noun: south american red coati
plural: south american red coatis

What is a South American Red Coati?

A South American Coati is a sub species of the Nasua Nasua. They are very rare in captivity. Imports do come into the states from time to time. Texas Exotic Animals is the only breeder known to produce captive born babies. South American Reds are the smallest variety of coati. Adults weight only 3-6 lbs.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Procyonidae
Genus: Nasua

South American Red Coati

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Common questions about Coatis

Diets vary a bit depending on whom you ask and your coatis special dietary needs if any. I will tell you what I feed mine.

Staple Diet: A healthy dry dog food. Never cat food. I have been feeding Iams lamb and rice. My vet recommends the Iams lamb and rice too. Free feed unless your coati has a weight problem. If you feel your coati is becoming overweight consult your vet for a proper diet.

Additional foods: In moderation you can feed them almost anything you can eat. Healthier choices are eggs, fruits (No fruit cores. Apple, orange, and pear seeds are toxic. I remove all hard seeds), veggies (mine like carrots, sweet potatoes and collard greens), nuts, healthy dry cereals, Mazuri Monkey Crunch biscuits, cooked chicken meat (no chicken bones unless you want to chance a vet visit as they can splinter) fish, shrimp, and frozen thawed feeder mice, pinkies, and small rats. They can eat larger prey items like adult rats, bunnies, and chicks but it’s messy and probably not something you want to watch. You can also give them feeder insects. Live roaches, crickets, and worms are wonderful. We recommend using store bought or home grown feeders. There are insect breeders that will send you bulk to start your own colonies. The reason for this is simple, wild insects are probably just fine but if you use a lot of pesticides, or your neighbor does, they could ingest some of that. I take mine outside and they forage on walks. Since we live in a more rural area this is not a huge concern of mine, but it deserves a mention so you have all the information to decide how you want to control what your pet eats. Don’t be cruel and intentionally feed your coati live mammalian prey items. (miceetc) Live prey items bite back and can take out an eye or get loose and breed in your house. Not freezing your feeder rodents can also give a coati parasitesafter eating a live rodent. Don’t panic if your coati catches a tasty snack if you let them have some supervised playtime in the backyard. If your vet is worming them and they don’t get themselves bit there was probably no harm. If feeding rodents and insects is not something you can do other proteins listed above can be used. Just remember a coati is NOT a vegan! If this is your lifestyle choice that is fine, but to force your choice on an omnivorous animal is wrong. Additional foods should be given with limits, not free fed. Along with dry food, I offer them a medium-sized bowl with some extra protein like a scrambled or boiled egg or a few chunks of meat, a frozen thawed rodent, or about half dozen worms along with about a cup of mixed fruits and a few chucks of carrots, sweet potato and maybe a small amount of greens.

Treats: I love to use treats for training aids and playtime fun. Coatis have a real sweet tooth. Processed sugar is NOT a staple food item for anyone. Don’t dish out treats by the handfuls. A tiny piece of something goes along way. For treats I use a regular sized marshmallow, a peppermint, fruit cereal bars, and other fruit-filled snacks (one bite-size piece at a time) grapes (I also add a few to their food, but they are a favorite treat too), plain raw peanuts in the shell (messy but they love them), dog biscuits, or a bite of most anything I am eating. No chocolate! Too much dairy will make them sick (and probably all over your nice sofa) so go easy on ice cream, yogurt (a real favorite of mine) and milk. No more than a taste!

A good rule of thumb: Diet: 50% protein, 47% fruit and 3% other (veggie matter/roots) in the wild. The protein can be a good brand of dry dog food, mice, chicks, eggs, worms, and chicken. Fruit such as bananas, papaya, mango, cherries, and melons are good, to name a few. As far as veggies, you can make that up by using raw or baked yams, sweet potatoes, carrots,and pumpkin.

What not to feed. May be toxic (remember toxicity level is different for each animal depending on weight):

Sugar free sweeteners of any kind in any form are toxic to all animals to my knowledge
Avocado (debatable, but here are theories that the pit and dark green stripes could be bad for them…not worth risk IMO)

What do baby Coatis eat? MILK! Not regular dairy milk, though.

It’s very important that you follow your breeder’s instructions. You will receive a special care sheet and your baby’s personal bottle and bottle feeding lessons when you purchase your baby from us. Your baby will be on a bottle for the first 4 months of its life. We understand bottle-feeding can be a scary process for some. We will be here for you. I keep my phone line and email address and even Facebook available for my clients. We cannot give you vet care, but you have my personal promise to help with advice and suggestions based on my experience. Baby coatis will wean themselves; we do not recommend you rush the process. Each coati is different. We use Esbilac puppy milk. NEVER USE AN ALL PURPOSE MILK or COW’S MILK. It will make you Coati very sick.

What kind of house do you want for your Coati?

Let me start by saying this is one of those controversial topics. I am going to tell you what type of enclosures my Coatis live in and why. I will mention several options. One very important thing to remember is that not all situations are suitable for every home. You must consider when choosing an enclosure to consider things like your experience raising Coatis and available space and safety for your coati inside and outside. I will try and give you the pros and cons of both and many different situations. I am writing this as a guide, not the only solutions. Every home is different. Safety first is always my number one rule.

This means no cage. Let me just say this; a Coati is not a house cat or a puppy. Left to their own devices they are smart enough and strong enough to open refrigerator doors, cabinets, jars, pill bottles, and cleaners they may find under your sink. Coatis love to rub soaps and other scented chemicals on their tails. If you are a first time Coati owner, please consider that this is not a safe option for you. I know some very experienced Coati owners that do this successfully. They know their Coati’s behaviors and they have special adaptions built into their homes and safe areas (acreage) for their Coatis to roam. Warm temperatures must be provided so you will still have to provide shelter in the winter. I have been to some of these homes and it’s heavenly. It is true most of the time Coatis don’t roam too far from home. This is not always the case. I personally have had the unpleasant task of reading the heartbreaking, sobbing emails from people who have lost their Coatis due to wildlife or feral cat and dog attacks. These people were/are good coati owners. Things like this just happen. No regular fencing can hold a wandering Coati either. They are excellent climbers and can wander off, get lost or stolen or, worse, killed by a scared neighbor. These things really happen and in my opinion it is not worth the risk for me personally.

South American Red Coati Photo Gallery