All female sugar gliders – whether they are housed with intact males or not – will go into heat every 28 days. The timing can very from glider to glider, but once a month, you’re girl will be in heat. It can be slightly nerve-wracking if you don’t know what’s going on! The first time Dreamer went into heat, I had no clue what was happening. Being the naturally very paranoid person that I am, I freaked out and was sure that she was dying. Hopefully the information in this article will help calm your fears. 😉
Gliders make several different sounds and it can be hard to figure out what they all mean. When the females are in heat, they will make a very district sound. It is a combination of a hiss with a short bark at the end. It’s hard to describe, but once you hear it, you’ll recognize it right away.
If you have males – neutered or unneutered – they may make similar sounds. Both of mine do so (and yes, it completely terrified me in the beginning because I had no idea what was happening!)
Just like cycles with women, being in heat can drastically affect a glider’s personality. I’ve seen this in both of my girls. Ilona gets very snappy for a few days. She will chase Yiska around the cage, nip at his feet and ride on his back. Dreamer also gets rather grumpy. She will alternate between staying very close to Ink and nipping at him.
During this time, if you have males housed with them, the males will act like little puppy dogs. They will follow the females everywhere and will lick them and groom them and never leave their sides. It’s actually kind of cute. Then they will mate. It doesn’t matter if your male is neutered or not, this will still happen.
Gliders are typically in heat for three-ish days. When I was breeding, my girl would go into heat for those couple days and then she and Ink would mate on the third day. The next night, everything was back to normal and their personalities were like before.
Don’t panic when your girls go into heat. It’s okay, they aren’t dying (even though it can sound like it sometimes) and they’ll be back to normal in just a few days.