Barking, hissing, and crabbing are distinct traits that make these captivating creatures exceptional as pets. But what exactly do these behaviours convey? Do they reflect happiness, sadness, anger, or anxiety? In this post, we will explore and unravel the answers to these questions, delving into the fascinating world of pet sugar glider behaviour and deciphering the meanings behind their barks, hisses, and crabbing.
Signs of a Happy Pet Sugar Glider
Understanding the typical behaviour of pet sugar gliders can be a mystery for first-time pet sugar glider owners, as these charming creatures are not accustomed to human presence. Naturally social marsupials, sugar gliders thrive in groups of seven to ten adults in their wild habitat, predominantly residing in trees. Male sugar gliders mark their group members with saliva from special scent glands on their foreheads.
As pets, pet sugar gliders adapt to their environment while retaining some of their instinctive behaviours, including:
- Scent marking
- Daytime sleep
- Evening feeding
- Climbing and jumping
Even in captivity, male sugar gliders may engage in scent marking, which can extend to marking their owners. Neutered males are less prone to this behavior, although it can still occur.
Sugar gliders are nocturnal creatures, exhibiting reduced activity during the daytime. However, this period presents an excellent opportunity for bonding.
To foster bonding, a bonding pouch can be used. These small carrying pouches equipped with straps allow you to carry your pet sugar glider close to you as you go about your daily activities. The proximity and familiar scent aid in the bonding process.
In the evening, pet sugar gliders become more active and ready to eat. If your pet sugar glider frequently wakes up after your bedtime, ensure you provide fresh food before retiring for the night.
Climbing, leaping, jumping, and gliding are all natural behaviours for pet sugar gliders. They instinctively feel safer in elevated positions and tend to avoid the ground whenever possible. Your pet sugar glider may joyfully leap from couch to couch, scamper up your arm, or even seek refuge nestled between your neck and shoulder.
Unhappy Pet Sugar Glider Behaviour
Pet Sugar Glider Shaking
In addition to the various vocalisations they make, pet sugar gliders may exhibit some unusual behaviours like shaking, scratching, or biting.
During the first few minutes after waking up, some sugar gliders tremble or shake, but this is normal behaviour for pet sugar gliders in good health. When this occurs consistently, it may indicate a health issue such as calcium deficiency. However, continuous shaking or trembling may indicate an underlying health issue, such as calcium deficiency.
Pet Sugar Glider Scratching
You may observe your pet sugar glider scratching or attempting to scrape its teeth against your legs or arms. In the wild, sugar gliders engage in this behaviour to extract sap from tree trunks, so they might mistake your limbs for trees. To divert your pet sugar glider’s focus, offer them a treat or toy, or check if they require food.
Pet Sugar Glider Biting
When feeling scared or curious, sugar gliders often resort to nipping or biting. This behaviour is more likely to occur when you first bring your pet sugar glider home and handle it. As you build a bond and spend time together with your pet sugar glider, the frequency of nipping should decrease gradually, eventually ceasing altogether.
Understand the Most Common Pet Sugar Glider Noises
Understanding the meaning behind the noises made by your pet sugar glider can offer insights into their moods and behaviours. These social creatures are known for their expressive vocalisations, and paying attention to these sounds can enhance your bond with them.
There are four primary sounds that pet sugar gliders commonly make: crabbing, barking, chirping, and sneezing. While they possess a wide vocal range, pet sugar gliders generally make less noise compared to other household pets. Staying attuned to your pet sugar glider vocal cues can help you better understand their communication.
Happy Pet Sugar Glider Sounds
1. Pet Sugar Glider Chirping
Pet sugar gliders emit adorable chirping sounds when they are feeling content and receiving affection. Just as a cat purrs in your lap, a pet sugar glider may chirp when you hold them. They often express their happiness through chirping while enjoying their favourite food.
2. Pet Sugar Glider Sneezing
Sneezing is a typical behaviour for pet sugar gliders and should not cause concern. It is common for them to spit into their hands, resulting in a gentle sneezing noise, as part of their grooming routine.
3. Pet Sugar Glider Hissing
Hissing in pet sugar gliders can have various interpretations. They may softly hiss while relieving themselves or use a prolonged hiss as a warning signal. In most cases, hissing is a normal aspect of their behaviour and rarely indicates any problem.
4. Pet Sugar Glider Mating Call
Female sugar gliders often vocalize with distinctive sounds when they are in heat. These sounds can resemble a long hiss or even a bark, depending on the individual pet sugar glider.
Sounds of an Unhappy Pet Sugar Glider
Pet Sugar Glider Crabbing
When bringing a pet sugar glider home, it is common to hear them crabbing (chattering).
Crabbing simply indicates that your pet sugar glider is scared. After establishing a bond, this sound should become rare, except when they feel threatened or startled. It is normal behaviour during the early days of welcoming a new pet sugar glider into your home or after adoption.
Pet Sugar Glider Barking
Sugar gliders can emit barking sounds similar to those of a Chihuahua. This behaviour is also considered normal for these marsupials. Your pet sugar glider may bark when experiencing various emotions, such as excitement, alarm, anxiety, loneliness, fear, or boredom.
Similar to dogs, if you hear your pet sugar glider barking, it’s important to consider their needs. This may include providing bonding time or ensuring an adequate food supply to address their specific requirements.
How Do You Know When Your Pet Sugar Glider Has Bonded?
In the early stages, your pet sugar glider may exhibit crabbing behaviour and attempt to escape when you approach or handle it. However, as time goes on, you’ll notice several signs indicating a strong bond between you and your pet sugar glider.
A well-bonded pet sugar glider won’t crab when you approach. Instead of feeling frightened, your pet sugar glider will feel at ease climbing onto you without the immediate urge to flee.
While bonded, your pet sugar glider may occasionally bite or nip to communicate its needs or desires, although these instances become less frequent as the bond deepens.
Chirping serves as another positive indication of bonding. When you hold your pet sugar glider, you may hear it chirping or purring with contentment, expressing trust and affection. With a solid bond, you can take your pet sugar glider anywhere, and it should feel entirely comfortable.
Keep in mind that proper handling is essential for nurturing the bond. Just like with any other small pet, take care to prevent accidentally dropping your lightweight pet sugar glider.
How Do Pet Sugar Gliders Behave Around Other Animals?
The behaviour of pet sugar gliders around other animals can vary depending on the specific pets involved. While some animals may not get along well with pet sugar gliders, others may exhibit different reactions. It is crucial to observe their behavior and take necessary precautions when introducing them.
For instance, certain ferrets may display aggression towards pet sugar gliders, while others may simply ignore them. Generally, cohabitation with other caged pets in the same household should not pose significant issues.
However, when different species of pets are given the freedom to explore the home together, it is important to closely monitor their interactions. It may take time for the pets to adapt and become comfortable in each other’s presence. This gradual process allows for a smoother integration and reduces the likelihood of any potential conflicts.