Owning A Kinkajou
If you are considering buying a Kinkajou there are some things to consider. The Kinkajou is a mammal from the South American rain forests, and are related to raccoons. They vary in size depending on the subspecies, but generally their body length ranges between 30-45 inches including their tail, and weigh anywhere from 2-12 pounds. Kinks have a lifespan of about 20-25 years and have been known to live as long as 40 years. They bond with their owner and don’t re-home well so be prepared for a long term commitment.
If your Kinkajou is hand raised from a young age, it could be quite tame, but remember that they are still wild animals. They’re active, curious, and like to get into things, much like a raccoon does. Hopefully your a night owl because they are nocturnal and are most active in the late evening when they feed and explore. They are also extremely vocal, and use a mixture of high-pitched screeches, hisses and barks to communicate. Because they are nocturnal, most of their vocalization happens at night.
Kinkajous need lots of play time and socialization with their owners, and require 2-3 hours of play and socialization a day to maintain a strong bond and prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. Most owners find it best to confine them at night and when not supervised, but the ideal kinkajou owner would have a similar nocturnal lifestyle as their pet.
Your Kinkajou will need a large cage. The bigger the better because they are tree climbers assisted by their strong, long tails, which they use as a balancing aid and to grip branches while they hang down. In addition to the enrichment sources outside the cage, be sure to provide lots of branches, ledges/shelves, and ropes for climbing within this cage to give your kinkajou something to do while inside. In addition, you can try a variety of bird toys such as hanging wood/rope parrot toys and wide pieces of PVC pipe from the home improvement store. Hammocks or sleep sacks can also be hung in the cage as well as a nest box of some sort.
In the wild Kinkajous primarily feed on tropical fruits and honey, although if the opportunity arises, they will sometimes eat insects, small mammals and eggs. In captivity at zoos, these mammals are often fed a mixture of dog food, fruits and sometimes corn.
Typically a captive kinkajou will have a diet that consists of:
- 1-2 cups (depending on size of the kinkajou) fresh in season tropical fruits
- 4-6 monkey biscuits/chow such as Zupreem Primate Dry Diet
- ¼ – ½ cup fresh in season vegetables and plant blossoms
Protein source (insects, cooked chicken or turkey, quail eggs, high quality dog foods)
Foods They Love
- Bananas (a favorite!)
Foods To Avoid
- Broccoli and Cauliflower
Kinkajou Vet Care
It may be difficult to find a veterinarian in your area who is comfortable caring for your kinkajou. As exotic animals, these mammals have special needs that many vets may not be trained to meet. It may take a lot of legwork before you find a vet who is qualified to care for your pet, and when you do, their office location may not be convenient.
Kinkajous And The Law
There are laws in place regarding exotic pets. These laws will vary widely from state to state, and sometimes even by city or town. Before acquiring a kinkajou, check with your state to find out whether they are allowed and, if so, whether you need to have a permit. Then check with your town to ensure that there are no bylaws preventing you from keeping a kinkajou.
Caring for a Kinkajou is not for the faint of heart, but if you can commit, your Kink will bring you a lifetime of love.