Marsupials as Pets

 

Considering a Marsupial as a Pet?

The Marsupial Society actively encourages the keeping and breeding of Marsupials in captivity but generally NOT as pets in the true sense of the word. 

What is a pet?    If you consider a pet to be an animal that comes when it is called; that you can hold and pet; that you can train to do tricks; that you can share your home with and leave with neighbours or friends when you go away, then you should think very carefully before considering a marsupial.   In general Marsupials do not make good pets. 

In most cases the suburban backyard is not the right place for these animals.   For the larger marsupials in particular, a backyard is not big enough or secure enough, and for the smaller ones the danger of disease from domestic cats and other animals is unacceptable.    They also need your personal constant attention, so if you like the annual holiday, life suddenly becomes a little problematic – at least for the lifetime of the animal.

Most, if not all, of the marsupials that are commonly kept in captivity will not readily settle into a human household.   They will become either destructive or smelly or both.   They do not house train easily (if at all) and most will scent mark their territories, which makes for keeping them indoors a little difficult.    Likewise most are nocturnal, so they will be active at night whilst you are asleep.

Marsupial are not domesticated, but wild animals, and will probably always remain that way.   In captivity they will often become tame but on occasions where individuals do not tame very well they can be dangerous.    In our lifetime, it is unlikely that any marsupial will ever fall into the category of the domesticated animal.

If you would really like to keep these creatures then much thought needs to go into where you are going to keep them and how you are going to look after them before you get started.   To that end, as mentioned at the head of this article, The Marsupial Society will help and encourage you to care for your choice of animal in the best way possible.    We are happy to help out if we can - just email us and ask about whatever bothers you.   We will do our best to help.

But remember, they will never become a pet in the strictest sense of the word.    If you want a pet, or companion animal, buy a cat or a dog or if you are looking for something a little unusual try a stick insect.

 
 
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