Introducing sugar gliders can be extremely simple in some cases, but it can also be a long, slow, and stressful process. There are a few important things to consider when introducing new sugar gliders:
  • Intact males that are mature will usually not get along. Males are territorial, and will fight for dominance of their “territory”. Often times brothers, or males that have been introduced during adolescence will be able to be housed together. Sugar gliders use scent to mark their territory, intact males living together will attempt to out scent the other male, resulting in an musky odors no matter how much cage cleaning you do. It is not a 100% guarantee that intact males introduced at a young age will continue to get a long after sexual maturity. Neutering one or both males may be necessary, and should be prepared for.
  •  Introducing young gliders is easier than introducing older sugar gliders. Older sugar gliders generally have accepted their “colony” situation, even if they have been housed alone.
  • Never introduce an adult male to an adolescent female. Adult males may attempt to breed her if she is ready or not. This can result in severe injury of the female or even kill her.
  • Sugar gliders of the same age and same size are the most successful introductions. Female to female pairings are good, and male to female pairings are best. If you do not want joeys, neuter the male.
  • If you are intending to breed, be weary of trio or colony situation. Often times these result in baby stealing, cannibalization, rejected babies, and injuries. Sometimes they will work out, other times they don’t. Breeding is best done in pairs to avoid unnecessary stress and potential dangers.
  • Avoid introducing a new glider to a breeding pair or colony. Colonies are sensitive structures. Introducing a new glider to an established pair is dangerous for all sugar gliders and joeys involved.
  • Avoid introducing a female with joeys in pouch to a new male. The new male will be able to sense they are not his in most cases, and destroy the joeys.
  • If you are placing a new male with a female that has been with a different male, put the female in a cage by herself for at least a week. Be sure the cage is clean, toys, and pouches are clean. This will allow the other male's scent diminish off of her.
  • New sugar gliders should always be quarantined before beginning introductions to your current sugar gliders. Sugar gliders are prone to stress. Even if the sugar glider was healthy when it left the previous owner/breeder, stress lowers their immune system and can make them more susceptible to illness.

How to introduce sugar gliders:

  • Introduce sugar gliders in a neutral territory where you have control. A bathroom that has been glider proofed or small tent works great. Be prepared to break up a fight if necessary by having a towel or small blanket on hand. Should a fight incur, toss the blanket on them and gently remove one of the sugar gliders from the situation. If a fight broke out, this means you will have to take the introduction slower.
  • Place the sugar gliders cages where they can see and hear each other. Be sure they are not too close that one sugar glider can grab the tail of the other glider. Often times it is recommended to have at least 1 food of clearance between the cages.
  • Sugar gliders are scent oriented. Trade pouches, toys, and even cages with the gliders you are trying to introduce. Placing peppermint or vanilla on the sugar gliders to give them the same scent before introducing them may be beneficial. After about a week or so, try again to reintroduce them on neutral territory.
  • Don’t overwhelm the cages with toys. You want the sugar gliders to be curious about the “guy next door”.
  •  If introductions fail the first time around, try again. Each sugar glider is different, and may take a bit longer to accept it’s new friend. In extreme, and rare cases it may take a full month or more to get the sugar gliders to accept each other.

Tips for newly introduced sugar gliders:

  • Place the sugar gliders in the same cage for the first time in the morning. This way you will be awake and alert to break-up any possible fighting.
  • Don’t overwhelm the cage with toys. You want to watch them interact with each other. Add toys as time goes on, and you are sure they have accepted each other.
  • Tiny spats are normal in the beginning. This is how sugar glider decide their “place” within to colony. However, should the sugar gliders “ball-up” one must be removed and slower introductions must be preformed.
  • Be sure to offer more than one sleeping place the first few weeks.
  • Offer more than one feeding station at least 2-3 days, or until you are sure they are letting each other eat.

~Pet Sugar Gliders~

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