When it comes to possums, most people are not sure if they can be domesticated or litter trained. I’m assuming it is legal to keep one in your country. If yes, can you tame those creatures and teach them to use a litter box?
It is possible to train any of the possum species to use a litter box. However, this will depend on its age as of when adopted into your home. Older possums may be more difficult to train than younger ones.
Both the short-tailed possum and the Virginia possum species are neat animals and they both tend to select specific spots to eliminate feces and urine. These unique features make their litter box training easy to achieve.
Can You Domesticate a Possum?
The issue of domesticating a possum depends on different factors: if it is an adult or a baby possum. The possum’s level of interaction with human beings is another factor to consider. It is difficult, if not impossible to domesticate a wild possum and you shouldn’t even try that.
If you’re considering raising a possum in your house, I’d advise you to opt for an orphaned baby possum. Possums thrive best when left in their native habitat. Also, you’d want to learn from other possum owners. Their experience serves as a helpful guide in training your own possum.
How Can I Tame a Possum?
People are often quite surprised to realize that training a possum is not as difficult as they imagined it to be. Not only can these creatures be domesticated, but they can be trained to respond to simple commands like name-calling and signals like “sit”. All you need is some amount of patience and gentleness to tame your possum and have yourself a jolly fellow.
To begin, stick a hand inside the container cage where the possum is confined. The initial reaction of your possum will be to make a hissing sound, with its teeth bared at you. Although this will appear as an attack fit, know that your possum will pounce on you if grappled or held down.
Place your hand on the adjacent side of the cage and allow your possum to relax and get acquainted with the sight of your hand. After some minutes, your possum might move towards your hand to sniff it. I said might, because that is not the case all the time, as there are some that will require a few more attempts.
In the end, the possum will come around and draw close to your hand. This is mostly because possums are inquisitive by nature and want to check out foreign elements that appear in their space. In all you do, ensure not to frighten it with loud sounds and abrupt movements.
When you’re successful with that introductory stage, the next thing you should do is gently pat the possum on the back. Once it is comfortable with your hand, your possum will stay calm. Be careful and slow while patting your possum in its cage, keeping in mind that it shouldn’t be startled.
In the end, hold it gently and slowly up to your face. Because possums are gentle and usually slow to walk, quick or sudden movements can scare and throw them off balance. Your pet should be resting comfortably on your arm, don’t snap it by the waist and leave its feet hanging mid-air.
It is important your possum feels safe and comfortable enough to warm up to you. Let it rest on you or even crawl up your shoulders (that’s what they do, crawl!). Once you arrive at this juncture, you will have yourself a domesticated pet possum.
Can You Litter Box Train a Possum?
You can train any of the possum species to use a litter box. Both the short-tailed possum and the Virginia possum species are neat animals and they both tend to select specific spots to eliminate feces and urine. These unique features make their litter box training easy to achieve.
Buy a cage litter box suitable for a rabbit, kitten, or any other of the small animals. You can choose to purchase a unique cage filler at your local pet store or use the opossum’s normal bedding. Allow your baby’s short-tailed possum to relax in its enclosure for a few days rather than trying to train it immediately.
Watch where it goes to eliminate waste. Normally, it’ll take the spot farthest from its sleeping area, but you never can tell what unique tendencies your possum may exhibit.
Secondly, position the litter firmly in that corner of the enclosure.
Shift the litter box to a corner and fill it with extra litter. The litter box should be changed regularly so your pet is comfortable using it. Leave the cage entrance ajar when your possum ventures out, so it can come back to use the litter box when needed
Training a Virginia opossum will require purchasing larger and more spacious sizes of litter boxes.
Should You Leave Possums Alone?
Poses are considered to be unbelligerent and gentle creatures who pose no threat to humans. However, when startled or frightened, possums will make moves to defend themselves. My best take is that you relish watching possums move in their natural habitat, but let them be.
Opossums should be freed to explore and thrive in their native environment. They are ambitious creatures and tend to migrate to regions that have been destroyed and deserted by other animals. Call it bad luck or whatever, but possums often get the blame for these damages.
When people come across orphaned possums, the usual thought is to take these adorable creatures home as pets. In most countries as I earlier mentioned, it is considered illegal to domesticate a possum in the absence of a wildlife rehabilitation permit. As soon as they get old and strong enough to survive alone, able-bodied possums can and should be freed into their appropriate habitat.