Hi! Hi! Hello! I decided to write about skunks as pets. This post is based on my experiences with Matcha. Here are topics that I want to say about:
- Start - How it began? Where have I bought it? What was the cost of it?
- Basic info Food? Life length? Size? Stench?
- Daily routine
- Matcha - lovely pet
- Matcha - a little monster
- Summary Is it a pet for you?
So... how it began? Many people ask me about it. Well. I wanted to have a dog. Yes, yes I know! It may sound crazy, but in fact, I live in the city center. I work a lot. And I could not be the best for a dog. My boyfriend proposed a cat. But, even though I love cats too that wasn’t an idea for me. I started to look for some interesting pets… and in the end, I decided to have a sunk. You probably didn’t know that skunk is something between dog and cat. It’s more social than cat and it (almost) can use a cat litter box.
The decision was made. What next? In Poland, it’s not as easy to buy a skunk, but it’s not impossible either. When I was looking for my feature pet - I found 3 places where I could buy a skunk. But I was too late! All of the puppies were already reserved. One breeder said that I have another chance in a second mating season and she added me to the queue (I was 7th). So I waited… And one day I got these photos:
7 little baby skunks. My little monster included ❤
Ok, and what is the cost of it? Around 400$ these days. Surgery to excise the glands and some starter pack (like some food and cat litter box) included. Just for comparison - Cost of Maine coon (cat) is between 650$ and 1000$ - I’ve just checked it. And that’s it. In Poland, no license is needed.
And what about this surgery? Yeah… It’s related to skunk attack and stench. Just to avoid the need to burn all your stuff ;). The best is to make it when a skunk is a baby. And you should always ask about it when you want to buy one. It will be better for you, your family, your other pets… just everyone.
Skunks live 6-8 years. Their diet is 50% vegetables and 50% meat. Matcha loves red pepper and green cucumber. Broccoli and radish are ok. Lettuce and other “greens” no way. She just hates it :D. “Meat” is just dog food or worms (she is in crazy love with Zophobas Morio). Grapes and avocados are forbidden. Sweets too. Ah! Skunks force food very well. And easily get fat. So you need to be careful to not end with a big furry ball!
Skunk without being overweight should have 0.7 - 6.3 kg and 46 - 81 cm (by Wikipedia). Female skunks are half of a male's size. Matcha is quite small. Her weight is around 2kg and it’s quite big for her (48cm. Probably the perfect weight for her is around 1-1.5kg? I’m not sure, really.
About a stench - I already said that Matcha has no bullets in her gun. So I’m safe. But still - she smells like musk. It’s a little bit better than a ferret. But still - every animal smells somehow.
Matcha has 1 year and 2 months now :). She’s been with me since she finished the 6th week of life. It’s important to have one main “human parent”. You should replace its mother this way. At first, it needs to be with you almost all the time. This is an important part of socialization.
Education is not an easy part. You have to be always calm and patient. No screaming. No aggressive moves. If you would be aggressive, the skunk will play the same. The breeder said “You will hate her in the first month. Then it will be a little bit better but you will start to love her after a year”. I love her anyway, but it’s true that she’s not always a lovely perfect pet.
And how about a cat litter box? She has 5 of them - for each corner in a flat. Finally, she should choose one of them… but well. Sometime.
It’s awesomely interesting - sleeping, eating, sleeping, making some mess, sleeping. Then we can start another day!
Ok, ok… let’s go.
Skunks are nocturnal animals. Or… half-night animals - I’d rather said. Matcha sleeps 20h/day. 1 hour she probably eats and the rest is for making a mess. The best time for making a mess is in the middle of the night of course. I love morning cleanings….
When sleeping she doesn't care about anything. And she used to sleep in some strange poses. Some parts of the day she sleeps next to me while I’m working. She’s cute and lovely then.
She has one big meal every evening. Sometimes one small in the morning, and some snacks during evening training (not regularly).
For now, she can turn around for a snack. And unwittingly give paw. Always something :D. She’s still quite young!
Matcha - lovely pet
She’s lovely when she came to sleep next to me. When she’s trying to lie on my laptop or sitting. When she’s cleaning poes in water and attacks the phone with such a huge motivation. When she finally goes where we should during walking. Or play. Or when she’s trying to hunt a worm. She’s not able to do it even if the worm is 10 cm from her. A silly little monster with goldfish memory. Ah! She’s able to run in a circle for 3h. Just the same way around table :D
Matcha - little monster
She will open any cupboard on her range (she’s not jumping!). She loves knocking over the trash can or stealing clothes. And making a lot of mess in general. She attacks cats and ignores dogs. She doesn’t like children but she’s not aggressive in any way for people. No beating! She loves making noise in the night (because of falling things).
Generally, she’s quite a quiet pet (when she’s not throwing things). She has only one type of sound, but she uses it rarely. It’s like humming and sounds like a grumbling of an old woman. Quite a fun thing.
Skunk is an interesting pet. You can take it outside on braces, but you have to be ready for other people’s attention. You need to spend much more time than with the dog to educate it. It’s making a lot of mess. I’m working remotely so for me it’s easier to try to teach her life correctly, but still, it’s not easy. You need to play with it to avoid it staying wild. But it can give you these cute moments and you can really love it :D Or maybe you have to be crazy like me :P. And be careful if you are a travel lover (I am). It’s harder than with a cat to leave it with friends and family. It can be a problem. I’ve spent a couple months preparing myself with all the information to have a skunk. So if you are planning to have one - please, spend some time on the Internet. And be careful. You would really hate it sometimes. Trust me ;)
I decided to use questions that people often addressed to me to tell you even more about Matcha.
- What is it? - a skunk.
- Really?! - yep, really
- Ou… how about his… - no, she has no glands, no worries.
- Shouldn’t it be more like… black and white? Like in cartoons? - no, it can be classic, but also brown and white like Matcha, grey and white, or even albino.
- What is it eating? - 50% of vegetables, 50% dog food, or other protein meals.
- Life length? - 6-8 years.
- She has long claws! Is she scratching a lot? - no, it’s because skunks dig burrows.
- She has any cage? - no, she’s like a cat for me.
- Is she friendly? - sometimes, when you have food. Sometimes she just ignores you for the whole day and night.
- How about other pets? - She mostly ignores them
- What is the cost of it? - ~400$?
- Can she walk outside? - with braces yes. She’s walking on braces better than my dog sometimes. Without… I’ve never tried but I won’t for sure.
- How about traveling? - sometimes she travels with me. But for sure I can’t take her everywhere. Like any other pet.
Any other questions? :)
Thanks for reading, and see you soon! ❤