Can You Have A Possum As A Pet

Can You Have A Possum As A Pet? Is it Legal? [2024 Guide]

Do Possums Make Great Pets? What are the Guidelines and Tips while owning Possums as Pets:

When human beings think about getting a pet, dogs, and cats are some of the most famous alternatives around the world. Some human beings go for smaller creatures, which include hamsters, rabbits, rats, or fish.

Others need amphibian or reptile pets; frogs, snakes, or lizards, are famous ‘exotic’ options. But what about a possum? Have you ever thought about it?

Usually, a possum does not come to most human beings’ minds once they think about owning a pet. These are wild creatures, so generally, they do not make nice pets and aren’t always a prison to the house. However, a few varieties of possums have been carried out nicely as tame pets.

Possum as a pet

While a few possums are pretty lovely and easy to handle, there are some reasons why possums aren’t great animals to have as pets.

Possums are wild animals. No matter how cute and lovely a few possums are, they’re nonetheless wild animals. Recreating the natural environments inside cages is sort of impossible.

They have greater complicated social needs. Depending on wherein you purchase a possum, they have the capability to hold very dangerous illnesses which are deadly to humans.

Possums can also suffer from health issues. Yes, all pets have the capability to capture infection or disease. But what a pet proprietor needs to be aware of is if you can deal with the possum if they do get sick.

Not all vets in your location have specialized in possum care. Dental issues also are common amongst some possums. This could cause higher clinical payments than expected.

Possums are nocturnal in nature. While you’re sleeping, maximum possums are going to be active. With this approach, they may not get the attention they need to change into tame family pets.

Certain possums are very social and might get depressed if they’re left by themselves for too long. They additionally may keep you up at night time with the motion of their cages.

Is owning a Possum legal as a pet?

Laws differ from place to place around the world. Hence, there can be regulations about exceptional animal possession in your area.

Also, exotic animal legal guidelines can change. Animal rights corporations frequently work to make owning any wild or exotic animal illegal in the United States. 

If you choose to have a possum as a pet, take a look at the legal guidelines within your country before getting a possum. In some states, you need a permit, while in a few locations owning exotic animals is forbidden.

Species of Possums that make good pets

Short-Tailed Possums

Short-tailed possums are from Brazil and function like a rat. Their coat is grey-brown. However, their tails are bare.

Adults attain a length of four to eight inches with a tail equaling the length of their body.  Short-tailed possums live for approximately four-eight years.

These short-tailed possums are natural-born break-out artists. Hence, your enclosure needs to be break out-proof, like an aquarium with a solid mesh top. They will even need a small bathtub to nest in and a few branches to climb for exercise and entertainment.

Short-tailed opossums are solitary. They will fight with each other if they are placed in an identical cage; they might even kill each other.

Sugar gliders

These tiny possums look like squirrels because of their size. Also, the folds of skin beneath their palms permit them to glide from place to place.

Males weigh between 0.22-0.35 pounds, and females weigh between 0.18-0.29 pounds. Both sexes can stay for 5-7 years. They are nocturnal. Still, they are very social.

Sugar gliders could make excellent pets due to the fact they’re playful and social animals. They need a bigger cage (minimal 3’ x 2’ x 3’) so they can bounce and climb around freely.

Ensure that the bars have an area no larger than 0.5-inch among them. This is because a sugar glider could easily squeeze out. These possums need a friend, so purchase them in pairs. Sugar gliders can get depressed if they’re residing alone.

How to raise a possum?

A possum is a very uncommon pet. Hence, people don’t know how to raise them. Therefore, you can follow these steps if you want to raise a possum.

  1. Understand this. Possums are nocturnal creatures. Hence, they sleep during the day and remain active during the nighttime. They love to sleep in dark places. Therefore, you must provide a suitable environment so that it can sleep during the day. Also, make sure the resting place is away from sunlight and drafts.
  2. Look for a nesting box of good quality, branches to climb, and an exercise wheel for nighttime. 
  3. Possums love fruits. They need a lot of protein, low fat, and dry food. 
  4. Their homes need to have the humidity at 50% to secure their skin from drying. Also, access to fresh water will keep possums away from dehydration. Therefore, make sure that you keep fresh water available for your pets all the time.
  5. Possums eat mice, voles, and insects. Hence, they can be good household pests. However, if they are afraid, they can attack you. Therefore, you need to be careful about it. 
  6. The possum will probably need to run out of the house, just like other pets. These creatures are agile and curious. They additionally have brilliant dexterity, making them capable of opening drawers, shelves, and different things they should not. You need to possum-proof your house.
  7. Your possum additionally needs to be trained to use a litter container from childhood if they are never capable of being returned to the wild. Do not litter educate them if they can be. Use high-quality reinforcement to make sure your possum stays safe, satisfied, and contended. Provide treats in case you need to boost its trust levels.

possum Vs. opossum difference and Comparison

Depending on where you’re or who you talk to, there’s either plenty or no distinction between a possum and an opossum. However, making a difference can assist solve any issues you’re dealing with.

The possum is the animal we’re discussing in this blog. However, it’s also referred to as the opossum. They have lengthy snouts and sharp teeth. They are opossums with prehensile tails, making them superb climbers.

This is something vital when thinking about possums as pets. Opossums need to climb over everything in your house. They are determined in South, North, and Central America.

However, mainly in the North. Opossums are more typically referred to clearly as possums in the Midwest and South of the USA.

The English phrase ‘possum’ was first used for this opossum range. However, when Australia was colonized by Europeans, they took this phrase and carried it out to every other kind of marsupial that is discovered there. (However not in the Americas).

These creatures are of comparable length and have similar behavior. But, they aren’t identical species. They are never known as an opossum, that is why many name the American type the opossum and the antipodean variety simply the possum.

Parameter Opossum Possum
Where do they live? Mostly North America Oceania and Australia
Tail Structure Similar to Rats ( less or No Hair) Similar to Squirrel (Haired)
Food and Diet Omnivore (Eat Everything) Herbivore (Eat Plants and veggies)
Protective Methods Catatonia and Hissing Arboreal (Hide and Live in Tress)

Final words

In conclusion, I would say that you must not pet an Opossum in your house. Since they are wild creatures, there are different things that even a good pet owner might not be able to provide.

However, if you still want to pet a Possum, consider the following tips:

  • Do research on the Possum species you want to bring home. See if you can provide him with a happy and suitable life
  • Check the laws and restrictions in your area about owning an exotic animal
  • Look for the nearby vets that are specialized in exotic animal care

Frequently asked questions