Sugar Glider Bonding

Sugar Glider BondingSugar glider bonding is important whether you have a baby or an adult. Bonding with adults might be more difficult than bonding with a baby, but it is not impossible. I bonded with my sugar glider when she was about 10 months old. I am limited to discussing my experience and therefore cannot comment on bonding with a baby younger than 10 months. I also cannot comment on having multiple gliders as pets.

The first thing you need to have for the bonding process is a sugar glider bonding pouch. The pouch needs to be big enough for the sugar glider to sleep comfortably in and small enough for you to be able to wear it somewhere on your body, preferably close to your heart. My sugar glider had a bonding pouch when I got her from the pet store and she still uses it as her primary pouch 5 years later.

You want to make sure to wear your glider as much as possible when you first bring him/her home. I brought my glider to class with me in a zip pouch until I was comfortable wearing her around my neck in public. In the first weeks of having her, I would offer Pokey treats throughout the day to gain her trust and show her I was her friend.

She started to look forward to these treats as we got into a routine, and over time, she became more and more comfortable with me.  Throughout the bonding process and to this day, I wear my sugar glider around my neck as much as possible. Sugar gliders need this contact no matter what their age, so if you’re going to have a sole glider, make sure you can commit to giving them time and attention.

Another important aspect to sugar glider bonding is play time. You need to allow several hours each night for your sugar glider to be out of its cage. I have my room sealed so that my glider can run around freely. I do not make her stay on my person at all times. Some people prefer to keep their sugar glider on them, but I give my glider more freedom as she really enjoys exploring.

During play time, she will run around my room and climb the door frames and curtains but she will also come to me and hang out on my body. I sometimes like to take her into the living room or outside so she can look around, but I don’t let her off my body. If we are outside my bedroom and she jumps off of me, I will simply pick her up and put her back on my body and she usually will not try to jump off again.

One thing to remember is that sugar gliders can’t really be trained to only go to the bathroom in their cages. They will urinate and defecate whenever and wherever they please. If there are things in your room you want to keep clean, make sure to have them put away before play time. Otherwise, be prepared to clean up after your glider. And from time to time, your glider will probably have an accident on you. Don’t be mad, it’s all just part of the fun of sugar glider bonding!


  1. I have a 9 month old male, got him at 6 months, he had never bonded with anyone. He gets up at about 8 pm and goes to bed at about 7 am. I keep him in my shirt pocket all day. When I get him out of my pocket he wants to go right back in, like he is shy. How do I get him to play?

  2. Hi, about a month ago I got my very first glider. He is 5 months and very jumpy. He still will nip at my hands when I first go to touch him but then he just nips every now and again, is this a good thing?. Secondly I let him out to play in the evening in my sons room and he seems to enjoy this I will sit on the ground while he plays and try offering him treats but he will not take them and he is hard to catch. I wear him in his pouch as much as I can daily and I give him hand treats. He is still very afraid of me I make one move and he goes into his attack position. Is there anything you can suggest to help with the bonding?

    • It is very important to gain your glider’s trust, and this process will take a lot of patience on your part. You said that you give him hand treats, but try to make sure that you do this every time you even approach your glider. Offering tiny treats every time you approach will show him that he can trust you. This is the best way I know to gain a glider’s trust.

      The other advice I would give is to make sure that the pouch you wear your glider in is close to your heart. You can also try rubbing your scent onto something and putting it into the pouch with your glider as well as in their cage, because the scent will help them bond to you.

      It sounds like you are doing the right things, but you may just need to be a little patient with your glider. If your glider seems to be nipping less after you first approach, this is probably a good sign that they are beginning to trust you. All gliders are different, so it is hard to say, but keep doing what you are doing and give it a little more time.

  3. Easton Asher says:

    So i got my baby about a week ago and he is a very energetic guy. he is about 14 months old. He really enjoys going to my pocket and even jumps at my reflection in the mirror. im guessing thats a good thing? But when i lay down in bed and put him on my chest he will jump off and i feel like he is running away from me. Is he running away or just exploring ? while he is doing this he goes between the wall and my bed and skims the base of the bed. and he will burrow in my blanket and clothes. any idea to what he is doing?

    • That is so cute that he jumps at your reflection! Your glider sounds like he is very entertaining and fun. You have nothing to worry about with your glider jumping off of you to explore the room. Gliders are very curious by nature and they love to explore their environments. With your little guy being so energetic, it’s no wonder he wants to run off and explore all around the bed. Burrowing into your blanket and clothes is also totally normal glider behavior.

      Don’t worry about his behavior at all and just have fun watching him play and explore. If you want him to interact with you more, you can offer him small treats to coax him back to you or offer him some new toys. Gliders go crazy for feathers, so you can wave a feather around to get him to interact with you, but make sure to supervise so he doesn’t try to eat the feathers.

  4. I am deciding wether or not I should purchase two 1 1/2 year old sugar gliders. They come together and are affordable, but is that too old to bond with?

    • They are not too old to bond with. You can bond with any sugar glider, but it may take more time and patience to bond with adult gliders. If they are used to being handled by humans already, it may go more smoothly.

  5. catherine says:

    I have a sugar glider that is about 4 years old that a friend just recently gave to me and when I try to pick him up he simply bites me and makes a trilling noise. He had a mate but she died and he won’t let anyone close enough to bond to him, any advice??

    • Since this is an adult glider who has experienced the loss of a companion, you may have to work harder to gain his trust. It is important to keep trying and not give up, even if it takes more time than you expected. You have to build up the trust gradually. The more time you spend with your glider, and the more work you do towards the bonding process, the more he will begin to trust you.

      If he bites when you approach, it is best to take the bite rather than pulling away. He has to learn that biting you will not get the desired result. If you pull away, it just reinforces the behavior.

      You should approach with treats and reward him so he knows you bring good things. Wear him as much as you can during the day, and spend as much time as you can playing with him at night. If he really will not let you close to him, then just sit by his cage and read a book, or talk to him. The more he gets used to your presence, the more he will begin to trust you.

      Good luck and just remember that patience and persistence is key in the bonding process. It may take months to gain the trust of some gliders, especially adults who have been through a lot. Once you start to see some progress, it will be a rewarding feeling.

  6. I have a one or two month old baby, and ever since I got him he seemed to still be upset and mad about how he was shoved in his pouch from the herpiton exotic pet store guy. I dont know what else to do but have patience for my little guy because he hates his pouch, he just likes to explore and chill in his room. One time (since Ive had him about almost a month/1.5 now) he climbed onto me, yet this is going slow. I’ve had an adult sugar glider before and he always loved his pouch. This one hates it and everytime I try to keep it around me or close to my heart he nips at me or my chest. I know he’s sweet, so I dont get mad at him when he bites me through the hand. But how do you get your sugar glider to be into his pouch? It’s been so long now.

    • Since your glider had a bad experience with that pouch, you may want to try a new pouch. You can wear the pouch for a few days first and then just hang it in his cage and let him venture in on his own. If he still does not like it, just give him time. You can try leaving little treats inside the pouch to entice him in. It may just take a little time for him to get used to it.

  7. I am getting a 3 month old tomorrow and cant wait to meet her. Is she at a good age to bond with? I’ve never had a glider before, what do I need for her? I have a cage and I’m going to get stuff to make a pouch because i just dont have the money to buy one right now. I work at a Winndixy do u think I can keep her pouch under my shirt while I’m at work? I work from about 4pm till about 11pm every night and I really want to bond strongly with he. Do u think I would be ok doing that?

    • 3 months old is a good age to bond and typically would be easier than bonding with an older glider. All gliders are different though, so there is no perfect age for bonding. Besides a cage and pouch, you will need to provide the proper diet for her, which includes 50% protein, 25% fresh or frozen fruits, and 25% fresh or frozen vegetables. You should also provide toys and an exercise wheel. That would cover the basics.

      Gliders may be waking up around 11, so you may run into problems wearing her at work. It just depends what time your glider tends to wake up and want to get out of the pouch. My advice would be to wait and see what time she usually gets up and decide from there whether it would be practical to wear her to work.

  8. Help….. We are adopting a 1 yr old glider and there is so much info out there I am looking to see about bonding and feeding.. Above I read about bonding and I am going to up what I am doing . But for feeding, please help, what should she eat ?? Some websites say all this food and others say only pellets and then an apple at nite.. Please help

    Thank you

    • Stay away from any website that says to feed only pellets and an apple! Those sites provide misleading information and should definitely not be trusted. The proper breakdown for diet is 50% protein, 25% fresh or frozen fruits, and 25% fresh or frozen vegetables. There are several established diets that you can follow, or you can just stick to that nutritional breakdown by rotating different proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Don’t forget that gliders love live insects too!

  9. I have a single male sugar glider that is 1 yr and 5 months old. He always been my only glider and we bonded really well when I first got him. One night I had him out playing and he was getting a little wild. He started “going to town” on my sweat shirt and biting at it. I assumed this was normal for gliders going through puberty. All of a sudden as I was about to put him back into his cage, he latched onto the back of my arm and started biting down repeatedly and extremely hard! He bit me about 5 times and did break the skin. I was terrified! It was as if he turned on me. He used to nibble, but this was no nibble. Ever since, I’ve been extremely cautious and shy with him. I take him out to play, but I am afraid he will bite me like that again. What can I do to make myself more comfortable with him?? Would neutering him help with his hormones? Should I get him a mate? Please help! I love my little guy and I don’t want him to go, but if I can’t trust him…. also I want him to have all the attention he deserves.

    • Neutering may help, but does not work in all cases. There are several possible explanations as to why your glider suddenly started biting.

      Certain triggers can bring out aggression in gliders. For example, if you have recently introduced the glider to a new cage mate. Aggression is possible especially when introducing a new female to a male glider. Another possibility is that you had an unfamiliar smell on your sweatshirt that day. You may want to change your clothes before playing with him to make sure you don’t have any foreign smells. Finally, if you made a change to your glider’s environment, such as moving the cage, that could cause aggression.

      If your glider bites you again, you can try making a “PSSST” sound. This is the sound gliders would make to each other to say “STOP IT.” You can also try blowing some air at him to startle him so he doesn’t bite. Since you said he started getting wild before he bit you, you can just keep an eye out and be cautious if he starts getting amped up again. Just take it day by day and see if maybe it was a one time thing. If it happens again, then you may want to consider neutering him and see if that helps.

  10. daniel kostan says:

    Hi..I just got a 2months old glider about 2days ago and she only eats fruits..I’m abit worried because protein is important for their diet..any suggestions??

    • Keep offering her other foods and rotate different kinds of foods so she has plenty of different kinds to try. If she still won’t eat anything, you can blend up some fruit with some protein and vegetables mixed in.

      • Try giving your little ones Gerber meat sticks. Not turkey or chicken because these both contain onion or garlic and that is bad for gliders. They LOVE meat sticks and boiled chicken.

  11. Hi. i got my glider about two days after I’ve had him for a few weeks now and I can touch and pet him as much as i want while hes in his cage, and we even got a small tent that my boyfriend and i sit in with him…but he still will not let us pick him up at all.Usually he tries to bite.I took him in his pouch and held him for a little bit on my bed but when i was petting him he tried to run out and he almost got away so i got nervous and havent done that again.We found out that he is about a year old, and im starting to get nervous that hes to old to bond with my boyfriend and I..Someone please help me turn my scared glider into a nice sweet one i can take all over and hold and play with whenever i want..please!

    • I would just keep playing with him in the tent until he gets used to you more. Bonding can take some time and it just requires dedication and patience on your part. It sounds like you are off to a great start so don’t get discouraged!

    • You just closed him up with you hand and also open a little space on your hand and keep on pamper him eventhough he bit you…after doing that let him walk in your body if he jump of from you catch him and put back on your body for him to smell you scent…do this every day without fail and when you relised he stopped bitting you and not jump off from you again that mean he already bond with…also you must play with him everyday and repeating keep on doing this…..GOOD LUCK ON YOÙR BONDING PROCESS.

  12. Hi Im 14 years old and have wanted a sugar glider since I was 10 would it be hard for me to bond with one if im at school 7 hours a day or should I wait till I leave school?

    • It may be harder to bond if you are not able to wear your glider during the day. It could also be a problem if you can’t spend time playing with them at night. They might not get up til after 11 PM and you will need to spend time playing with them out of the cage. If you go to bed early for school, it might be too hard to have a nocturnal pet.

      • alleyy(: says:

        It ant tht hard for me im 14 n this makes the 3rd sugargliders ive had n my sugarglider is prego so yea id get a sugarglider if i was yu i love playin wit mine but if yu get one id get two of em(: hav fun wit them or it

  13. I just bought a sugar glider from Pocket Pets( Yea I know people don’t like them), anyway she was the most energetic girl in the bunch and she caught my eye immediately! I’ve had her for 3 days now. The first two days I left her in the pouch or in her cage. I would occasionally hold her outside of the pouch with the pouch( as a glove). Today I decided I would hold her in my bare hand. Well she bit me and drew blood (It hurt like hxxl!). It kind of scared me and now I’m not sure where I should go from here. I give her apples every night because I’m not sure that she’s been drinking her pedialyte/water mixture. I’ve had her in the bonding pouch since the bite (roughly about 5 hours now) and she’s no longer crabbing when I move the slightest bit. She crabs softley when I touch her through the pouch sometimes but I’ve noticed she calms down A LOT faster. Is that her getting used to me or is she just sleeping good? Should I even be trying to hold her now? Thanks!

    • Yeah I think that your glider is starting to get used to you. Bonding takes a lot of patience, but it sounds like you are doing the right things. Just keep doing what you are doing and remember that gliders bond at their own pace. Some will bond fast and others can take their time.

      The most important thing is not to let her biting you make you scared of her. She has to learn to trust you and she can sense your fear. You need to be confident the next time you try to pick her up. If you back away when she bites, you are also reinforcing her behavior, so try to take the bite. She will learn faster that way that biting does not get the desired result.

  14. My baby gliders are about 1 1/2 months oop. They are soooo cute. They haven’t come out of the sleeping pouch yet. I want to put them in a new pouch as the one they are in has a hole in it. Is it okay to move them to another sleeping pouch or will mom and dad get mad !!! ?

  15. Hi. I have a question about sugar gliders. I just got mine like two days ago & it’s only 2 months old. I couldn’t get it out from the cage yet and its been 3 days including today. Whenever I tried to pet it, it will starts crabbing which makes me scared to pick it up. But I gave her treats through the cage bars & I have also put like fruits on my palm and when she starts biting my fingers I just let it be. So like, I really don’t know what to do. I’m just worried that it will get stressed out or something.

  16. PLEASE HELP! We have had our Odie since October 2011, He is so MEAN ! we are in DESPERATE need for help. We are slowly loosing our faith in being great owners to Odie. We havent been able to get him bonded. We bought him thinking he was going to be like the ones at the mall ( nice and FRIENDLY) but he is not ! Tonight he bit THROUGH my fiances nail – the second time he has completely gone through the nail since we have had him. PLEASE help us . We do not want to get rid of him because we have grown attached to him , kind of like that bad habit you cant get rid of. We don’t want to like him because of how mean he is but we DO. Plus we spent a lot of money on him and 2 years worth of supplies and we want to have hope that he will EVENTUALLY get better but like I said we are slowly but surely loosing hope. PLEASE HELP US. Is it too late for him to become a good pet? Its been 4 months with no improvement in his attitude. I really do not know how much longer we can keep this up.

  17. hey i got a sugar glider from pocket pets and they said it was like 8 weeks old. We have had it for 4 days now and it seems like every day it gets worse with lunging at me and biting and drawing blood. we are trying our hardest by putting it in its pouch and leaving him in there for a few hrs but it is so hard to get out of the cage is there an easy way to handle them and teach them not to lunge at you… we are not having a very good time with it but dont want to have to sell it.

    • Savanah C Humphrey says:

      Like the writer explained, when they bite make a “TSSST” sound at them. Gliders do that when telling eachother “NO” also try blowing a small gust of air at them while theyre biting. If youve only had it for 4 days its probably still terrified. If i were you i would just leave it in its cage for a few more days and don’t try to handle it. Just talk sweet to it and give it treats whenever you walk by. And take a shirt that youve been wearing all day or all night and place it over the top of the cage so they get used to your scent

  18. alleyy(: says:

    Ive had a glider before but Ive never had a matin gliders n i have no clue how long tht they r supose to come out of the pouch my female glider is a lil over a year old n the ppl tht ive got them off of said tht she has got prego 4 times b4 n they didnt tell me how long tht the Joeys stay in the pouch. can yu plezz tell me how long tht the Joeys will stay in her pouch n wat i need to do to help them please

  19. I have had my 2 sugar gliders for nearly a year (female and male), I purchased them from a pet shop (which I know it is not recommended). I was told they were 8 months but I’m not entirely sure if that is the correct age. I take them out in a pocket if not everyday, then most days and then in the night for a hour or so they have free access to my room. I offer them treats and always go by recommended diet (fresh fruit, vegetables, live insects, and meat). They are slightly bonded as they stay on my body for short periods of time but will always glide off and lately I have struggled to settle them in my pockets. They do not come to the front of then cage to greet me and run away instead. I feel like the bonding sessions have come to a hault and feel there is nothing else I can do. please help? and any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Kristi and the kids

  20. Marissa says:

    I’ve wanted sugar gliders for some time now, many years actually. I got a job at a pet store about a year ago and i can finally afford to buy and properly take care of gliders. I purchased a just weaned male from a breeder and i’m planning on getting a second male as soon as he’s ready (about 3 more weeks). I wanted to be well bonded with this male before getting the second because i’ve heard that the gliders can bond with each other and sometimes not bond with you, but the male i have now is very hard headed. He’s a white face and the breeder told me he might be hard headed and it very much proved to be true. I have a scedule where i hold him for an hour before i go to the high school, an hour after school before i go to work, several hours at night after work, and every thursday i take him to my college class with me. I also play and hold him extra on the weekends. I usually hold him close to my heart in a small towel that he got attached to, but i take him to class in his bonding pouch. Do you think i should use the bonding pouch more often? It’s been a week now and he still gets in attack mode and tries to bite. He also “barks” constantly. Any advice on getting him to stop? I was told to tell him no and hold his nose down lightly, but i feel like this is too much for a baby. What do you think? I know its supposed to take time to bond, but i don’t feel like he’s getting used to me at all. I want to buy a small collapsable tent for us to play in, but i’m afraid to use it until he’s more calm and used to me. I feel like he would be biting me and hiding around the tent instead of bonding with me and having a good time. He’s very little and i’m the first human that has been trying to bond with him. I just want to make sure i’m doing everything right. Any advice at all? And comments to what i’ve said?

  21. Good day

    I got my glider two months ago, he’s a few months old and goes to work with me in his pouch. I pick him up with his blanky to get him in and out of the pouch as he is still crabbing at me when I try to pick him up. I would like him to stay in my pocket or on me where ever I go and not worry that he’ll run away, I currently keep the pouch zipped up. I rub and pet him to sleep and feed him treats but as soon as I put him down in an enclosed area he runs and hides. Will I ever be able to take him with me without keeping him locked up in a pouch? Please help, I love him to bits and wan’t him with me ALL the time…My glider also got a little fury ball hanging on his lower tummy, I have been to the vet and they have sent tests away but don’t know what it is and wants to cut it off..If you know of what it might be it will really help! he doesn’t seem to have pain on it as I can touch it while he’s sleeping…thank you!

    • Kristy Salvas says:

      That little furry ball on his lower belly is on the males and is called their “Pom” it’s perfectly normal so make sure you do not cut it off! Lol not sure if they remove it when they get neutered but mine goes in on the 13th so will find out then.

  22. I have the problem that as I read other comments posted, that the recommendations that you have given them indeed I will try.. BITING, OUCH!!!!! I have gotten her from a pet store, strike 1
    I have in reaction to the bite, pulled back..strike 2
    I will try your tips you have offered others before strike 3… I am not her. I feel as if I am not bonding well enough, triggering the bites. I have every bit of 10 bites on my hands. She even went down my shirt and into the cleavage of my bra and talk about DOUBLE OUCH, bit my nipple. Now if that’s not taking one for the home Will this biting STOP?

  23. Alright, so I have two females that are probably over a year old. I got them from a friend of mine who no longer had the time. I have now had them for about a month, and I really want them to bond to me. Their previous owner didn’t let them out much so I know that they aren’t use to me letting them walk and jump on me, which is totally fine.

    I believe that by now they trust me. One is very calm with me and will let me pick her up or even just pet her when she is out. Her sister is the exact opposite. She will bolt around and jump off of me once I let them out to play. Then she will avoid me when I try and get her back on my arm (I just place my arm in front of her in hopes she’ll jump on me). I have tried the bonding pouch but it’s almost impossible to get them separate. I read that you should separate them to help with the bonding..

    So what should I do so that they bond to me? Any advice is appreciated!! 😀

  24. Jessica says:

    I got a 2-3 month old glider 4 days ago. She is still a little cautious of her new surroundings but lets me pet her and feed her and loves to lick food off my fingers. She is doesn’t crab much but i am also very careful with her. She doesn’t mind being in the bonding pouch but when i try to put it my shirt to wear around she crabs and crabs. Should I continue doing it so she gets used to it or try to keep the pouch outside of my shirt or?
    Also I need some advice on holding and bonding. I try to gently pick her up sometimes and she just clings to the cage and/or crawls away. I’m trying not to push her too far with it but would like to get her comfortable with being held and being on my body. I only got my bonding pouches today but other wise i go in to check on her at least every 20-30 minutes while i’m awake and try to pet her or give her a little treat. I am trying to feed her food as i can by hand and at night before i go to bed i give her a fruit, vegetable, egg, mixture recipe i found online. She doesn’t lunge or crab too much but i also try to be very careful as i’m not very good at seeing how she feels by looking at her yet. I want to make sure i’m doing my best to bond with her and will be getting her little brother/sister in a month 😀

  25. I’ve just got my sugar glider 3 days ago and I’ve read sources that it should be used to my presence by the third day. But, my sugar glider is still really scared of me and I do not want to give it stress by taking it out of the cage. Any advice?

  26. i have just purchased a 8 to 9 month old gilder about a week ago when i first got him he would let me take him out of his pouch but would bite me so i put him in the cage and ever since then i can put my hand in the cage but he runs from me to his wheel i can hold the wheel to keep him from spinning it and he comes out and runs from me he will stop every few mins and let me pet him but will not let me have anything else to do with him. I really want to get him out and put him in the pouch to try and bond with him please help i really want to bond with my buddy. i also put some of my old shirts in his cage to help with bonding

  27. I have a one year old male sugar glider that I have bonded with. Whether it’s his sleep time he allows me to pet him, snuggle, and he gives kisses! During the day I usually carry him around in a bonding pouch or any pockets of some sort. At night time during play he has a very large cage, with a mate, (he also ‘marks’ me like he does the cage and the items in the cage) but he loves to come out and play…I tried putting sand paper in his wheel because his claws are so sharp that I have scratch marks all over my body! He glides back and forth from me to my furniture or other items in the house playfully. However for the past week he has been nibbling much harder than he usually does. I know that you are supposed to withstand the bite, however he bit me so freaking hard I could not resist shaking my hand to get him off of me! Can someone explain what in the world happened?!

  28. I have had my sugar glider for about three months now. I believe her to be about 11 months old. Every time I take her out of the cage she is extremely angry with me, and when I let her roam to play, she finds a dark tight place, like the side of my bed and won’t move. She curls up and goes to sleep no matter the time. She also is very afraid of my hands when out of the cage even though she will lick my fingers while in the cage. I’m I doing something wrong, or do I just have to keep working with her. She never seems to appreciate my presence.

  29. I have 2 males, 1 female. My males are quite large (they’re about 3 years old now). In December of 2014 I bought a female from a breeder I had never dealt with before. I have this gutt feeling the breeder lied to me about her age however… based off the age of OOP the breeder gave me when I bought her she should be about 11 months now. However shes about half the size of my two males. I feed my suggies a high protein diet- mealworms in one bowl and pureed fruits/veggies/vitamins in the other. Do you know if females are generally smaller than males? I’ve read online that they’re not fully grown until 2 years of age? She’s only about 5 inches long from nose to tip of tail…. and my males are about 11 inches long from nose to tip of tail.

  30. I have a 6 month old male sugar glider i just got him yesterday, i put him in his cage to get used to his surroundings but he will not eat or hardly come out of his pouch, what can i do to help him be more relaxed.

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