I don't like to say that I like any of my animals more than the other, but the coatimundi definitely wins the most fun and playful award! They are extremely affectionate, and attention seeking.
Coatis are a larger exotic that is diurnal, meaning awake during the day and have very outgoing personaities.
Coatimundi Care and Facts:
Average Lifespan: 15 Years
Diet: We feed our coatis fresh fruit, cooked chicken, eggs, bread, Purina puppy chow and primate monkey biscuits.
Size at Adulthood: average about 10 pounds, males are larger & bulkier than females
Minimum Cage size: Outdoor cage size can be around 5'x10' or larger, Indoor cage size can be somewhere around 3'x4'x8'. They seem to prefer the outdoor cages because it is roomier and they get to be in the sun. The bigger the better in either instance.
Bonding: It is important to acquire your baby as early as possible and that they were hand fed or bottle raised. They bond easily and want all your attention, they are puppy-like at the beginning and its all about pleasing you! Purchasing from an experienced licensed breeder almost always ensures this.
What is a Coatimundi?
Coatis are mammals found in central and north america, and are related to the raccoon. Coatis have strong limbs to climb and dig, and they are extremely intelligent like their fellow procyonid, the raccoon. They prefer to sleep or rest in elevated places and sleeping nests. Coatis are active day and night. But ours have acclimated to our schedule and will even sleep in bed with us all night.
Coatis are energetic and very fun! They are extremely outgoing and cannot get enough of your attention. They are extremely affectionate and loving pets if cared for properly and acquired at the right age. It is relatively easy to bond with a new baby but is very challenging if you receive an older adult who is not bonded to you. Each coati will develop their own specific personalities and quirks but generally they are a fun pet. They spend most of the day exploring, smelling around and eating. Being outdoors is great for them because they have more things "to do". They should always be in an enclosure or outside supervised.
Do they bite?
My answer to this question is simple, anything with teeth can bite. Anything handled from a young age and generally domesticated and treated as a pet more than likely will not bite. I would rate Coatis as 80% bite free. They will "play bite" a lot, especially if you allow them to do this as a baby. It doesn't break the skin usually but it can hurt some people. They are not doing this out of aggression.
Costs for a Coatimundi:
*Wire cage and accessories….......………$400-$4000
*Food (monthly cost)………………………$45
*Sleeping hammocks (replace yearly).…..$30-$100
*Misc. toys & accessories……………….…..$50-$200
Preparing for a Coatimundi
Before you bring your coati home, you should have its cage(s) ready. Fill it will hammocks, fun jingle bell toys, noisey dog toys and branches or levels to roam around on.
Baby proof your house! They will get into cabinets, toilets, pantries, and even will raid your dog food bags. Designate areas that your coati is allowed to be and areas they are not allowed to be in. Keep these rules enforced from the beginning and your coati will learn which areas and rooms are off limits.
Remember to locate a vet experienced with exotics and that is willing to see your baby BEFORE you get your baby. Before the big day, schedule an appointment for your baby be seen within 72 hours for our health warranty. Have your vet give a general examination and let them get familiar with you and your baby in case of an emergency or routine visits in the future. You should take your baby in yearly for annual checkups.
How much time does a Coati require?
The first few weeks it is critical to spend as much time as possible with your baby to bond with it. Feed it by hand, spend time playing and relaxing. Let it out of the cage as much as possible and allow it to familiarize and get comfortable with you and its new surroundings. After the bond has been formed, a well behaved coati could/should be let out of the cage for several hours per day, or evening. One on one bonding time is not needed after the bond has been established but they will still want your attention and will CRAVE play time long after they are considered babies.
We portion our adult coatis meals as follows: 50% Protein such as boiled chicken, eggs, small portions of dog and ferret food; 40% Fruit such as cantaloupe, banana, papaya, apples, grapes, etc; 10% Miscellaneous treats and veggies such as sweet potato, honey sandwich, raisins, corn on cob, etc.
Coatis are high energy animals and CANNOT be left in a small cage all day and night with no outside time. Give them things to do, toys to play with and if you have dogs they will certainly play with any smaller friendly dogs. If you have a larger outdoor cage for them that is large enough for them to exercise, run around, jump and play that is the best option if you plan on housing them outdoors.
Living with a coati:
Coatis are very gregarious pets that WILL get into alot of trouble- no doubt. If you have a collection of 100 crystal figurines that are accessable to your coati, you wont have them all intact for long. They don't necessarily chew or break things on purpose but they will walk around, jump on things and poke their noses insistantly on everything they come across.
They can learn simple commmands and words like "no" , "dinner" or "treat". They are truly lovers
Coatimundi as pets- REAL owners perspectives and stories:
Ashley Duncan- Our coati, Severis, is a spoiled baby. He plays very hard all day and sleeps all night. He will even sleep in bed with me when my husband is at work. When he was little we let him play bite, and now he play bites harder than he should. He is only playing and gets a little carried away. I can correct him easily by firmly telling him no and ignoring him for a few seconds. He is my snuggle bunny to the core and he is among one of my top 3 favorite pets that we own.
Caring for a Coati in Captivity
Habitat: Coatis need a good amount of space and a rather large enclosure and they require a great deal of space. Recommended 6'x6'x6'x is the minimum for a coati cage. It is also good to make sure you have a proper latch, Coatis are very smart and you should not underestimate the ingenuity of your Coati as they can unlatch their cage door and escape. It is not recommended to have a Coati unsupervised around the house as it can easily wreak havoc on a household and chew up almost everything is can get its hands on. They will get into food and literally climb walls and curtains and destroy most paper products.
Toys and enrichment:
Providing your coati with toys will help prevent him from getting bored and unruly. Toddler and baby toys are great choices, as are more complex dog toys. Spending time playing with your coati will help in burning off excess energy. A bored coati will not only get into trouble, but will be more prone to real problematic behavior such as biting. Coati can also climb very well and swim very well, they always need to be supervised when they are doing these activities to ensure safety.
Neutering and spaying Coatimundi
Male coatis can become very aggressive once they are sexually mature.
Neutering can be performed by an exotics veterinarian and is recommended before the coati reaches 6 months of age. Females can become aggressive when they are in heat so spaying them is recommended for a more even tempered coati.
Handling: Coatis are very sweet when they are raised with plenty of interaction and with proper handling and love and care. When this does not happen they can be aggressive and for interaction with a unruly Coati it is recommended that proper gloves are used to avoid biting.