Can You Have A Possum As A Pet? Is There A Danger?


CAN YOU HAVE A POSSUM AS A PET? This minor animal is viewed as a vermin animal in many parts of the world, others can’t help yet discover their appearance and demeanor in general charming.

Presently to see opossums going back and forth in your backyard is a thing and having them living with you in your home as a pet companion a totally extraordinary one.

Can you have a possum as a pet? Is that even legal? Here at Pet Comments, we will edify you about this subject.

All things considered, first thing first. This article will be about the North American opossum, not the Australian Possum. While a lot of individuals say possum meaning opossum, it’s important to know these are two altogether different animals. That said. How about we start!

Basic Information

Because of their appearance and size, the North American Opossum (also called Virginia Opossum) can genuinely freak individuals out resembling a larger than usual rat. Breath. They are not rodents!

The North American Opossum is the main marsupial living in the north and parts of the Center and South America. Their logical name is Didelphimorphia.

Opossum’s lifespan can vary in the wild and in captivity. They are known to live for three years in the wild and seven in captivity with the best possible care and appropriate condition.



Their size varies relying upon their location, North American Opossums are usually greater than the ones found in the tropics. In general, opossums can be from 13 to 37 inches in length and weight from 11 ounces to 14 lb. with males being heavier than females.

Opossums have sharp teeth similar to a cat, hairless ears, and a long flat nose. Their coat is coarse of a grayish dark colored shading yet on the head, their face is of a white shading.

In any case, the most notable feature no ifs, and or buts is their hairless tail giving them a rat-like appearance which it’s also prehensile, supportive with regards to climbing and picking small items!


These are nocturnal animals; accordingly, they are generally active during the night. In winter opossums don’t hibernate yet are less active during the night than their usual.

Opossums have a very particular behavior that brings forth the phrase “playing possum” this is faking their death. It appears that this is a totally involuntary action incited by extraordinary fear.

The opossum will rests on its side with the mouth open and the tongue out, transmitting a foul scent from the anus. At the point when they do “play possum,” they enter a near coma state that can last for six hours. They don’t always “play possum” went they feel threatened. A scared opossum will murmur, shriek, and go on the defensive aggressively.

Health Issues

like any other animal, Opossums need specialized medical attention. For one, they don’t live as long as different pets and certainly not as healthy. Opossums that live longer than a year experience cataracts will, in general, be hefty and lack coordination, fundamentally, the age way too fast.

Other health concerns incorporate genital and urinary diseases, poor resistant frameworks, and bacterial sicknesses. Major stress for the caretaker is the opossum’s eating regimen and exercise.

An unappropriated diet can incite grave issues for opossum health like Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) which is potentially fatal and costly to treat. Side effects incorporate bone deformations, fragile bones, and swollen joints. Thankfully all of this is preventable with on-point vet visits and great care at home.



Opossums are omnivorous and massively pioneering in nature. Their eating regimen incorporates organic products, bugs, grass and plants, small animals like mice and rats.

Replicate the variety of their eating routine in captivity is a real challenge, yet the nutritional aspects of their eating regimen must be met or it can awful affect their health.

Is it legal to claim an Opossum in North America?

The snappy answer is NO. It isn’t legal and isn’t recommendable either. In many states, a natural life rehabilitator permit is required so as to have one. To turn into an authorized natural life rehabilitator you should educate yourself in your state department regarding untamed life. The prerequisites are probably going to vary starting with one state then onto the next. A decent way of earning experience is electing to a local natural life rehabilitator foundation or an individual rehabilitator.

Many ends up nursing a harmed or taking care of an orphaned baby opossum at home. Be that as it may, if this is your situation we encourage you to locate a local untamed life rehabilitator since they need great care for their unmistakable needs.

Do they make Good Pets?


In any case, opossums are high maintenance, high maintenance to have. In the event that their nutritional needs are not meet they are inclined to dangerous and costly to treat diseases.

Thusly, on the off chance that you are absolutely chosen to get untamed life rehabilitators authorized and possess an opossum. Have at the top of the priority list you should be attentive to your opossum diet.

To discover a vet that realizes how to treat opossums its a major concern as well. The reason is that very few ability to and opossums are inclined to various diseases.

Other than them being frankly costly to keep, they are wild animals, they are meant to be in nature. There are cases where opossums are sufficiently mild to take care of and keep as a pet yet these are rare cases. Opossums can be aggressive and need a lot of activity to stay healthy. A decent attendant must give all of this.

Contrasts between the North American Opossum and the Australian Possum


It is basic to hear individuals call “possum” the North America opossum, a local individual may pass it as something normal, however, an Australian native will stare at the name. The reason is that these two fellas are totally various animals.

They are the two marsupials however of an alternate request, opossums are didelphimorphia while possums are phalangeridae.

Their appearance is also changed; for once the Australian possum’s tail is canvassed in the hide. Possums can be gray or silver-gray, moreover, their ears are greater than those of the North American opossum with a gentler coat than the opossum coat.

Fun Facts

Possums don’t Actually “Play Possum”

To “play possum” is a protective framework opossum do while Australian possums don’t have this behavior.

They don’t have Rabies!

Isn’t extraordinary to stress over rabies with animals, be that as it may, opossums happen to be the special case to the standard. It’s accepted to be because of the opossum’s low internal heat level. With such a low temperature, the infection cannot endure.

Their Meat is Commercialized in Many Places

Especially in the Center and South America. Their meat has a low percentage of fat making it clean meat. It also has a low protein percentage, lower than pig and ox-like meat. So it has to be seasoned with vegetable proteins.

Opossums in Your Yard can be a Good Thing!

Wild opossums have a varied eating routine. They eat snails, slugs, creepy crawlies, mice, and small unwanted vermin like those. Opossums around your home can mean a sanitized home.

The Truce between Adult Cats and Opossums

With their cat-sized body isn’t so rare to see opossums playing and in any event, sharing nourishment with adult cats as they have a d├ętente of sorts. This is both bizarre and adorable!

They don’t Build their Own Dens

Various animals make their own cave to secure themselves, short the opossum. This deft animal takes cover in better places like abandoned animal tunnels, brush heaps, attics, and different structures (natural or man-made) to cover themselves.

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