Why do sugar gliders sometimes lick their owners? Licking and grooming is a natural behavior for sugar gliders and a common sign of affection. Sugar gliders will often lick and groom one another when they feel safe and comfortable.

A happy and content sugar glider may try to lick you to show their affection. This is one of the many ways that sugar gliders express their feeling of happiness or safety.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Do Sugar Gliders Lick You?

Sugar gliders can’t tell us what they’re feeling, so it’s up to sugar glider owners to learn how their pets express themselves through their behavior.

Do all sugar gliders lick their owners? Not all sugar gliders lick their owners. But some owners will find that their sugar gliders do lick them when they’re being handled. It can be normal for sugar gliders to lick each other.

Pet sugar gliders, as they would in the wild, sometimes lick each other as a grooming behavior. It’s a common way for sugar gliders to display affection for one another.

If your sugar glider licks you, you can assume it’s for the same reason. Your sugar glider may be trying to show you that they feel safe in your presence, and want to offer you some affection.

It’s not something that can be forced, but it can become quite a surprise the first time it happens to sugar glider owners!

Do Wild Sugar Gliders Lick Each Other?

It’s not just pet sugar gliders that show their affection and security by licking you or each other. In fact, this behavior can also be seen in the wild. Although they’ll only lick each other—not humans!

Of course, you can’t ask your sugar glider what they’re feeling when they lick us or each other. However, because of the times and places sugar gliders feel safe to groom each other, it’s assumed that this behavior is a way to display affection to one another when they are feeling comfortable in each other’s company.

Does This Mean That My Sugar Glider Trusts Me?

If your sugar glider tries to lick you while you’re handling them, or perhaps you’re just moving a few things around in their housing, it’s very likely that your sugar glider trusts you a lot.

Grooming and licking are a way for sugar gliders to show affection. So, they’ll only lick you when they feel a very strong bond with you.

There are a number of other behaviors that can also show that your sugar glider feels comfortable and safe around you. So, let’s take a look at some other ways in which sugar gliders show affection.

Other Signs Of Sugar Glider Affection

There are a number of behaviors you can watch out for in your sugar glider to see that they have a strong bond with you. Your sugar glider may only do a few of these, or they could do every single one! What does your sugar glider do?

Another way familiar way for sugar gliders may show you affection is by gently nibbling you.

Of course, this isn’t to be confused with hard biting or nipping. If your sugar glider bites you, then it could mean that they’re angry, or perhaps teething!

However, some gentle nibbling on your hands, like licking, is more of a sign of affection, rather than an attempt to hurt you or defend themselves.

What If My Sugar Glider Doesn’t Lick Me?

You shouldn’t be too concerned if your sugar glider doesn’t lick you. It doesn’t mean that they don’t feel safe or affectionate towards you. There are plenty of ways that pet sugar gliders will show their feelings. And sometimes can take a longer time to build a really strong bond with your sugar glider.

If you’d like to get to the stage where your sugar glider shows you more affection by licking you, make sure to interact with them regularly, and only ever handle them with gentle care.

You can build a strong bond by hand-feeding your sugar glider yummy treats and try spending time with them. Not all sugar gliders will try to lick their owners. However, that doesn’t mean that your sugar glider doesn’t feel affectionate towards you.

They will perhaps show their trust and love in other ways, as one of the other sugar glider behaviors we looked at above!


So, if your sugar glider is licking you whenever you pet them, or when you’re moving them around, you can relax! It simply means that they trust you and are trying to show you some affection.

In fact, this behavior is common for sugar gliders to do on each other in the wild. See if it’s paired with any of the other affectionate behaviors we looked at above!