If you fancy a monkey or a ferret as pet, why not have a cross between the two in a kinkajou. Rather related to raccoons than monkeys or ferrets, kinkajous make a great pet for people with passion, time, and money to care for an exotic pet. Paris Hilton was seen cajoling a kinkajou in public once. Lucky for you though, you don’t have to be as famous and rich as Miss Hilton to own a kinkajou.
What You Need to Own a Kinkajou
Exotic pets need special care than common domestic pets. To own a kink, you have to sport a big heart for exotic pets, have a little extra on your budget for exotic pet necessities, and demonstrate ability to care for them.
How are Kinkajous as Pets
Wild kinks tend to be rough as pets; they’re good for display in their cage only. But captive-bred kinkajous on the other hand are curious, sweet, and docile pets to have. You can carry them like your cat, although they’re more active at night being nocturnal animals. A tamed kink likes to climb on people gripping your arms and neck by its tail for support. Don’t worry though, you can’t strangle from a kinkajou’s grip.
On the wild side, kinkajous can be noisy. So you may need a separate room for them for you to sleep soundly at night. They’re not appropriate pets in an apartment because of their noise. Some kinks, “not all,” can be cranky when woken from daylight slumber. So be sure you know your kinks characteristic to avoid a bite.
Unique Kinkajou Behavior
Kinkajous are social exotic pets contrary to previous beliefs. To pass their time in the wild, they like to groom each others’ fur. So don’t be surprised if your kinkajou starts to lick and preen your hair with its mouth. It just means it likes to take care of you.
Kinkajous are frugivore – meaning they eat mainly ripe tropical fruits. They’re adept in holding ripe fruits by their front paws and licking the succulent flesh by their long, extrudable tongue. On occasion, kinkajous also eat insects and small invertebrates. And they love to extract nectar from flowers and even eat some flowers itself.
In your home, kinkajous can feast on common tropical fruits such as bananas, papayas, mangoes, melons, kiwi, pomegranate, and figs. Don’t give your exotic pet strawberries, citrus fruits, and grapes as these can cause stomach upset. As treat, give them, of course, honey! After all, kinkajous are also called “honey bear” because they love honey.
Housing kinkajous can be a bit expensive because the animals should not be held captive in a small cage. They are happier if they’re housed in a large cage or in a separate room if you have one. Because they’re arboreal exotic pets, they need tall tree branches and ropes in their cage too. They also like to sleep in a tree hollow or on a hammock high up in a tree branch. Kinkajous can’t be potty train, though, so vinyl flooring in their cage or in their room should make cleaning after them easier.
Tamed kinkajous love to climb people, so you have to have their nails checked regularly. You can use your own nail file, but a dog nail clip does the job quicker. The animals can keep themselves clean, but sometimes they need help from their owners. If you think your kinkajous can use a bath, you can bathe them. But be prepared because it wouldn’t be easy; they don’t like water. When bathing kinks, use only warm water and shampoo design for dry hair: Head and Shoulders for dry hair for example.
Legal Obligations to Own a Kinkajou
Like all other exotic pets, you can’t just buy and bring one home. You have to get necessary permits to own a kinkajou. To get your permit, call your local animal control office, ASPCA, or your local wildlife rescue center. These offices sometimes issue permits, or they can point you to the correct office to get them.
As an aside, do you know that kinkajous are hunted for their fur and hide? Kinkajou trade for fur and leather are rampant in South America, so you’re helping the animals survive if you can have one or two as pets.