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Will Catnip Hurt Sugar Gliders?

Will Catnip Hurt Sugar Gliders?

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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Sugar gliders are intelligent and super playful animals that are normally active from sunset to sunrise. That said, it might be a good idea to create a gliders’ grove in your backyard if you’d like to keep them as pets.

You can cultivate a play area for your gliders using your garden plants, but will catnip hurt sugar gliders? If you’d like to know all about the effect of catnip on your sugar gliders, keep reading!

Will Catnip Hurt Sugar Gliders?

If your pet cats take to catnip, it doesn’t mean your gliders will. In fact, catnip is toxic for sugar gliders and can be fatal to them if ingested.

Even though some glider pet owners didn’t face any health issues in relation to catnip toys, it’s better to avoid them. Catnip can even be poisonous for cats, so it’s better safe than sorry!

With that in mind, you need to be cautious when using cat toys to bond with your glider. Some manufacturers make catnip-stuffed toys to stimulate cats. Such toys should not be used with a glider.

Instead, you may use toys that are designed for toddlers. In addition, you can consider getting your pets Eucalyptus treats, which come from the same trees where gliders live in the wild.

Just add a spoon of dried Eucalyptus leaves to your gliders’ cage and watch their excitement. In other words, Eucalyptus has a stimulating effect on gliders, similar to that of catnip on cats.

What Plants Are Toxic to Sugar Gliders?

While sugar gliders have a varied diet, some plants can be toxic to them. Those plants may cause skin irritation, poisoning, or death.

These detrimental effects worsen if plants have added chemicals, like herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers.

Let’s explore the following toxic plants to avoid planting them in their play area or adding them to your glider’s cage:

  • Allium cepa
  • Allium fistulosum
  • Allium ascalonicum
  • American Mandrake Mistletoe
  • Arnica
  • Bloodroot
  • Castor Bean
  • Japanese Star anise
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Meadow Saffron Belladonna
  • Morning Glory
  • Sweet peas
  • Iris versicolor
  • Black Cohosh
  • Bittersweet
  • Dandelion roots
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Foxglove
  • Henbane
  • Horse chestnut
  • Indian tobacco
  • Jimson weed
  • Liver Lilly
  • Prunus species
  • Rhubarb
  • Azalea
  • Comfrey
  • Jalap
  • Ficus
  • Holly
  • Prunus

Besides, there are toxic trees that may cause lung irritation for your sugar gliders, like laurel, almond, apricot, avocado, box elder, boxwood, cedar, cherry, fir, oak, plum, peach, pine, red maple, walnut, and any fruitful trees.

Moreover, you should avoid giving your pet glider any plants or herbs that could be poisonous to humans.

What Plants Are Safe for Sugar Gliders?

Conversely, these plants would make safe choices for your gliders’ outdoor cage or backyard:

  • Angelica
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Basil and its varieties
  • Banksia cunninghamii
  • Blueberry
  • Buddleia
  • Calendula
  • Capers
  • Carraway
  • Cardamon
  • Chamomile
  • Belgian endive
  • Common Balm
  • Dandelion flowers
  • Daylilies
  • Dill
  • Fragrant Giant Hyssop
  • Garden Burnet
  • Honeysuckle
  • Honey eucalyptus
  • Lemon Balm
  • Melissa
  • Manzanilla
  • Shasta Daisy
  • Sweet Balm Banksia

Given that sugar gliders have sensitive respiratory systems, it’s good to know the safe types of wood that won’t produce dust when added as bedding material.

Some of these safe woods are apple, ash, kiln-dried pine, eucalyptus, birch, basswood, maple, elm, cactus, acacia, bamboo, walnut, and willow.

Adding tree logs to your gliders’ cage, you help them enjoy dangling and swinging to vent their aggression.

What Else Is Harmful to Sugar Gliders?

In order to create a safe environment for your pet gliders, you need to keep these poisonous items away from them:

  • Tap water (fluoride and chlorine)
  • Fruit scented cleaners
  • Household cleaning products
  • Fruit-scented air fresheners
  • Scented candles
  • Pesticides
  • Insect baits
  • Rodent baits
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Peanut butter
  • Dairy

You shouldn’t feed your gliders cheese or ice cream because gliders are usually lactose intolerant. Similarly, candy, canned fruits, and other sweets can be fatal to sugar gliders, even in minimal amounts.

You may offer nuts to your gliders but in minimal quantities. That’s because nuts have extra fats and little nutrition. So, they’re not the healthiest type of food for gliders.

If you’d like to treat your gliders with meat, you should avoid feeding them pork. That’s because pork products are rich in nitrates and sodium, which can result in health issues in their digestive system.

Instead, give your glider a teaspoon of cooked, unseasoned meat or poultry daily. Even though you can always introduce sugar glider pellets available in pet stores, you shouldn’t depend solely on them.

Gliders can also eat boiled or scrambled eggs, but you need to cook them well, without oil or seasoning.

What Fruits and Vegetables Can Sugar Gliders Have?

Here’s a list of safe fruits that you can feed your gliders:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Oranges
  • Watermelons
  • Grapes
  • Kiwis
  • Papayas
  • Tomatoes

Notably, you must remove seeds from fruits, like apples, watermelons, and oranges, before feeding your sugars since they’re naturally poisonous to gliders.

These are the veggies your gliders can have:

  • Boston lettuce
  • Squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cucumber

What Fruits and Vegetables Sugar Gliders Can’t Eat?

While sugar gliders have a varied diet, some fruits can be harmful to them, such as:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Avocado
  • Figs
  • Plums

According to breeders, grapes and raisins have been linked to kidney failure. Added to this, fruit pits are poisonous for gliders, and citrus fruits may cause diarrhea.

These vegetables may cause health complications as well:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cloves
  • Spinach
  • Potato
  • Beets
  • Greens like lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccolis
  • Cauliflower

Generally, vegetables and fruits that can’t be thoroughly cleaned should be avoided. It’s also a good idea to consult with a vet or specialist if you’re unsure about their diet.

Final Thoughts

Sugar gliders require a specialized and balanced diet. You need to know what is acceptable to feed them and what would be harmful to avoid.

Since gliders are delicate creatures, even some types of fruit, veggies, and plants can result in respiratory and digestive issues.

That aside, will catnip hurt sugar gliders?

According to several breeders and vets, catnip could be toxic to sugar gliders. Although some would argue that catnip has never caused trouble to sugars in their own experience, it’s always better to err on the safe side.