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How Do Sugar Gliders Show Affection?

Do you have a pet Sugar Glider, or are you considering adopting one? 

Perhaps you just got done cleaning your Sugar Gliders cage, and they approached you with a behavior that you weren’t quite sure if it was affection or distress? 

Sugar Gliders have a variety of behaviors they use to show both humans and other gliders that they are affectionate towards them. Read on to learn more about these specific behaviors and what they mean. 

What Behaviors do Sugar Gliders use to Show Affection? 

What Behaviors do Sugar Gliders use to Show Affection?

Sugar Gliders use many ways to show their affection, and these vary quite vastly from other common household pets. Therefore, if a Sugar Glider shows any of these behaviors toward you, then you’re in luck! 

These are typical signs of affection from a Sugar Glider. These behaviors are only shown to trusted individuals, typically only ones a glider has bonded to over time. 

Be sure to stay on the lookout for these signs from your glider pal next time you’re with them!

Signs of Affection from your Sugar Glider include: 

  • Purring
  • Scent marking
  • Grooming
  • Seeking your attention


Why do Gliders Purr? Well, Sugar Gliders Purr to communicate that they are happy! 

They usually use this sound towards humans, as well as other furry companions. The purring is similar to cats but much fainter and more difficult to hear! 

Scent Marking 

A Sugar Glider usually scent marks to claim you as their own with their scent! This is usually done by rubbing their head on you since they typically have scent glands located on their heads. 

They may also scent mark you using Urine when you hold them. 

This is done by Gliders in the wild to claim their group and family members to help identify them, so when they do this to people, it’s them claiming you as a part of their family. 


Gliders also use grooming to show affection. They are typically done by licking or slightly scraping their teeth on you

That being said, you may mistake their teeth scraping for biting and aggression. However, when a glider is grooming you, they will be a lot gentler than if they were to bite you. 

I would also say when being groomed by a glider, the amount of pressure put onto the skin is a lot lighter in comparison to being bitten. 

Seeking out Attention 

This one is quite obvious. If they seek out your attention, then they are pretty fond of you! 

This is usually done by coming up to you when you open their cage. They also might seek out your attention by barking or making sounds to attract your attention. 

How do I bond with my Sugar Glider?

How do I bond with my Sugar Glider?

Since Sugar Gliders only show affection towards people they’ve bonded with. You might be wondering how exactly you can connect with your Glider. 

There are many different options you can take to bond with your sugar glider. That being said, what may work best for you and your glider may vary from another owner’s experience. 

Therefore, it’s always best to try a variety of options until you know what your glider is the most comfortable with overall. 

Interesting READ  Can Sugar Gliders Live Alone?

Well, there are many ways you can bond with your sugar glider. A few options you can use are bonding pouches, playtime, quality time, and scent swapping

You may be wondering, “How do these bonding techniques help me bond with my glider?” We are going to go over these now.

Bonding Pouches

Bonding pouches are a great way to bond with your glider because you can even use these when they’re asleep, and simply carry them around with you. 

This is a super convenient and easy way to bond with your glider if you’re on a busy schedule!  

Let’s say maybe you need to cook dinner or do the laundry, and you’re afraid you won’t have time to spend with your glider that day. 

With a bonding pouch, you can simply take them with you and wear them close to you while doing household chores. This way, you don’t miss out on quality glider time, and you can still complete your day-to-day chores.


Playtime is also a great way to get your glider used to being around you. 

The best way to do playtime with your Gliders is by letting them out in an indoor tent or a designated glider safe room and allowing them to glide around and play while you observe. 

They may even glide onto you and start showing you more attention as they will most likely feel safer as they are getting used to your presence. 

Playtime is one of the best ways to bond with your Sugar Gliders. Sugar Gliders are curious creatures. If you simply sit in a room or tent with them, they will most likely come to you on their own. 

This is an amazing way for your glider to get to know you on their own terms. 

Quality time

This is a great way to bond with your glider simply by being in the same room as them. With this approach, you do not even need to get them out of their cage. 

Even talking to them and being in the room with your scent and voice can dramatically help the bonding process. This option is best for people who may have a busy schedule, as you could do this every night before bed!

Quality time is probably the simplest way of bonding. This will most likely be the best way to bond with your glider the first week of them coming home. 

This way, they are still able to relax and settle in at home while still being able to get used to your presence.  

Scent Swapping

Scent Swapping is an easy way to get your glider more used to your scent. This is easily done by leaving a piece of old clothing or blanket that hasn’t been recently washed in their cage. 

By doing this, they quickly get used to your scent and will be less on edge when you interact with them. 

This is a super great option for people who have just brought a new Glider home. This makes starting the bonding process easier and less stressful on your Glider. 

How long does it take for a Sugar Glider to fully bond with someone?

How long does it take for a Sugar Glider to fully bond with someone?

Bonding takes time

Bonding with your Sugar Glider can be a rather lengthy process. It typically takes around 4-6 weeks to become “fully bonded”.

However, some gliders may be easier or harder to bond with, which affects the actual length of the bonding process. 

Therefore, there is no straightforward time frame on how long this process may take, as it varies from glider to glider.

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Patience is key 

All in all, be sure to stay patient with your glider, do not try to rush this process. It’s important to take your time and let your Glider determine the pace you’re taking with the bonding process. 

Why is it so difficult to get these animals to show affection?

What makes Sugar Gliders reluctant to show affection?

The truth to this matter is that these animals are exotic pets, and they really haven’t been pets long enough to be fully domesticated. 

That being said, it’s harder to get a Sugar Glider to be affectionate towards you because, unlike a dog, it simply isn’t in their DNA. 

Is it possible to make these animals affectionate?

Yes, if you socialize with your glider enough and make it a daily routine, eventually, your glider will open up to you and be a lot cuddlier and more loving. 

The difference between Sugar Gliders and your average house pet is that these animals just take a lot more dedication work to trust you. 

You might be tired of hearing people say that it pays off in the end. However, that’s just the honest truth. 

Is the bonding process worth it?

Yes, at the end of this process, your glider opening up to you will make all the hard work worth it. It’s just a matter of keeping patience and love throughout the process to get the final result you’ve been wishing for.

Are Sugar Gliders Social Creatures?

Are Sugar Gliders Social Creatures?

Yes, Sugar Gliders are very social creatures

You might be wondering, “but didn’t you say they were difficult when it comes to showing affection?”. Yes, indeed. However, this doesn’t mean their natural urge to be social completely diminishes. 

How to get them to enjoy human interaction?

Well, with continuous bonding exercises and socialization on a daily basis, these guys will easily warm up to you and no longer be afraid of interacting with you.  

It just takes time and patience to get these guys to finally crack and show their inner love and affection.

Since Sugar Gliders are naturally social, this can help them seek attention faster and make the bonding process that much quicker. However, not every glider will open up as easily as another.

I always suggest getting two or more gliders since they are super social creatures unless, of course, you have the time to commit to them daily! 

As always, important to keep them socialized for their health and wellbeing. I recommend this since they naturally live in groups of six to ten in the wild.

Do Sugar Gliders require a lot of attention?

Yes, Sugar Gliders have various needs that make regular interaction and attention important.

Without consistent attention and interaction between a person or another sugar glider, these guys can develop various health issues. 

The following list is a few common health issues that occur when Sugar Gliders lack the proper amount of socialization. 

  1. Depression
  2. Aggression
  3. Death
  4. Starvation

How to prevent these health concerns?

That’s only to name a few of the health concerns that may happen if a Glider lacks the proper amount of attention and care. 

Therefore, be sure to set enough time aside daily to spend with your Glider to help prevent these issues from occurring. 

That being said, I always encourage you to adopt two or more gliders! That way, you never have to worry about whether or not they are properly socializing!