Last Modified

January 10, 2024 by Umair Shahid

Sugar gliders, these little marsupials originally from Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea, are quite talkative in their own way. They make different sounds, like purrs and hisses, to convey what’s going on with them. It is like their language, expressing how they feel and what they need.

Figuring out these sounds is vital for taking care of them because it helps you understand what’s on their minds, how they are feeling, and if something is bothering them. Now, you might wonder, “Do sugar gliders purr?” 

Absolutely! If your pet sugar glider is purring, it’s a good sign—they’re happy, chill, and feeling content. In this article, we’ll delve into this interesting topic and explore various aspects of sugar glider communication, shedding light on their unique way of expressing themselves.

Can Sugar Gliders Purr

Can Sugar Gliders Purr?

Sugar gliders communicate using a range of distinct sounds, and one of these sounds is purring. However, it’s important to note that sugar glider purring differs from the purring of cats. The purring of sugar gliders is gentler and more understated, with a slower and more spaced-out rhythm compared to a cat’s purr. 

Typically, sugar gliders produce this sound when they are feeling content, relaxed, and happy. It’s worth mentioning that sugar glider purring is not as loud as a cat’s purr, and it may be a bit challenging to pick up on.

Do Baby Sugar Gliders Purr?

Baby sugar gliders, affectionately called joeys, also engage in purring, just like the grown-ups. This gentle humming serves as a means of communication between the mother and her offspring. During the initial phases of their lives, joeys are born blind, relying heavily on sounds to connect with their surroundings. 

Purring becomes a vital tool for joeys to convey their whereabouts to their mother, expressing a sense of ease and security. In response, the mother sugar glider utilizes purring to signify feeding times and reassure her little ones about their well-being. This mode of communication plays a pivotal role in nurturing a strong and affectionate bond between the mother and her joeys.

Why Do Sugar Gliders Make Weird Noises?

Sugar gliders are quite the chatterboxes, using a variety of sounds to convey different messages like communication, warnings, expressing fear, and showing contentment. One common sound is “crabbing,” sounding like a locust, which usually means they’re agitated, scared, or just want some attention. 

Then there’s the “barking,” resembling a small dog’s yipping, and sugar gliders bark for reasons like boredom, excitement, irritation, or simply reaching out for someone, sometimes seemingly for no apparent reason.

Additionally, sugar gliders make a faint hissing or sneezing sound, often associated with contentment and happiness, especially during self-grooming moments, akin to a cat licking its paw and tidying up. Female sugar gliders add a sweet touch with a singing or churcling noise, primarily to comfort their joeys, indicating their happiness and contentment.

Understanding these sounds is key for sugar glider owners, as it helps them interpret their pet’s feelings and requirements, ultimately deepening the bond between them.

Do Sugar Gliders Scream?


Often referred to as barking, sugar gliders emit a sound likened to a scream. This bark closely resembles that of a small puppy, and sugar gliders employ it for various purposes. In the wild, it serves as a warning signal. If a predator encroaches on their colony, one vigilant sugar glider sounds the alarm, alerting others and thwarting any surprise attacks.

Even in captivity, sugar gliders utilize barking as a means of communication. They may bark when confronted with something or someone unfamiliar—be it a stranger, another animal, or an unusual noise. Another reported reason for their barking is to beckon nearby beings, whether humans or animals, into their vicinity.

It’s crucial to understand that sugar gliders seldom bark without cause. When a sugar glider does bark, it typically signifies that something is amiss or deviates from the norm. The issue could range from a simple matter like an empty water bottle or food dish in their enclosure to more serious concerns like the presence of a potential predator nearby.

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This comprehension of their vocalizations is indispensable for sugar glider owners. It enables them to interpret their pet’s emotions and requirements, fostering a stronger bond between them.

Why Do Sugar Gliders Sing?

Sugar gliders, especially the females, have a distinctive behavior known as “singing.” This unique sound is often described as a churcling noise, marked by subtle changes in pitches. It’s so faint that one needs to be within proximity—just inches away—to hear it.

The primary purpose of a sugar glider’s singing is to communicate with its joeys, particularly during nursing. This melodic sound is often accompanied by gentle squeaks and shakes as the mother adjusts her joey into a more comfortable position. 

The reason behind this careful handling is that, over time, a mother sugar glider’s nipples can become sensitive and sore. If a joey moves uncomfortably during feeding, it can cause discomfort for the mother.

Furthermore, the singing noise serves as the initial vocal communication between the mother and joeys in the pouch, signaling that it’s time for them to detach and fully emerge. This unique vocalization facilitates communication during feeding sessions, ensuring both the mother and the joeys are at ease throughout the process.

Do Sugar Gliders Hiss?

Sugar gliders are known to produce a hissing sound, typically short and intentional, and it’s often quite faint, requiring close proximity to be heard.

These little creatures hiss for a variety of reasons. One common scenario is during their grooming routine, where they create a hissing sound while spitting into their hands and using saliva for self-cleaning, which is also referred to as sneezing.

Additionally, hissing can be part of their playtime antics, especially when they get lively and chase each other around. While some interpret hissing between sugar gliders as a sign of anger or dominance, the exact meaning of their communication during these moments remains a bit of a mystery.

Hissing can also occur when sugar gliders encounter each other, possibly serving as a greeting or a way to inquire about the other’s intentions. However, it’s important to note that hissing might sometimes indicate a health concern. 

For instance, if a sugar glider hisses while attempting to urinate or defecate, it could be a signal of discomfort or a potential health issue, such as a urinary tract infection or intestinal blockage. Understanding the context of their hissing can be crucial for owners to address their pets’ well-being.

Conclusion

Appreciating the distinct sounds that sugar gliders produce is essential for ensuring their proper care and overall well-being. These petite marsupials employ a range of vocalizations, including purring, crabbing, barking, hissing, and even singing, to convey their emotions, needs, and desires. 

These diverse sounds serve as indicators of contentment, fear, agitation, or potential health issues, offering valuable insights into their mental and physical states.

Now, turning our attention to the specific question at hand, “Can sugar gliders purr?”—the answer is affirmative. Sugar gliders do indeed purr, and this gentle hum typically signifies a state of contentment and relaxation. 

It is worth noting that their purring differs from that of cats, being softer, more subdued, and less audible. Understanding and interpreting these nuanced vocalizations contribute significantly to the overall care and understanding of these charming marsupials.

Author 2

I am a proud veterinarian from Lahore, Pakistan. A passionate animal lover who pursued her passion for animal care as a career.
My eagerness to learn and my love for animals grew stronger even during my teenage days. Having a lovely pet, a German Shepherd, in my home allowed me to bond with animals in the best way.
This bonding with my pet provided me with a firm foundation to research and preach about the best animal care methods.

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