Understanding Why Sugar Gliders Can’t Live Alone

Petaurus breviceps, more commonly known as “sugar gliders’, are marsupials with a lifespan averaging 3 to 9 years in the wild. These pocket-sized animals have gradually become a hit among exotic pet lovers for the past 15 years. Before you decide to get one for yourself, it is essential to understand why sugar gliders can’t live alone — or can they?

Can’t Sugar Gliders Live Alone?

In the wild, sugar gliders live with 10 to 15 other adult sugar gliders in nests or colonies. They are generally considered social animals, and once domesticated, they are known to thrive better in pairs or more. 

Many beginning sugar glider owners would often ask why sugar gliders can’t live alone. To explain it simply, it is possible for one sugar glider to be a happy pet on its own, provided that the owner will give them constant love and care. 

Remember, it is perfectly fine to keep only one sugar glider, as long as you don’t leave them alone for long periods. If you live with your family, your sugar glider will likely develop the strongest bond with the person handling them the most. They will need sufficient activities and interactions coming from you or any family member so you can keep them happy and healthy.

You will know that your sugar glider is happy when they are energetic when it’s playtime. They jump immediately onto your hands because they like being held. 

Tips When Getting A Single Sugar Glider

1. Mind their emotions

If neglected, sugar gliders don’t die of depression. Instead, they develop symptoms of stress like loss of appetite, which can eventually lead to the worst-case scenario if not treated.

2. Get ready for “nightlife”

Do not forget that these marsupials are nocturnal animals, so if you don’t think you can handle being awake both day and night, perhaps sugar gliders are not for you. If you are just beginning to bond with your sugar glider, take it slow and let them get used to your scent to be comfortable.

3. Travel smart with them

If you often need to be away from your sugar glider because of work or other reasons, the risk of getting your sugar glider sad and stressed increases. Thankfully, there is an immediate solution for this problem, and you no longer have to often ask why sugar gliders can’t live alone. 

  • Invest in a travel cage or pouch specifically designed for sugar gliders. These are especially handy when you are traveling in the daytime. Keeping them in your company will keep them comfortable and satisfied while they spend hours sleeping during the day.
  • When the night comes and your sugar glider is awake, remember to spend at least an hour or two of active physical interaction with them.

4. Limit your away-time

Whether your sugar glider is alone or in pairs, you still need to check on them constantly. If you need to leave, a day is the longest amount of time you can spend away from them. As marsupials, they will always seek the warmth of their mother’s pouch, and since you are their new fur parent, it is your responsibility to provide this kind of comfort for them.

If properly cared for, domesticated sugar gliders can live a long, healthy life for as many as 12 years.


If you think you have plenty of time to take care of a sugar glider, by all means, go ahead! The next time someone asks you why sugar gliders can’t live alone, just show them this article so they’ll understand.



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