Everyone has asked their parents to get them a puppy, kitten, or guinea pig as pets but, not everyone got their wishes fulfilled. However, parents were correct in their reasons when they rejected our pleas regarding pets. After witnessing possum Pikachu, everyone expressed their wish to have a pet possum as well. And then the question that arose was can possums be pets. In this article, we will discuss if possums can be tamed as pets or not.
1. How Important is Grooming?
Stray and forest animals have ticks and fleas that feed on them. Possums are extraordinary in grooming themselves because they kill approximately 95% of ticks every year trying to feed on them. Indirectly, they are protecting humans too by keeping their population under control. According to research, it is concluded that on average every possum kills over 5000 ticks each year. (See Top 8 World’s Smallest Animals)
2. How do their Eating Habits Benefit Humans?
In many areas, people consider them pests because they tend to destroy their derivative forests or plantation. Instead, in comparison to other animals, they are more helpful for both ecosystem and humans. Their feeding habit helps us to get rid of insects and rodents around our house and in our gardens.
- They generally feed on vegetable and fruits waste thrown away by humans thereby, getting rid of decaying matter preventing the rise of any diseases.
- Moreover, possums feed on animals killed in road accidents and reduce the chances of infections in other animals roaming around.
3. Are they Immune Against Venom?
Pet possum can prove to be quite beneficial because they help in keeping the surroundings safe from snakes. Possums are immune to the venom of most snakes and can feed on them. Likewise, they are also immune to the venom of bees and scorpion stings. (See How Do Snake Fangs Work?)
4. How do they Differ from Other Animals?
Animals like dogs and rats can become a reason for spreading deadly animal diseases like rabies and botulism. But possums are naturally resistant to these diseases. In addition, they are not responsible for spreading these diseases either. (See What is the Difference between Possum and Raccoon?)
5. Where do they Live?
Rabbits and other rodents dig holes to live and travel underground. But a possum usually takes up shelter in abandoned sites, burrows, digs, holes, etc., proving beneficial for residential areas. They also prevent over-crowding of their species because they maintain distance among themselves by marking their territories. They avoid getting in fights with each other as well. (See What Does a Rabbit Symbolize?)
6. How to Maintain their Diet as Pets?
Possums are nocturnal animals and feed on several food items to meet the required nutritional demands of their body. Possums need a healthy balance of calcium and phosphorus for a healthy and long life. Can Possums be Pets? Well, they can but it can be risky for their health. It is so because any mistake in their diet may cause an imbalance in their nutritional levels resulting in metabolic bone disease. This disease is painful and fatal for them. (See Can you have a pet squirrel?)
7. What does the Average Life Span of a Pet Possum depend on?
A possum living in forests has a chance of surviving for three years or even less because of deadly predators and human traffickers. However, a possum as a pet has the chance of living twice as this. Unfortunately, many veterinary experts lack the necessary knowledge, and training required to deal with the various health problems faced by possums.
- It is concluded that a possum becomes mentally and physically stressed in captivity. They are wanderers and when held captive, there is considerably less physical activity for them.
- Female possums are likely to develop genital and urinary tract infections more easily.
- Other health problems include cataracts, obesity, and bacterial illness, which develop after they complete one year of their life.
If you are still wondering can possums be pets, re-think it because taking them as a pet affects their immune system greatly.
8. What is the Legal Procedure for Adoption of Pet Possum?
Can Possums be Pets? Yes, but keeping them as pets requires permission from the relevant authorities. Rules may vary from state to state but keeping them without a proper wildlife rehabilitation permit may be termed unlawful. Moreover, they may develop several health issues in captivity therefore, certain authorities do not permit everyone to keep a possum as a pet. Thus, you should check out the rules in your state and country before opting for a possum pet.
9. Which Species is considered best Pet Possum?
Can Possums be Pets? Well, two species of possums are considered as potentially good pets.
- Short-tailed possums have features of a rat with grey-brown fur, bare tails, and are native to Brazil. Their life span can be between four to eight years, and they reach up to a size of four to eight inches. Their long bare tails are also the size of their body.
- Sugar Gliders are like the replicas of flying squirrels, with their size being, the same as them. These tiny possums are also nocturnal but friendly towards humans. They have a lifespan of five to seven years and are very playful. (See 7 Sugar Glider Habitat Facts)
10. Points to Remember
Since now you know the answer to can possums be pets, you should bear the following points in mind while taming them:
- If you are keeping them in cages, then you will need a big cage.
- But never leave them home alone because they are sensitive.
- Get a pair of sugar gliders and spend quality time with them.
- Be careful while handling them.
- Kids should not just hold them like toys. Because if their grip is tight and making the possum uncomfortable, the possum may nip, and it can be infectious. (See Do Squirrels Make Good Pets? Can they be domesticated?)