Cage Sets – What Are They?

The most common ‘bedding’ type of item that people use for sugar gliders is what we like to call ‘cage sets’. These are different items generally made of fleece(the safest material). Usually a set includes sleeping pouches, hammocks, some vine-type things to climb on and other unique pieces, depending on the vendor.

Nesting boxes can be purchased at a local store or can be made out of ventilated plastic tubs, be sure to add fleece squares to make nests with. Pouches for gliders can be found online typically. (There aren’t safe bedding items available in local pet stores as they’re not made safely, gliders are very special and require extra care.) Check out our website Suggie Links for a list of vendors that offer cage sets and bonding pouches.

It is important to check reviews and/or references on a vendor before making a purchase.

You want to be sure they’re experienced with sewing and can make cage set pieces properly to assure gliders aren’t in any danger. All seams need to be hidden and items need to be double layered. Fleece is the most common fabric that is used. Fabrics like cotton and denim are only used by experienced seamstresses typically. If sewn by someone less experienced they are likely to become hazardous.

Where do gliders sleep?

Contrary to what some companies would have you think, sugar gliders actually prefer to sleep in a small closed in area. Most parents typically use hanging fleece pouches. These hang inside the cage either on the wall or from the top. The gliders will climb in, snuggle together and sleep away the day.

Shockingly, some companies will tell you to throw a t-shirt in the cage on the floor or over a heat rock for them to ‘sleep on’. This really is far from ideal for a variety of reasons. (Besides that heat rocks are dangerous and most clothing fabrics can catch toes – this is why we use fleece.)

Gliders very much prefer to climb into some sort of enclosure and sleep throughout the day. Most people do use pouches but there are a wide variety of options, from cubes to pods to open style hammocks. Most of these items will come in a cage set, the standard option is a pouch though. Most vendors will allow you to add other items like cubes or even swap them out for the pouches if you prefer.

There should be a sleeping area for every glider kept in the cage to shelter those that may be in a squabble with others, feeling irritable, or just want some alone time. Since they sleep while the sun it is out it is important for gliders to have a dark place to sleep so they can rest properly. Nesting Boxes with fleece squares or fleece lined pouches are popular with gliders, maybe it reminds them of a hollowed out tree.

Did you know a cage set could be DANGEROUS?

Any time you purchase a cage set for your gliders be sure to WASH it before using it!

(Personally I use the Free and Clear detergent, no dyes and no scents.) Fabrics are shipped with chemicals to prevent problems from happening during transit or storage, like damage from moths for example. While these chemical typically isn’t very dangerous to us(we’re much bigger than suggies) it can be terrible for an animal as small as a sugar glider. So remember, always wash your cage sets before using them! 😀

There is also some risk from the actual craftsmanship, or rather lack thereof.

Cage set pieces need to be sewn by an experienced seamstress. Things have to be made in a special way in order to be considered safe. If not sewn properly there’s a chance the thread could catch either nails or toes and fingers. If caught they could break a toe, chew at the limb to get loose or even end up cutting circulation off accidentally and end up requiring an amputation.

Why not do it yourself? Consider this, first!

Note: While you can make similar items at home we like to caution people against doing so unless you’re EXTREMELY careful and capable of using a sewing machine with quite a bit of expertise.

The stitching needs to be very small and typically hidden because gliders have sharp nails(for climbing trees) that can get caught in loose or improper stitching. This is a problem because if they get caught they will struggle desperately to get free, sometimes breaking a toe or foot or even chewing on the limb to get free, unfortunately.

Also, for this reason, it’s good to keep in mind that you get what you pay for. If a cage set is so cheap it seems too good to be true it likely is. Many people make and sell them but unfortunately they often have shoddy stitching which can harm or even kill a glider. Putting so much work into each piece of a cage set takes a good deal of time and close attention to detail, that’s why cage sets may seem a bit pricey. But believe me, the safety of our suggies is worth the cost!

Even with a very good well done set it’s best to check periodically when washing to make sure no stitches have come loose. Make this a routine and your suggie will thank you!

(If you’d like to learn how to sew safely for your gliders check out; Safe Sewing for Suggies.)