Although the North American Possum is not commonly kept as a pet, a growing number of people are fascinated by and dedicated to this unique animal. These animals are wonderful pets when provided with a good home environment and proper care. Just like any other pet, for that matter. They cuddle on the sofa with you, snuggle under the blankets in your bed, and greet you at the door when you come home from work. There are a few things you should know about the possums. They are nocturnal animals, solitary and slow moving. When frightened, instead of running for cover, they will often enter an involuntary shock like state, known as playing possum. They will also sometimes hiss or growl, and bare their teeth when frightened or threatened. In reality, they are quite placid and very adaptable animals.
They can live just about anywhere, provided they have water, food and shelter. If in captivity, the opossums can live up to 10 years. In the wild, however, very few possums live past their first year, since they have numerous predators, including humans. North American possums can make great pets. This is specially true if they are hand fed. They do not bite, unless they feel threatened. Aside from making great pets, possums are also used as important models in biomedical research. Moreover, they are also beneficial for the environment as they eat many types of insects, including cockroaches. It is great to have them around the house. They also catch rats and mice and dispose of dead animals and over-ripe fruit and berries. It is much better than having a cat or any other pet.
Every possum has his or her own personality, so temperament and behaviours will vary from one animal to the next. The optimal age to obtain an opossum is a baby of 5 to 8 weeks of age. They will only make as good a pet as the amount of time you invest in them as babies, and it is critical that you devote extensive time. Never hit or shake them, because corporal punishment will cause the animal to bite. They are best maintained as an indoor pet with the exception of a bit of fresh air and sunshine while supervised outdoors each day. Opossums are excellent climbers and can escape easily over a fence. They train like a cat, so they will need a litter box nearby their beds and additional boxes in the rooms where they spend a good deal of time with you.