Coatis, or coatimundi, are South American raccoons closely related to both North American raccoons and kinkajous.
In English, they are also referred to as the hog-nosed coons and out of the four breeds of coatis, there are only two kept as pets, and they include South American coatis and the white-nosed.
Coatis are Omnivores like their North American relatives with tons of energy, and they need a constant supply of food to maintain that energy. Some pet lovers choose to adopt coatis as pets, but this wild animal isn’t ideal for most homes.
- Common names: Coati, coatimundi
- Scientific names: Nasua nasua, Nasua narica
- Adult size: Can weigh up to 18 pounds
- Life expectancy: Can live up to 14 years
- Difficulty of care: Advanced
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Class: Mammalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Family: Procyonidae
- Genus: Nasua
- Species: Nasua Nasua
Behavior and temperament
Famous for their inquisitive personalities, coatimundis are exquisite, and unlike North American raccoons, coatis are diurnal.
This means these South American mammals are most active during the day. Male coatimundis live solitary lives and are commonly larger than the females that dwell in groups.
Having a coati can be described as caring for a permanent toddler with sharp teeth and claws, with an impeccable ability to swim and climb. They are also very mischievous. Coatimundis, like pet primates, can become very aggressive and dangerous if they aren’t bottle-fed as babies and socialized.
You may want to provide your coatimundi with enough exercise, enrichment, and attention, especially when the goal is to maximize your chances of owning a loving and less aggressive pet.
Coatis aren’t the best pets for children, and they shouldn’t be allowed to play with the animals. Coatis won’t hesitate to bite, especially when they are stressed. So to avoid any incident, it’s best to handle them with care. Coatis requires plenty of space due to their high energy level.
They are most active when they are young, so ample space is needed to house them. Some coatis can get stressed even with ideal enclosures; the result can be low energy and poor health.
Housing the coati
It’s not advisable to keep these furry raccoons loose indoors, as they won’t only damage the home but may well as well hurt themselves. Generally, coatis need a rather large outdoor enclosure, not to mention an indoor cage that measures at least 10 x10 feet, with 10 feet high.
The enclosure should be equipped with interesting climbing spots and toys to get them from getting bored. Coatimundi is intelligent animals, and with patience, they can be litter trained. Some coatis owners take their pets out on leashes.
Putting coatis on leashes can be a tricky move, especially since they don’t obey commands quickly.
Food and water
Pet coatimundis have a strict diet. To guarantee that your pet coati lives long and in good health, owners would have to maintain a steady plan of dietary ratios of vegetables to fruits to carbohydrates and proteins;
- 10% of vegetables (and more if necessary)
- 10% fresh fruit
- 60% grain-free, high grade, dog food
- 20% of poultry, eggs, or beef
Coatis treats may include insects like mealworms and gut-loaded crickets, crackers, or cereal. They also enjoy prickly pear fruits, and some owners reward their coatis with this.
Ensure to keep salty or sweet foods away from when treating your pet. Also, make sure always to leave their food scattered about in their enclosure. You could also have some hidden inside and under places and objects to encourage boost natural foraging practice.
Common health complications
An experienced exotic veterinarian would be needed to treat your pet coati. Veterinarians rarely treat coatimundis; however, when they do attend to the mammals, prevalent medical issues these raccoons are faced with could include rectal prolapses from straining or defecate due to diarrhea or parasites.
Improper diet could also cause malnutrition in coatis.Coatis can also sustain injuries from fighting with each other if multiple coatimundis are housed together.
There are no approved vaccines for coatis, but many veterinarians will administer cat or dog vaccines. Male coatis can be very aggressive as soon as they reach sexual maturity. Vets would readily recommend neutering before the coati is six months old.
Females coatimundis can become easily provoked when in heat, so it’s advisable to have them sprayed.
It might seem like a good idea to opt for tooth removal and declawing, especially when the primary concern is to avoid being scratched or bitten; nonetheless, it is inappropriate and unnatural to do any of these to animals, not to mention coatis.
Pet owners who aren’t prepared for the claws and sharp teeth of a coati shouldn’t bother with adopting any as a pet.
Is it legal to keep a pet coatis?
As with most exotic pets, coatis are regulated by law. States and counties have rules and regulations regarding keeping coatimundis, and it is critical that you know what the law says about your coati pet.
Apart from knowing if owning a coati is legal, it is equally vital to In addition to knowing if coati ownership is legal, it’s also essential to confirm if a permit would be needed to keep a coati pet.
How do I purchase a coati?
You should never make the mistake of adopting a coati bitten from the wild, as this can be unsafe for both your pet and yourself. Asides from the dangers of adopting a wild coati, it is also considered illegal in many states.
Since coatis can’t be purchased from pet stores, reputable breeders are readily available to help you with a healthy one. Be sure to do all possible research to ensure you get the real deal.
It is vital that you know where your pet is gotten from and its age. Pet coatis born in captivity should be immediately exposed to humans to resume early interaction. It is best to spend time with your prospective pet whenever you visit the breeder. Check to see that your pet looks healthy and active.
Ensure that its cost is shiny and that it feeds well. Kindly note that you would be spending plenty of time with this raccoon, so it’s best to be sure that you are comfortable adopting it.
Similar to the coati
Check out the following if you are interested in coatis;