Pictured here is Bow, my beautiful adult male.
Brazilian Short tail Opossums
Short tailed Opossums available summer 2018.
Most of the info about my Short tailed opossums, my breeding program, my pricing and how to care for them can be found in this section. See the "Important Info" section for information on how to sign up for the wait list. Short tailed opossums (STO) make amazing and interactive pets for all ages. These little guys look like a cross between a rat and a sugar glider! Even though I looked into having this species shipped to me from an out of state breeder a year ago, my opossums were stumbled upon. The only STO breeder on the island (I had no idea this person bred them locally) had to give them up for personal reasons and they found their way to me. I'm super excited to have them! These animals are incredibly rare to New York. The original breeder acquired them by traveling to Ohio and Michigan. I hope to acquire another male and female soon.
About STOs and their care:
STOs are about the size of a small rat upon maturity with males larger than females. They are a nocturnal animal with big expressive eyes.
Their diet is quite unusual! This species originates from Brazil where they feast on fruit, insects, and small mammals in the wild. In captivity, you can feed them similar foods such as meal worms (live/dried), live crickets, Dubia roaches* fruits, high quality ferret food, human baby food, and canned cat food. For fruits they really enjoy banana and pineapple. Insects are an important part of their diet! You need to be willing to feed them live insects.
STOs don't require too much room. Their minimum space requirement is 30'' x 19" for a single level cage. They are escape artists so you must make sure their cage is very secure. They do well in a homemade bin cage or a 40 gallon fish tank with a locking lid.
Shot tailed opossums are solitary animals unless breeding. In fact, breeding them is tricky because it's dangerous for both animals; they can injure or kill each other. Just like Syrian hamsters, they must live alone.
They live an average of 4-5 years in captivity. Some owners have reported them living as long as 8 years! They are a long term commitment.
They NEED a wheel! STOs are very active at night and require a 10'' -12'' wheel for exercise. With a quiet wheel, short tailed opossums are very quiet pets!
They also need a cozy place to sleep such as a tube hammock or triangle hammock. Unlike rats, STOs will not toilet in their sleeping place so minimal cleaning is needed for their bed.
STOs use a regular small animal water bottle. The best sizes are 6 ounce or 12 ounce bottles.
They really benefit by having proper humidity levels in their cage or room. It's ideal to keep them at 50%-60% humidity, but a little more or less is fine. Use a cool mist or invisible mist humidifier, especially during the winter months.
STOs have very good hearing so they don't like loud kissing noises and similar noises. When kissed, they greatly prefer if you don't make any sound when doing so.
They can be litter trained!
Short tailed opossums are not as domesticated as other species. Because of this they benefit by socialization from the breeder in order to make good pets. My STO babies are well socialized prior to leaving for their new homes. They are handled from as early as possible and treated with love and compassion.
Contract for Short Tailed Opossums
My contract for the STOs is very similar to my rat and hamster contract. I guarantee genetic health for one year and I guarantee them free of illness related health issues for a full two weeks after they are taken home. The contract for my STOs is not on this website. If you would like to review it, please request it by my email (email@example.com).
The contract also includes a strict no breeding policy. STOs are very difficult to breed so they do not make a good species to breed for the amateur breeder. If you're interesting in breeding my STOs, you must gain my approval for breeding rights.
Included with every short tailed opossum baby is life time breeder support.
Retired adults: TBD
Babies and juveniles: TBD
Here are some of the common questions people have about STOs:
- Do short tailed opossums make good family pets? Yes! STOs make super neat pets and are great with gentle children. They are friendly when handled from a young age and many will climb up your arm to your shoulder if you reach your hand into their cage. STOs are best with older kids and teens, but families with younger kids can certainly own them.
- Do they smell? Their odor is very minimal, especially when using proper bedding. Sweet PDZ product mixed with animal bedding really helps control any smell and it controls dangerous ammonia very well.
- Do they bite? No. They rarely bite. If your STO bites you, their may likely be a medical reason and an exotic vet visit is a good course of action. STOs may nip if feeling very threatened, but with a loving family, they wouldn't feel uneasy. Their teeth resemble ferret teeth, but much smaller.
- What do they feel like? Their fur is pretty soft. They feel similar to a female rat. Their tails are similar to rats also, but feel very different - like smooth skin instead of the scale-tails rats have. STOs have muscles in their tails that allow them to hold onto you or nearby items for security. It's really cute!
- How can I be sure I am feeding an STO properly? I will walk you through tips and food options.
- How much interaction would an STOs require from me? It's best to handle your STO at least twice a week for 20 minutes each time however they do not need human contact. You can handle them as little or as often as you like, but regular handling will keep them tame.
My STO cages
Better pictures coming soon. My STOs each have a saucer wheel, a cozy place to sleep, toys for enrichment, a dry-food bowl, a wet/fresh food bowl, and a water bottle. Each STO is housed alone. The bins measure 32'' long by 19'' wide.
To the left is Bow with Ollie, my purebred Siberian husky and rattery mascot. Ollie is fascinated by the opossums! Daily exposure to small animals helps reinforce his prey drive resistance training.