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Raising a pet Kinkajou | A Complete Care Guide including housing and feeding

Kinkajous are affectionally known as honey bears because of their love of sweets!

How long do kinkajou live?

Kinkajou Lifespan: Up to 25 years

How big do kinkajou get?

Size in Adulthood:

An average adult kinkajou weighs 4–7 lb. The average adult body length is 17-22 inches.

Raising a pet kinkajou care guide

What do pet kinkajou eat?

Kinkajou Diet: As babies, they should eat banana pieces, apple slices, and monkey biscuits. In this mix, add 1 to 2 scoops of baby food (banana, apples) and some milk. Do this twice a day.

After a few weeks, you can slowly introduce the adult diet. Get canned sweet potatoes and pour them over the monkey biscuits (juice and all). Mix it well and let it sit to let the biscuits get semi-soft then serve it to the baby.

Kinkajous enjoy bananas, pineapple, nectar, honey, insects, grapes, mangos, and peas, and have been known to eat some bird eggs, as well as larger insects and an occasional bird.

A water dish should always be available.

Good fruits for kinkajous:
  • Bananas (a favorite!)

  • Papayas

  • Pineapple

  • Apple

  • Mangos

  • Melons

  • Figs

  • Dairy

  • Citrus

  • Strawberries

  • Avocados

  • Onions

  • Cauliflower and Broccoli

  • Chocolate

  • Processed or fast food

Kinkajou Enclosure Cage Information

Kinkajous are arboreal and crepuscular to nocturnal. Captive kinkajous should be maintained in the largest enclosure possible and should have exercise time outside of their cage. Ideally, they would have a cage both inside and outside both being at least 6 feet high, 5 feet long, and 8 feet wide. Wire spacing cannot be larger than 1” x 2”. It is extremely important to provide lots of opportunities for exploration to prevent boredom and stereotypic behavior. Rotating toys and items to explore is essential. They spend their time up off the floor, although they may venture down on occasion, they prefer higher placed toys and enrichment. Provide several branches, ledges, shelves, hammocks, and ropes for climbing and lounging within the cage. They will also need a nest box with hay bedding (generally a modified Rubbermaid container or similar) and a small hard plastic heat pad needs to be provided in the nest box when temperatures drop below 50 degrees.

Housing requires a big investment because they need large, complex enclosures with lots of climbing structures and toys.

Kinkajous are generally fine with the room temperature of a home. Just make sure the temperature stays above 60 degrees.

Kinkajous also need other activities and enrichment:

· Interactive toys and cage accessories

· Cat tree

· Forage mat

· Pall pit

· Jungle gym

· Swings

· Busy board

· Playing soft music for them

· Including multiple textures and materials in their cage

· Allowing your kinkajou to forage for their treats and burrow

· Social interaction with you or another animal

· You can find a million unique toys all over the web, Amazon, Etsy, Facebook, etc. You can even get creative and make your own!

· Some people build some type of tunnel system or obstacle course for their baby!

Kinkajou Handling

For the first few weeks, it is critical to spend as much time as possible with your baby to bond. Feed them by hand, and spend time playing and relaxing with them. Let them out of the cage as much as possible and allow the baby to familiarize itself and get comfortable with you and its new surroundings.

Many believe that behavior problems stem from owners rousing kinkajous out of sound sleeps and then insisting on playful interaction. Aggression is also related to sexual behavior as well as the unpredictability of their human companions. Negative reinforcement NEVER works with kinkajou and can undo a long-term trusting relationship. You must accept the fact that you will end up bitten at some point.

Do not declaw a kinkajou. Do not defang a kinkajou; removal of the canines interferes with their ability to eat and groom themselves.

Living with a Pet Kinkajou

Baby proof your house! They will get into toilets, pantries, and even will raid your cabinets. They can be very destructive to a home in the middle of the night when they are most active.

If you travel a lot or work long hours, this is something to consider. They typically bond closely to 1-2 people. Some are not interested in other animals and will crave your attention. You cannot expect them to behave like domesticated animals.

Both males and females possess scent glands and will use them to scent what they please.

Remember to locate a vet experienced with exotics that is willing to see your baby BEFORE you get your baby. Before the big day, schedule an appointment for your baby to 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.

Household hazards:

· Bathtubs, buckets, swimming pools, and even open pots of liquid on countertops, make sure to keep the doors closed and put lids on everything before you let your baby out to play.

· Air freshener, candles, cleaning chemicals, and sprays

· Insects are a natural food for them, so always make sure to clean up any dead bugs around the house that might have been killed by pesticides.

· Keep your baby out of the kitchen while you are cooking, stovetops, toasters, coffee pots, light bulbs, and hot pots can all injure your pup.

· Any space your baby can squeeze into may create a potential issue or hazard.

· Open windows and doors are easy ways for your baby to get out.

· Holes in cabinets, holes in walls, or holes near plumbing fixtures.

· Outlets/wires

Kinkajou Bonding

The best way to bond with your new kinkajou is through frequent playtime, grooming, and socialization. Allow them to eat treats out of your hand, let them watch TV with you, or play some games!

Kinkajou Noises

Kinkajous are quite vocal animals and make a variety of noises to communicate. They can bark, hiss, chirp, and scream.

Your baby will be shy but will warm up to you very quickly. Remember that they are just nervous and leery of you the first few days. Chirping noises and hissing is a common way they let you know they are nervous but don’t let this intimidate you.

Make a schedule for feeding and playtime. This will help with “accidents” and will get your baby on a good sleeping schedule too. Some kinkajous also will cry or wake up for a small snack in the morning as well.

Kinkajou Positive reinforcement

Never hit your kinkajou! Stay calm and use a timeout method or redirect their attention to a toy they can bite and chew. Use treats as a reward for good behaviors.

Kinkajou Nail trimming

Kinkajou nails can become sharp and may be clipped if needed to prevent scratches but should not be cut too short as this will affect their ability to climb.

Pet Kinkajou Bath time

a kinkajou may need the occasional sink bath to remove dirt or food that has dried into their fur. Ideally, begin familiarizing your kinkajou with bathing as a baby so that they become familiar with the experience. Go slowly to avoid startling the kinkajou. Use a pet soap to wash the fur, then rinse thoroughly.

If you can get away with it, baby wipes are an easy and quick way to clean your baby.

Kinkajou Health

Kinkajous are generally healthy animals, although annual wellness exams are recommended. Your vet will likely recommend some vaccinations, including those for rabies and distemper, as well as deworming.

Some kinkajous are susceptible to dental disease because of the amount of sugar in their diet. Signs of this include a lack of appetite, bad breath, and weight loss. If you feel this is the case, consult your vet immediately.

Kinkajous don’t require routine teeth cleanings, but their love of sweets, however, means you must give their kinkajous the proper tools to fight gum disease and other oral health issues. Papaya provides a natural toothbrush for kinkajous!

Good hygiene practices should be used to prevent contact with feces, this will also help ensure your kinkajou stays nice and clean.

Due to their high sugar diet, kinkajous are also susceptible to obesity. Be sure to limit your kinkajou’s food intake.

Raising a pet kinkajou care guide

Pet Kinkajou FAQ's

Can they be litter trained?

Some people are able to get them to use the same perch to go off of and then it becomes routine. They have a fast metabolism and defecate a lot. Kinkajous are not well known for being neat and tidy, especially when it comes to bathroom habits.

Are they good with kids?

No, most kinks have short fuses. Children have high energy and little-to-no boundaries. They do not mix well.

Do I need to neuter/spay my kinkajou?

Yes, we do recommend doing this before 18 months of age. No matter the sex, this will help with sexual aggression as your kinkajou matures.

Can I let my kinkajou free roam in the house?

Kinkajous are destructive and can wreak havoc on a home when unsupervised. We do not recommend allowing your kinkajou to free roam your house as they will chew, defecate, pull things apart, and knock things over.

Should I get two so my kinkajou will not be lonely?

Kinkajous are very social and would enjoy the company of another kinkajou especially since they are nocturnal and are awake during the night when people are normally asleep.

Can I legally own one?

Before deciding to purchase a kinkajou it's important to research whether they are legal to own as pets in your state, county, and in your city. Many counties and cities require permits to keep a kinkajou. Rental properties or homeowners' associations often have restrictions for exotic pets as well.

Are they primates?

No, kinkajous are in fact most closely related to raccoons.

Is a male or female better?

Once you have gotten your kinkajou spayed/neutered there will be little to no difference between the personality and temperament of males and females.

Can you hold a kinkajou?

Kinkajous that have been well socialized with humans will often allow their owners to carry and pet them. Mostly, though, kinkajous prefer not to be picked up or held.

Do they need vaccines?

Kinkajous are susceptible to canine distemper and rabies. Vaccinations have some generally accepted guidelines, but a discussion should be had with the vet about the risks before giving any vaccines. There is NO GUARANTEE that any vaccine will be effective in kinkajous since there have been no clinical trials.

How are they with other pets?

They will get along with other animals of similar size, however, when introducing any animal, you run the risk of injury to one or both.

Fun Facts

· They have a 5-inch tongue that allows them to extract nectar from flowers.

· Kinkajous are sometimes called honey bears because they raid bees’ nests. They use their long, skinny tongues to slurp honey from a hive.

· Has a short-haired, fully prehensile tail which it uses as a fifth hand in climbing.



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