Can You Own a Pet Kinkajou?

Can You Own a Pet Kinkajou? Is It Legal?

Should I Get a Kinkajou as a Pet? Do kinkajous make good pets? Such queries often stop exotic pet enthusiasts from choosing their best animal buddies.

Kinkajous are exotic animals and undoubtedly amongst the cutest. The increase in interest in owning them is growing day by day, and multiple individuals are volunteering for that. And if you are also one of them, here is all that you might need to know.

What is a Kinkajou? Introduction

Kinkajou, also known as a honey bear, is a tropical rainforest mammal. It got its nickname since Kinkajou is known for raiding honey from beehives in his natural habitat. It is closely related to olingos, coatis, and raccoons and belongs to the Procyonidae family.

Kinkajous are commonly found in tropical forests of Central and South America and are native to rainforest regions. They have a prehensile tail, a thick woolly golden-brown coat, very sharp claws, and surprisingly long tongues.

These fellow littles spend most of their time resting and jumping here and there on trees. Someone who is completely unknown of their existence can even confuse them for monkeys.

History of Kinkajou

The classificational history of Kinkajou is extremely complex. Currently, Kinkajous are recognized as a monotypic genus that came down from Potos flavus. However, historically they are recognized with seven or eight subspecies.

Can You Own a Pet Kinkajou?

Kinkajou Species Overview

Common NamesKinkajou, Honey Beer
Scientific namePotos Flavus
Groop NameTroop
SizeWeight: 3 to 7 pounds height:
Head and body: 17 to 22 inches;
Tail: 16 to 22 inches

Does Kinkajou Make Good Pets?

The intelligent, vocal, and curious behaviour of Kinkajous is responsible for their growth as pet animals.

They though are native to rainforests and wild tropical regions; Kinkajous are still popular for being raised in captivity.

Their friendly and playful behaviour makes them one of the finest exotic pet options. However, since Kinkajous are easy to startle and might become aggressive, having them comes with a risk. 

Kinkajous’ make up as great pets for the right individual. Considering all the aspects, Kinkajou requires an extremely committed owner who is also an enthusiast (curious plus knowledgeable) about the animal.

Is It Legal To Keep Kinkajou As A Pet?

Exotic pets like Kinkajou are often misjudged and misunderstood. Since misinformation about them is in abundance, countries worldwide have different regulations on keeping them.

For Kinkajou, British Columbia does not ban or regulate keeping exotic species, including Kinkajous, pythons and alligators, as pets. However, a permit is a must for possessing such animals or keep for breeding, shipping, or transporting them.

Anyone owning controlled species like Kinkajous will stand responsible for its well-being, self, and public safety.

Similarly, there are different restrictions on exotic and wild animals’ possession, breeding, or transportation in America. While one may allow keeping them without any special permit, others may have strict laws for not having them.

Are Kinkajou legal in the U.S.?

There is no one answer to the question of whether Kinkajous are legal in the United States or not.

All across the United States, there are different laws for possessing, breeding, and transporting animals like Kinkajous.

For instance, Hawaii has the strictest pet regulations on keeping most exotic pets, including Kinkajou. It is because the island ecosystems don’t allow bringing or possessing the most exotic or common animals.

While Nevada imposes a ban on keeping raccoons as pets, Kinkajou is still legal to own here. Nevada is known for having the loosest exotic pet laws, and one can keep a variety of pet animals here without even getting a permit.

Idaho before 2014 allowed keeping multiple exotic pets. However, while the Zanesville massacre came to light, it enacted its ban on keeping exotic pets the same year.

As of the 2014 laws, 13 U.S. States allow possessing exotic pets like Kinkajous with appropriate documentation, permit, and license.

In contrast, about 7 U.S. States allow possessing exotic pets without owning a permit or license. Laws are different with every local State government, and ensuring the same is extremely important.

Also, individuals living on rent or lease aren’t allowed to keep exotic pets in several U.S. States. 

Many counties and cities require permits to keep a kinkajou; thus, it is important to know your local ordinances first.

Can you have Kinkajous as pets?

Kinkajous are unique and interesting to own, but does that mean you can possess them?

Kinkajous are wild but still owned as pets. However, no matter how many people own them, having a happy Kinkajou pet isn’t true for all. These animals can make problematic pets for individuals who are just keeping them for show. 

Before concluding whether you can have Kinkajous as pets or not, consider the points below:

  • Ensure Kinkajous are legal in your State. Also, learn about your local ordinances since they may differ from your Country or State laws.
  • Learn about how to attain a permit and license for keeping Kinkajous.
  • Ensure you own the house where you live since rental property owners aren’t allowed to keep exotic pets in the U.S. 
  • Kinkajous, though, can live captive, but they need huge space, different from a human household. Thus, if you can replicate wild space for them, then only think of bringing them home.
  • Kinkajous are high-maintenance, and owning them means spending a huge amount every month.

If the above pointers are in your favour, possessing a Kinkajou is ideal for you. However, if there are things you cannot fulfill, please drop the idea.

Owning a Kinkajou- You have to meet their needs.

Below is all about what it is likely to own a pet Kinkajou:

Kinkajou Housing Needs

Kinkajous need a big enclosure, as large as possible. Individuals owning a Kinkajou must meet at least Zoo standards for housing them. If a cage, it must at least measure 8 feet wide, 12 feet long, and 10 feet high.

However, the best is to have a medium to the big backyard-like space with trees, branches, ladders, ropes, ledges, shelves, etc. Such a setting is important to make the animal feel at home (wild). However, anything pointy and pierce isn’t the things you should include.

Besides that, make sure Kinkajous always have access to shade and water. 

Kinkajou Temperature & Humidity Needs

Kinkajous are native to tropical South America, thus imitating temperature like it is necessary.

Though Kinkajous doesn’t have exclusive temperature requirements, it should never go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ideally, the best temperature for these exotic pets is between 75- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature controller is necessary for their habitat during winters or harsh summers.

Humidity levels for Kinkajous are generally easy to maintain. Though as pet Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the ideal humidity level for Kinkajous is between 30 and 70 percent.

Kinkajou Dietary Needs

Kinkajous are Omnivorous, and their diet in the wild is quite varied. They primarily feed on fruits, nectar, plants, blossoms, and honey. Though sometimes their diet also consists of insects, eggs, frogs, etc.

However, according to experts, Kinkajous in captivity can even have commercial omnivorous food.

Still, the best way is to consult an exotic pet Veterinarian for the appropriate quantity and variety of food for your pet Kinkajou. Also, making recommendations on the ideal feeding schedule is necessary.

NOTE: Kinkajous roam and eat at night; thus, ensure you provide their dietary needs per the required daily schedule. 

Kinkajou Cleaning

It is nearly impossible to house train a Kinkajou; thus, caring for them becomes a little crucial. When in the wild, Kinkajous lick and clean one another.

However, if you own only one of them in captivity, an occasional warm sink or tub bath will help. Making these habits since the pet is still a baby is necessary.

Besides that, cleaning their daily feces and urine is easy to handle. Since Kinkajous urinate and defecate in a similar spot daily, cleaning their deed isn’t a hefty task.

Common Health Problems with Kinkajou

Kinkajous are generally healthy animals, but they may end up with one or another health problem. Due to the amount of sugar (nectar) in their diet, Kinkajous are prone to dental and oral health issues.

Some of them are also prone to worming issues; thus, rabies and distemper and deworming drugs/ vaccinations are necessary.

Besides that, one of the major health concerns with Kinkajous is spaying/ neutering. Since they can have aggression due to hormones, it is important to prevent that at a young age.

Where To Buy a Kinkajou? Where To Find a Kinkajou Breeder?

Several exotic animal pet shops across the USA deal in selling and buying Kinkajou. If you have any exotic animal pet shop nearby, consider investigating if they import Kinkajous. 

Or, multiple animal dealers have options available online. For reference:

How Much Does a Kinkajou Cost?

Kinkajous are expensive exotic pets. The price for having the same can vary. For investing in the pet alone, estimate about $2000 to $3000 easily. Visit a credible USDA breeder or broker only for your first bay pet.

Besides the pet, setting up a habitat alone would cost nearly $500. Besides that, they take roughly $10 per 5 to 8 days for their dietary needs. 

For medical needs, only exotic Veterinarians can handle Kinkajous. Thus, before you get the animal home, make sure you have already found an appropriate Vet around. DO NOT rely on your regular Veterinarians for handling anything regarding Kinkajous. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do kinkajous like to cuddle?

Kinkajous, though generally, aren’t much into humans. However, it tends to form a strong bond with their owner after some co-existence. It is very unlikely whether they will cuddle or not, but perhaps they will definitely display affection.

Can kinkajous live in your house?

Kinkajous can live in your house, given the indoor setting is modified to their needs. Kinkajous need a large space with natural things like branches and ropes to climb. Though since they are wild animals, one cannot train them to potty or to stay away from dangerous interiors.

Are Kinkajous domesticated?

Kinkajous are wild and exotic and not meant for domestication. However, lately, with the growing trend of keeping exotic animals, Kinkajous have become one popular choice. Still, these animals are not meant for domestication.

Can a kinkajou hurt you?

Kinkajous are usually playful, but they can turn aggressive in no time. Especially with Zookeepers or pet owners, instances of hurting are common.

How long do Kinkajous live?

The average lifespan of a kinkajou in the wild is 20 years, whereas, in captivity, it is 23 to 25 years. Some pet Kinkajous are also known for living healthily for up to 30 years.


Kinkajous are wild animals with unpredictable behavior. Even when all the conditions are in your favor, keeping a Kinkajou as a pet isn’t the best idea you are coming across.

The hassle of nurturing an exotic wild and the expenses that go behind it, along with hassle and risk, are indications that you must drop the idea of having a Kinkajou.

However, if you are still certain about the thought, make sure you learn and research about Kinkajous thoroughly before bringing them home.