. There are two types of enrichment toys - foraging and play. Foraging toys are made to hide treats and foods in so that your gliders have to "hunt" for their food. When not being used that way, you can put small glider-safe toys, such as plastic bracelets, plastic jacks, monkeys from a Barrel of Monkeys toy, etc. Before placing any item in your gliders' cage, make sure you check it for sharp edges and to ensure that any openings are either too small for a glider to get into or large enough for them not to get stuck. Play toys have different small toys hanging from various parts of the toy that gliders will spend hours trying to remove from the toy to take back to their nesting area. Some play toys have removable parts, others do not. I sell foraging Happy Glider Toys both here on my site and in my eBay store. Be sure to browse through both!

Cage Pouches and/or Cage Sets are necessary as well. There are many vendors who make high quality pouches and cage sets with varying pieces. They will usually make both pre-made or custom-made sets for you. I personally buy my cage sets from either Exclusively Exotics or The Glider Boutique - both of these vendors make very high quality items at affordable prices. Glider safety is paramount to them and they ensure that all items they make are as safe as possible. Another option is to make your own cage accessories. There are instructions for making many No Sew Accessories here on my site. Make sure you follow instructions implicitly to ensure your gliders' safety!

The accessory your glider will use the most frequently, other than its nesting pouch, is a glider-safe wheel. There are many available now at different price points. They all have one thing in common - they are made with open fronts and do not have a center axle that can injure your glider's tail. Options include:
The Raptor Wheel - available from The TGI Store
The Custom Choice Cruiser
The Stealth Wheel

Fresh Branches

Gliders love to play and chew on freshly cut branches. Some woods are toxic to gliders, so make sure you check the listing in the table below before placing any branches into your gliders' cage. Keep in mind that if fertilizer or pesticides have been used on or around a tree within the past six months, it should NOT be used. Make sure to replace the branches with fresh ones once the wood has become dry and brittle or half of the bark has been stripped.

Fresh eucalyptus branches and leaves can be ordered from Euc Products of California. Don't use eucalyptus from a florist or dried varieties found in craft stores since they are full of preservatives that can be harmful to your gliders.
Safe Branches for Sugar Gliders
 Unsafe Branches (Toxic)
Apple (any variety)
 Almond
 Ash
 Apricot
 Beech
 Black Walnut
 Cottonwood
 Cedar
 Crabapple
 Cherry (all varieties)
 Dogwood
 Nectarine
 Elm
 Peach
 Magnolia
 Pine/Fir
 Maple (except Red)
 Red Maple
 Poplar
 
 Sassafras
 
 Willow
 
This listing is by no means a complete listing. Do an internet search to find out about the toxicity of other varieties of tree branches.

Continue reading about Sugar Gliders and their care at

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Site most recently updated in October, 2016