Before we get started, it’s important to note that there is a danger in painting your pet’s cage if the wrong type of paint is used. Because of this, we encourage you to contact that paint manufacturer directly. What follows are instructions on how to paint the cage. The safety of your pet will depend on good communication with the paint company, not the instructions found below.
Why Paint a Cage?
Often it comes down to money. Cages, especially large ones, can get pretty pricey. You may be able to find a used cage at a yard sale or flea market. A new coat of paint can leave it looking good as new at a fraction of the price.
Getting the Cage Ready
In order to be sure that the paint job will last, you need to do some prep work on the cage itself. Older cages may have a little rust on them. Or they may have paint flaking off from an old paint job. You can use a wire brush to completely remove paint and rust. Then sandpaper will help to smooth the surface. Wipe the cage down with a wet towel to ensure no dust or debris is left on the cage.
The most dangerous paint elements for a pet are things like zinc, lead, and VOCs. While this is not a comprehensive list of paint toxins, you get the idea. Don’t just trust the fact that it says non-toxic on the can. Call the manufacturer and let them know what you are using the paint for—and what animal or bird is using the cage.
Painting and Curing
Start with pet-friendly primer. Then allow 24 hours to dry. Next, paint the cage with your pet-friendly paint. Apply thin coats and allow a day of drying between each coat. Three coats of paint over one thin coat of primer should do the trick. For extra safety, don’t allow your pet in the room where you are painting or while it is curing. That way, any potential toxins released into the air (you know that paint smell) will be kept away from your pet.
Ready for Use
Depending on the type of paint you use, it can take up to two weeks before your cage is ready for your pet. That means either starting painting early in the pet-acquisition process or having a temporary dwelling in another part of the house for your pet.
When choosing a small pet, there are many considerations. How much time and attention can you give to your new pet? What can you afford to spend on the initial setup of a home for your pet, as well as the continuing care such as food? Since a companion pet is meant for those who will spend time daily with their new household member, sugar gliders are an excellent choice.
What are Sugar Gliders?
Good question! Sugar gliders are marsupials. That means that an infant sugar glider spends the majority of its time in its mother’s pouch. Yes, sugar gliders are actually related to kangaroos. However, sugar gliders are very small. You might even say they’re pocket-sized. Why is that? Sugar gliders feel comfortable inside a pouch, and often literally become a “pocket pet” content to stay close to you as long as you allow.
What Kind of Habitat Should I Provide?
Sugar gliders love to climb. An important feature of a sugar glider habitat is that it should be tall, perhaps even higher vertically than horizontally. While an adult glider may only be 6 inches in length (plus a 6-inch tail), the larger the habitat, the better. The glider part of the name comes from the flap of skin that stretches from their wrists to their ankles. Sugar gliders can walk and climb, and they will only glide if they have room to do so.
What Else Should I Know?
Sugar gliders are extremely social. If you can’t spend time with your pet every day, we definitely recommend getting more than one. Since sugar gliders reproduce rapidly, choose them of the same gender unless you plan on becoming a breeder.
A happy sugar glider will live 10-15 years, even in captivity. Keep in mind also that sugar gliders are nocturnal. You may want to keep the habitat in another room if you’re worried they’ll keep you up at night. It also means that you can usually keep them in a shirt pocket during the day. They will likely sleep unless they get hungry or you wake them up by taking them out of the pocket.
Sugar gliders are small pets that are fairly easy to care for. Really, they just like to be loved. If you’re looking for a pocket-sized companion, a sugar glider is a perfect buddy for you!