KINKAJOU

/ˈkiNGkəˌjo͞o/
noun: kinkajou
plural noun: kinkajous

What is a Kinkajou?


Kinkajous (Potosflavus) also known as “Honey Bears” are nocturnal, arboreal and have prehensile tails.They are mammals native to the tropical rain forests of Central and South America. Although they resemble and sometimes act like monkeys they are not related to primates. They are actually related to the Raccoon, Coatimundi, Red Panda, Ringtail Cats, and other animals in the Procyonidae family. Adult Kinkajous can weigh between 3 and 8 lbs. Their life span can be up to 28 years in captivity.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Prosimiae
Family: Procyonidae
Genus: Geoffroy Saint

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Common questions about Kinkajous


Yes, unless you live in a state, county, or city that prohibits this animal or has a general exotics ban. To find out you must first check with your state fish and game agency. If they are not prohibited in your state, check with your local animal control to find out if your county has a restriction. Make sure when checking that you know in advance if you live inside or outside city limits that could make a difference. Do not be surprised if nobody knows what a kinkajou is. Be prepared and have your facts ready to explain the family and species. Please also check before calling us to get one. That will be the first question I ask you when you call. If you live in an apartment or other rental property, check with your landlord. Remember, any rental property can have property owners, maintenance and office personnel entering your home with or without notice and you can place your animal at risk of being let loose or have unauthorized hands and fingers poking at your baby. That never ends well. If your baby scratches or bites a stranger whether you had any control over the situation or not. They often take your kinkajou away and kill it to test for rabies whether you have shots or not. This can cost you your rights to own anything exotic in your county forever.

Many diets can vary. If you purchased your baby Kinkajou elsewhere please check with your breeder to avoid making your baby sick by changing diets too quickly, especially when it comes to dry foods and milk formulas. Here I will just tell you what I feed mine.

EIGHT WEEKS OLD TO 4 MONTHS: Mix one teaspoon baby rice cereal with a one to two inch slice of banana mashed up well and add about 30 ml. of prepared Esbilac puppy milk . Sometimes a small amount of warm water is needed if the mixture is too thick. This mixture should be slightly warm, but not hot. Test it before you burn your baby, please! Let them eat as much as they want. Some waste is normal, so don’t panic if they don’t eat all of it. If they want more as they grow you can increase the amount of each ingredient slowly. I hand feed this formula mixture in a shallow dish 3 to 4 times daily. Your baby will lick it up! I don’t use a bottle because baby kinkajous have such a powerful need to suck that it is easy for them to aspirate.

3 MONTHS TO ADULT: Early on I start adding small pieces of fruit like bananas, papaya, melons, and apple sauce in an addition bowl, or I offer it by hand. Not too much at first and try only giving one type of food at a time. Offering too many choices seems to overwhelm them or turn them off of trying them. They will take to banana pretty easily, so you might have to work a little harder to get them to try new things if you don’t start working with their diet early on. Let them get used to one type of food and then move to the next. I am sorry to say that you might have some wasted food in the beginning, but that’s normal. As time moves on I let them wean themselves off of the formula. They usually do so around four to six months. They will slowly start eating more of the fresh stuff and less formula. At this time it’s time to start adding the hard stuff! To get them used to eating their dry foods soften them with liquids. Puppy milk, baby foods, apple juice or apple sauce is what I use. They will always enjoy this, but after they are eating well only use the softened biscuits as a treat. It’s best to make sure they have a separate bowl of dry foods in their enclosure at all times. Adults eat 1 to 2 cups of the fresh stuff daily. As they are nocturnal and come out looking for food late in the day I offer the fresh stuff to them in the early evening so that is stays fresh (adults).

FRUITS: Fruits I use on a regular basis are bananas, papayas, melons, and apples, but feel free to try new things. I do it all the time. I don’t ever use strawberries. The reason for this is kinkajous are prone to have strawberry allergies. Not all do, but it’s not worth it to me to experiment with my babies.

VEGETABLES: Veggies I use on a regular basis are fresh carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans and I often buy bags of frozen mixed veggies to add a few different things to the mix.

DRY FOODS: Having tried a few different types I have settled on a mixture of Monkey Biscuits. I have more than one kinkajou so this is easy for me. You might need to choose one biscuit and some Monkey Crunch. I use a combination of Mazuri products. The Maintenance Biscuit, the banana flavored Growth and Reproduction Biscuit and Monkey Crunch. I also add a tiny handful of dry Iam’s lamb and rice dog food in the bowl (not too much) as it helps add protein to their diet.

PROTIENS: We did not talk about this much because they don’t need much. I do add a small amount of cooked egg or boiled chicken once or twice a week. They won’t eat much but it’s good to get them to eat some protein now and then.

OTHER FOODS: Kinkajous are scavengers in the wild. Older pet kinkajous can be little garbage cans when it comes to food, so don’t let your baby get fat. It’s not healthy. With that said just like any kid, if they see you eating or drinking it, they will want some. Most of the time it’s okay for them to have a bite on a separate plate. (Disclaimer: Don’t eat after any animals or let them lick you in the mouth and always wash your hands before and after handling any animals. These days you have to write disclaimers.) Other foods they enjoy are canned baby foods, baby snack biscuits and cereal treats, yogurt (I give a spoonful now and then, not too much. Kinkajous are lactose intolerant.), Fig Newtons, healthy cereals, and honey or anything sweet. Please go easy on the sweet stuff. They take to processed sugar like a junkie takes to drugs. I give mine only one Fig Newton a day and sometimes I put some honey nut cheerios in my pockets and let him search for them. Use these things as training aids and treats more than just added to the feed dish.

WHAT NOT TO FEED: I hope you’re smart enough to know this, but if you not here goes. NO ALCOHOL, CAFFEINE, TOBACCO PRODUCTS, ONIONS OR DIET SUGARFREE PRODUCTS OF ANY KIND. Remember, some Kinkajous have strawberry allergies so I don’t recommend those either.

I hope you found this helpful. I may edit and change things in the future as I try new things. There are always more things to learn, and there are always different ways to do things. This is what I do and it has worked for me.

If you purchase a baby from Texas Exotic Animals, you will receive a blanket, toy and sample of food with each baby. Baby feeding lessons are free for our clients at your request. Shipping is available for an addition cost.

Enclosures cost $500 on up depending on what you choose.

Water bottles or heavy bottom dishes ( most parrot cages come with locking stainless steel bowls but you can add another $10-20 for those if you buy extras or use bottles for water (they work well for lease mess and spillage in cages)

Food is priced at the grocery stores but I would budget $10 to $15 for some fresh stuff each week and most of the Muzuri feeds are priced between $20 and $40 per 25 lbs. That does last for a while.

Toys: $1plus, I use a variety of infant/toddler safe fisher prices toys for human kiddos. I buy them at garage sales and second hand stores often for pennies on the dollar. (don’t forget to sanitize and wash them before giving them to your baby) Never give rubber dog chew toys they will eat them and it will cause blockage and a huge vet bill or death.

In one word, LARGE! Double Macaw is best. If you can’t get that, the largest big parrot cage you can get might work. You do need to consider you kinkajou is nocturnal. You might stay up late but your kinkajou will play all night after you sleep at some point, to small of a cage is cruel. You can Google primate or monkey cages to get some other good ideas.
In my opinion, NO. I read on the internet too and some claim to have potty trained them. I feel like I would be misleading you if I just told you what you wanted hear to make a sale. As for wearing diapers, you can put them on babies and they often work out fine, as the Kinkajou gets older he will learn to take them off. You can use them as long as they work. Be careful they don’t ingest the filling if they start chewing on them. It is very common a Kinkajou will potty train you. They often go potty in the same spots and you can learn where and place a pan or papers in that spot. They always perch on something and hang their little bottom off when they potty. Usually it is a high spot they can jump to like top of the refrigerator. You should also learn your baby’s habits. The “timing method” has always worked best for us. My Kinkajou wakes up, relieves himself, then eats and within 30 minutes usually goes potty and for the most part if he does not get to many food treats we are pretty good to go without accidents. On the bright side, I don’t find the Kinkajou poop to smell bad since their diet is so high in fruit, so it’s not the worst thing you will ever smell or clean up.

Anyone that can properly provide a safe and happy home and tend for it’s needs where not prohibited to live. Kinkajous are friendly, playful and curious with a small stubborn streak. I would never answer a question about your children. Only you know the answer. Children should be taught about animals, but it’s never a good idea to leave them unattended together unless you are willing to be responsible for the actions of both of them. That is a standard rule of thumb for any animal interaction with other people or other animals. Kinkajous are playful and can be scared easily, mine often jump on my dogs (my dogs have been trained and raised with all of our animals around) and play with my genets. My boy runs away if something scares him but often will try and play with anybody or anything. Kinkajous are known to snack on small critters like little birds, lizards, mice and hamsters so be mindful of critters that might be consider part of their diet in the wild.

Yes, anything with a mouth can bite. We understand if you asking this question this might be your first experience with an exotic animal, so I have some basic suggestions for you. Kinkajous and other animals often chew on your fingers and hands as part of playing much like kittens and puppies. You can take time to train your baby by never allowing it to chew on you by replacing your hands with another type of chew toy or even covering your hand with a rag.. A bite is not the same thing has chewing, so watch what you say. It might cost your animal its life. A bite is most often a misplaced finger when hand feeding or a fear bite from any nervous new animal. Do not touch or grab at an animal you don’t know. Do not stare an animal directly in the eye, it’s a challenge if you don’t know an animal well and especially if it’s already scared. Don’t be “that guy” who posts pictures of scared animals or bite marks on the internet that animal rights fanatics can keep and save to prove people should not own animals. One last thing to consider, if you are buying someone’s breeder kinkajou, wild caught or in general not a baby, these are not for first time owners as you most likely will not get the pet quality animal you might want. Don’t be fooled by a really cheap price tag. You get what you pay for. All Kinkajous should be spayed or neutered before maturity if they are to retain pet-quality behavior. (Click here for our vet’s contact information)

I get asked this a lot. People are often not sure which one they want. There are lots of cute baby pictures out there that don’t help with hard decisions. I can offer you my opinion and experience as a keeper of both pets as pets and as a breeder. There are other opinions out there. My only goal is to help you succeed with whatever pet you choose. I would rather lose a sale than have you rehome one of my babies. It breaks my heart to see this and it’s very hard on a baby to lose its family.Not really comparable, but if you need an example I will say a coati is more dog like and a Kinkajou might be more cat like. That is not how you care for them, just maybe a comparison of their mannerisms. I think a Kinkajou is easier to handle but does not seem to desire as much of my attention. Coatis are stronger than Kinkajous. I feel certain if one my coatis wandered loose outside, they would not leave my property. If my Kinkajou slipped out it would be hard to retrieve him from the tree tops. Coatis behave more like a North American raccoon and often my Kinkajou behaves more like a monkey. I hope that helps. They are in the same family but they are very different. I love them both and they both bring lots of love and joy to my life.


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