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How to Choose the Right Size Cage for Sugar Gliders

Ashley Bates

March 9, 2021

Sugar gliders are just tiny things, fitting ever-so-perfectly into your palm. But don’t let their smallness fool you. These little marsupials are master jumpers, once gliding their way across wooded areas—tree to tree. They need a cage that allows them to freely flit around without too much restriction. In fact, their livelihood depends on it.

So, when you’re browsing through options trying to find the best cage, let’s talk a bit about what you should be looking for. You may have a lot of questions—don’t worry! We’ve covered all the basics on how to choose the right cage for your sugar glider.

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A Little Tidbit About Sugar Gliders

When it comes to exotic pets, there’s no wonder sugar gliders have increased in popularity since the 1990s. These marsupials are tiny, adorable, and they can make very rewarding companions (if given the right care).

But these aren’t easy pets, either. They require specific care including, diet, environment, and outside stimuli. Many people might think that they can put these guys in a small cage to match their size. That isn’t the case at all. They don’t call them “gliders” for no reason.

In the wild, they soar from trees and branches. So, you can see why a small cage wouldn’t make them happy. They need an enclosure with enough room to move as freely as possible.

cute sugar gliders
Image Credit: E Love Photography, Flickr

Sugar Glider Pairs or More

If you’ve thought of having a solo sugar glider—think again. These animals are highly social, depending on their species for support and affection.

You need at least a pair of sugar gliders together. But you can get up to even three or four. You must have the appropriate space, which would go up with the number of gliders you have. So, before you commit, think about whether you have the available home space for a cage of that caliber.

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Cage Shape for Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders are short-legged, but their cage should be tall. Most compatible cages sit up off of the ground with multi-levels. Gliders should be able to move around the cage at will. So, after you get their hammocks and hiding spaces put in, make sure your cage also has enough wiggle room.

There are several enclosures designed for animals like sugar gliders, but you might also find that many bird cages are solid options, too—depending on the setup, of course. Remember to read carefully before you buy so you can find the perfect spot in your home.

sugar glider clinging onto the cage
Image Credit: Sergey Karpenkov, Flickr

Cage Dimensions for Sugar Gliders

Dimensions are probably the most crucial part of the process. Bigger cages are better, but the height is even more important. Sugar gliders need a tall, wide cage—at the very least 24” D x 24” W x 36” H. Bar spacing shouldn’t exceed half an inch.

Multi-levels are okay, but make sure they aren’t too restrictive. They need room inside of the cage to get from one side to the other with no help from platforms—unlike some other creatures who need them for climbing.

Many enclosures come with removable levels that you can take out or place where you want them.

Cage Safety Features for Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders can be quite the escape artists. They are small and more than able to squeeze through thin spaces. The idea of one (or many!) getting loose without your knowledge can be dangerous. They might be very hard to find, fall prey to another household pet, or even be squished!

Multi-level cages have different entry and exit points. Some doors are the height of the cage, and swing open fully. Others have two meeting doors that latch in the center. Some have smaller entry points that snap shut. Larger cages usually have bigger gaps in bar spacing. While that might work for some pets, your sugar glider isn’t one of them.

Depending on the cage, it might have sides that snap or latch together. While you can work with this, remember that your sugar glider climbs a lot. You won’t want any tiny spaces where they can pinch their toes or fingers.

sugar glider in a cage
Image Credit: Haley Lynn Wingfield, Flickr

Cage Accessories for Sugar Gliders

Another reason sugar gliders need a taller cage is because of their accessories. Gliders love hiding, so make sure their cage is generously decorated with hammocks and hiding spots of all kinds. You won’t want to have too many obstructions in the cage.

Hammocks and hiding spots generally work best in the top and bottom portions of the cage. These spaces give your glider somewhere to relax, rest, and hide.

Sugar gliders might also like running wheels to get out a little energy. Most wheels can attach directly to the cage, keeping it up against one side so you can create openness.

No matter how you spruce the cage up, make sure it accommodates all the additions you plan to add.

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FAQs

Should sugar gliders be kept in pairs?

In the wild, sugar gliders live in large colonies with between 6 and 10 members. Because of their highly social nature, you must have at least a pair of sugar gliders—if not more. If they’re in solitude, they can get lonely, depressed, and exhibit poor behavior.

How much space does each sugar glider need?

Two sugar gliders should have a space that is at least 24” D x 24” W x 36” H.

Can I have more than two sugar gliders in one cage?

Permitting the cage is big enough, you can have two sugar gliders in one cage. Even though they are tiny, they need lots of room to move around freely.

Can I let my sugar gliders free in my home all day?

While you should get your sugar glider out for a lot of floor playtime, you shouldn’t leave them out unattended. Even though they would appreciate the space, they are too small and the risks are too high.

Can I use a hamster, guinea pig, or rabbit cage for my sugar glider?

Even though sugar gliders are small, they need lots of cage space. Unlike a hamster or guinea pig, sugar gliders need tall enclosures.

However, many bird cages might suffice, providing that it meets all necessary criteria.

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Final Thoughts

So, when you finally buy the cage of your choice for your sugar glider, now you know what to look for. Make sure the cage is taller vertically than wide—and never use a ground, singular-level cage for your pair. Safety is a must, so make sure there are no jagged edges or problem areas.

Also, make sure to decorate their cage with lots of exciting activities and napping areas. They need a space they can feel safe, comfortable, and at-home.


Featured Image: MARVIK, Shutterstock

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.