noun: white-nosed coati
plural: white-nosed coatis
What is a White-Nosed Coati?
The white-nosed coati (Nasuanarica), also known as coatimundi/koʊˌɑːtɨˈmʌndi/, is a species of coati and a member of the family Procyonidae . On average most weigh between 8 and 20 lbs. Males are larger. On average, the total length is about 3 ½ ft., about half of that being the tail length. A proper tail should make the sign of a question mark when coatis are active, playful and curious. In the USA, the white-nosed coati (Nasuanarica) is mainly found in the southeastern and southwestern corners of Arizona and New Mexico, and in parts of Texas. Relatives of the raccoon, the size of a big housecat, coatis have long tails, long noses and faces masked in white and black. They live in matriarchal bands of up to 40 animals and speak a language of grunts, chitters and churps. Babies make peeping sounds like baby birds. Another wonderful thing about them is they almost no odor or smell in their fur.
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Information for Texas Residents
The White-nosed coati is protected by Texas Parks and Wildlife. To legally keep one for a pet, you must purchase ONLY from a Texas Parks and Wildlife permitted breeder. This includes all colors variations and those hybrid mountain white-nosed coatis mixed. Texas Exotic Animals is one of the very few legal, permitted active breeders in Texas. You will receive proper documents when you purchase your baby from us. While the state of Texas is fine with people owning white-nosed coatis with proper paperwork, possession of an undocumented white-nosed coati can result in hefty fines as well as state-seizure and loss of any or all animals on your property.
Common questions about White-Nosed Coatis
Dark brown: The Dark Brown Coati is medium brown to black with a white mask on the face. This is the most common.
Red Coati: The Red Coati, which has a very auburn to reddish brown color with a white masked face. Often most of the Dark Brown Coatis can also have a slight red tint to them.
Blonde Coati: The very rare Blonde White-Nosed Coati which has blonde fur with a white masked face.
The last two and rarest of them all are the Albino Coati or Leucistic Coati which are all white with red or black eyes. We don’t have any and if you find some, please call me as I am interested in buying them myself.
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 potatoand 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 white-nosed 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.
Hammocks and swings: You can contact many animal safe hammock and swing makers in the monkey community. You need to tell them it’s for a coati so it has to be extra strong or you will be replacing them quickly. They will still need replacing from time to time. Coatis love them and use them a lot!
Baby and toddler safe toys in human toy stores. Fisher Price type stuff works well. Please watch for things that can break and have sharp edges or be swallowed. Coatis can be tough on things and enjoy taking them apart. (personally I shop garage sales for them)
Foraging: Large macaw parrot toys. Not everything is suitable for Coatis but I have found many browsing through parrot supply websites.
Food: Iams lamb and rice is $25-35 for 30lbs (average)
Fresh foods: $15 per week on average
Fleece blanket: $5
Hammocks with holders: $30 to 50
Toys: $1 on up
Lots and lots of your time, love and attention!
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 brings me to the Great Dane sized dog cage. This cage costs between $90 and $125. However, you will be sorry if you do not install a raised wire grate on the floor of it. These are good options for inside coati enclosures. One thing to keep in mind; Coatis need lots of playtime outside their cage. A coati is not a hamster! If you work long hours away from home, get a larger cage and two Coatis!
A wonderful playtime playpen can be made out of a simple 10ft. x 10ft. dog kennel found at many home improvement stores. These are priced under $200 and come with four walls and a door. You need to add a few things to make this Coati-proof. First the floor; put in a cement foundation with a drain or I recommend scraping away the first inch or two of dirt in a 12ft x 12ft. area. Next, lay hardware cloth around at least 2ft inside and outside the border of the cage. Fill the dirt back in over the top of the wire. This keeps your Coati from digging out and a predator from digging in. Second put the kennel together as per the instructions in the box. Last of all, you need a roof. The simplest thing to do is get a good quality fence wire (don’t cheap out) or chain link fencing and attach it. Other options are building a vaulted A-frame with metal pipes and attaching the wire to that. Adding a roof cover is recommended as they need somewhere to get out of the heat and rain just in case. When adding your roof you want to make sure it is secure enough to hold whatever toys, swings or hammocks you add, plus the weight of your Coati. Coatis love to climb and will climb all over this playpen.
A permanent enclosure outside is awesome to have! I can’t tell you how much we enjoy spending and sharing quality time with our Coati kids in their very own house. You will make more of an investment in this. I promise you, if you do this correctly without cutting too many corners you will easily spend thousands. If you’re Handy Dan you will save a lot of money. I am not. This is a custom enclosure and you will need to design your own. I will tell you what you need to make sure your Coati is safe and comfortable. This is where the fun begins. Go wild and make this a place you can have plenty of room to spend lots of time with your Coatis in. Hopefully by now you have at least two Coatis, or one very spoiled little Coati kid. Please make sure, when building this enclosure, that you have incorporated an indoor enclosure house that is insulated and has two door/room compartments. You will want this because you will need a space to store supplies and the double door will act as a safety net so you can enter and leave without having to round up a playful little escape artist. You will also, most importantly, need to install a heater so that you can regulate your Coati’s environment. Coatis don’t really like it when the temps drop below sixty. They cannot and should not be forced to live below 60 degrees although they can tolerate the mid to high fifties for short amounts of time. They can lose their tails in cold weather. This is no joke. Coatis come from warm climates and don’t like the cold… not one bit! A Coati is not an Eskimo! Extra care should be taken to make sure that a bored Coati cannot reach your heater. They will play with the heater and you will probably come home to a dead Coati. That is another reason why you have two rooms; one that separates the entrance to your building from the Coatis. Next, you need plumbing. If you don’t want to be cleaning up a lot of substrate you will want a cement floor with a drain and plenty of pitch to it so the water runs into the drain easily. Again like the playpen, you will need some form of roof on the outdoor playpen addition to the Coati house. This can be made from any type of roofing material. Coatis need protection from the weather and shade. You need a safe area to put outdoor fans during really hot days. Inside your building entrance room you will need a fan also. This is another reason to have double doors; during the summer you can leave the outside door open for maximum air flow if you have a good inside kennel door separating the rooms. I installed a mister outside on one side during the 2011 Texas heat wave to cool them down in addition to their swimming pool. Refer to my photographs below. I think you can get the idea from that.