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How to Take Care of a Sloth

I love sloths, and I love sharing my insights about these wonderful creatures.

Some Facts About Sloths

Sloths are from South America. Sloths make up the family Bradypodidae. They are known for their way of moving about upside down. They are able to do so because of their hooklike claws. In fact, they are so secure that they are able to sleep in this position. But, once the muscles have become tense, they can not relax until the animal wakens and relaxes them deliberately. Sometimes this happens because they sense danger. And it causes them to awaken. Their predators are people, harpie eagles, fossas, jaguars, leopards, eagles, hawks(big ones). Many more are out there that I am not naming. These queer animals odd in appearance, except when they are babies, they are the cutest things in the world.

Getting a Little Habitat for Your Pet Sloth

You need a cage for your pet sloth or a cardboard box. As they get older you might want a cage for them. Or you can set a nice little free area for them. Get a fake medium size tree or get some bars (pull-up bars are the best because they are made for holding weight.They are well behaved, so you don't have to worry about them making a mess of everything. Get a small hammock and put it somewhere quiet in your house but make sure you're there most of the time. Otherwise they will start to whine. If you are going to be doing the laundry ect. ect. then just pick them up and hug them , they'll get the idea to cling on to you. Or if yours doesn't like the sound of that then just get a blanket and fold it like a hammock and tie it behind your neck. Then fix it into a pouch sort of and then put your sloth in there and let them do whatever. They love attention.

Playing With Your Sloth

Sloths love to play tickle, and peek-a-boo. Some of them might like different games, but these are the most popular. As strange as it sounds they love to give kisses. When you play tickle do not tickle them in these areas these areas are very sensitive: under arms, inner thigh , and there palms. They'll get a little sulky. But, if you give them a hug they'll come out of it. They love to play peek-a-boo under a blanket. They can play this game for

Grooming Your Sloth

Your sloth will do most of the grooming but this will drive them crazy itching and itching. So to help them just get a big comb and go through it. Get the comb wet or you can give them a bath every 2 days. Make sure you dry them good though. They can get sick. They love it when you get ablow dryer, they'll start to fall asleep, so hold them when you do this that way they don't fall over.

Sloths Diet

When you have a pet sloth, this can get pretty tricky. They like to eat bugs and leaves. They always have a snack around. Parasites are in there fur, that's why they itch. Anyway, when they get some parasites on their claws, they eat them. They can live off any kind of leaves so this isn't a problem. Take them out in your yard and let them scourage around for bugs or leaves. Get a baby bottle and put some water in it they'll suck on it and have their fill.

My Baby Sloth

My sister gave me a baby sloth. It's a her. She is a three-toed sloth and has great personality. I felt so bad for her because she was sent from Brazil to Florida. When she arrived she was wide awake, a minute later she was out like a light. 3 hours later she finally woke up. After awhile I figured out that she wanted to play peek-a-boo. It was so hilarious. I think everyone should have one they are the best pets. I got very lucky with mine usually it takes a year to get them.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2007 Krista 07


K. O be on June 03, 2020:

I love these pets so much

Madelynn on November 05, 2017:

My dad is supporting me on getting a pet sloth almost everybody I know is supporting me. I am doing my research so I can get . I need to know everything about sloths so I can get one some day. I will do almost anything for a pet sloth.

Sloth girl on May 01, 2016:

I love my sloth

Jeannette Morse on November 09, 2015:

I cant find where i can buy one. I LOVE sloths with a passion and I always dreamed of having one of my own. doesnt have a wide selection

Jennifer on September 15, 2014:

Keeping wild animals such as sloths as pets is cruel. They are meant to be in the wild and if they are taken captive, you should take them to a rescue center... not aid in the illegal trade of exotic animals. They are very cute but are NOT PETS.

Scroll to Continue

Kelsey on July 31, 2014:

I want a sloth but how much are they and where can you buy one

telle19 on June 29, 2014:

i would LOVE a sloth as a pet, i spent all last month begging my mum to let me get one and she finally agreed to consider it if i could find all the regulations and licenses that are required. I live in Queensland Australia and i am not sure what i have to do to legally own a sloth.

please help, are sloths legal in Queensland and if they are where could i find the licenses to own one?

thank you

kidd on June 14, 2014:

I want a sloth so bad what's the florida permits i have to get???

Jjjjjjjj on April 03, 2014:

Thes things are nasty

Mo Maek on December 02, 2013:

Hello ~ kristia ! I would love to get some info on sloths I really want one as a pet! If u can please email me :


intothevoid0208 on November 07, 2013:


go look up the word "conservation"

sadie on October 01, 2013:

I have belt from the croods. he's so cute

jane sloan on August 10, 2013:

Sloths are not pets - they are wild animals - they belong in Rainforests and Cloudforests - don't collude with illegal animal trafficking - there are no breeding centres for selling sloths in Central or South America - any sloth will have been take from the wild. Sloths do not survive well in captivity even with expert care. Sloths can bite hard and cause harm to humans. Yes they are terribly sweet babies but all babies grow up and you will not be able to give a sloth the habitat that it needs in order to live happily.

Jeff on May 22, 2013:

Hey kristia I would love to get some info on sloths I really want one as a pet! If u can please email me

Jaina on April 18, 2013:

I'mseriously looking for a baby sloth. I need one that's not too expensive. Preferably male but a female will do just fine. If anyone has any Info on one please let me know. Thanks(:

marcos souza on April 05, 2013:

forgot to send my email:

Marcos Souza on April 05, 2013:

Hi Krista, very interesting article. All the information is very useful if u want to have a pet sloth. First of all i am originally from Brazil and i am happy that you got a three toed sloth from my home country :) when i was 7 ears old my uncle that sells exotic pets, brought one home and stayed with us for the weekend and i feel in love with sloth, since then i never stop reading about it and studying about them. and i promise to myself that when i settle i would buy one for me.... and that is what's happening now. I have been living in Canada for a while and now that i am settle down, i have been searching to buy a youth pet sloth. It has been hard to find breeders, couldn't find any in Canada so i am trying to get one from a breeder in the USA - only two toed sloths tho... i think would be easier than try to bring one from Brazil which is so far from here and the regulations there about exotic pets are very tough.

Please let me know if you have any contact of breeders please. Would love to know how this experience have been for you too....

U have a very cute baby btw!!!

Thanks for sharing

All the best

Marcos Souza

Livee on January 11, 2013:

How can I go about getting a baby sloth?? I live in Canada and I really would lone!! :)

holly on August 24, 2012:

hi im interested in owning a pet sloth could you contact me? i need help on how to get started

on the bandw wagon on August 07, 2012:

most of u here are just jumping on the comments u just read and judging people for their igonarance, that just makes u arseholes.

Rawr on June 29, 2012:

You say taking a sloth from its mother is terrible, but where does every other animal come from? Their mothers!!! You take dogs from their moms, cats from their moms, any other pet you can think of. And they don't kill the mommy sloths. That's illegal.

Nicole on June 18, 2012:

How did you get a pet sloth? I want one!

aj on June 13, 2012:

i agree with julia, these are wonderful creatures but also need to be truly happy and comfortable in there environment... im good with my stuffed toy sloth :) volunteer to be around them but purchasing them will be there death :( Save The sloth! :)

Nature w on May 28, 2012:

You are ALL disgusting. These pet sloths are removed from there natural habitat by poachers & hunters. When you buy a baby, it has normally been caught and it's mother killed. The bigger the demand by morons like you the more sloths are killed, tortured and removed from the forest.

If you truly loved sloths and other animals you would help protect them and their environment not encourage there extinction.

They cannot eat any type of leaves - there stomach biology is adapted to digest certain plant species. Non native leaves will cause a slow and painful death over time.

Shame on you.

Emma on May 14, 2012:

Hey my email is

I've been trying to get a sloth for awhile now, and found a two toed one in Florida. But I'd love a three toed sloth !! Possibly let me know how to contact someone. Thanks so much !

d on May 10, 2012:

leave the poor animals where they belong you animal loving nutters....

Slothy on April 15, 2012:

To "Slothlover", you are so stupid. You have no facts. In actuality, the 2 toed sloth is more docile than the 3 toed and they are more populous. They are also more resistant to sickness. As for there not being any 3 toed sloths in museums in the US, tell that to the 3 toed sloth I saw at the Memphis Zoo yesterday.

3 toed sloths are temperamental, (can be down right aggressive), endangered, and can only eat certain types of leaves. If you were to own a sloth, it should be a 2 toed sloth. Yet, I believe you should only look into owning one if you know how to care for them properly. Save yourself some hassle and go see the ones at the sloth reserves in Costa Rica.

Oh, and on the licensing issue, in the US, laws for owning wild and exotic animals is dictated by individual state law, so check in your state's laws for the answer there.

Joe on April 15, 2012:

Wasn't there a sloth in that Movie 7 it was one of the 7 sins

Száva on April 05, 2012:

I've been wishing for a sloth since an extremely long time. I would do anything to get one for my 18th birthday. However, where I live (Hungary) they don't sell any...sadly. Is there a chance of someone selling any?

Please please contact me if yes.

alex on April 04, 2012:

where can i buy a sloth from? i live in San Antonio , Texas , and i want one!

Star on March 28, 2012:

Where can i get a sloth and how? i have a few more questions so please email me at thanks:)

Ian on March 16, 2012:

Most species of Sloths are among the creatures of least concern in rainforests. This means they are about at the same risk of extinction as the common crow.

John on March 14, 2012:

Why would I want to own an exotic animal when I can see them FREE in the wild??? Why does it have to be ALL about MYSELF??? Would you like to be owned by someone else??? Let's NOT deprive any living creature from its FREEDOM!!!

Renato on March 14, 2012:

Animals are NOT objects my friends. Leave animals in their own habitat before we drive them to COMPLETE EXTINCTION. DON"T support ILLEGAL practices.

Danielle on March 14, 2012:

I am obsessed with them! It is my Dream and goal to get one when I am older (im only 16). I am willing to go through a lot of paper work and get the right license and buy the Perfect sanctuary and food and love and attention! I cannot wait! How much was yours? (Not really a factor for me(i'd save up no matter how much it is) I am just curious:)

mrcriss on March 12, 2012:

Leopards? FOSSAS?? Are you for bloody real??? If you're going to start publishing things on the internet, at least make sure it's factual!!!

kim on March 05, 2012:

I want a sloth please send me info on why i can buy one.

Kelli on March 05, 2012:

What is wrong with you people. I cannot believe you would take a baby sloth of it's mother in the wild. While you dumb people are wanting wanting people are killing the adult sloths to get access to the babies.

People are a plague.

pk3 on March 03, 2012:

omg!!! that's adorable! haha i wanna get one does anyone know how much they can cost?

marla on March 02, 2012:

I'm sorry but it is morally wrong to own a sloth. People are stealing them from their mothers and selling them on the internet. How would you feel if someone took your baby from you? I think it is just wrong plus it is diminishing the population in Costa Rica. Don't do it!!!

MeganNic on March 02, 2012:

So you live in florda ? I live in Ohio and was consitering a sloth. Ther so cute and seem easy to take care of and fun :D i have some questions if you dont mind. SDo if you could maybe Email me in your free time? @ / Thank you

Planetree on March 02, 2012:

Cut this nonsense!

Sloths are not pets. Period!

They body is built to live on top of TREES! In FORESTS! Their fur is full of cyanobacteria, and all other sort of organisms, which is okay for THEM as it gives their fur a greenish tone... very useful to trick predators..Such as jaguars..eagles and so forth.. So cute isn’t it? Or will you google ‘’sloth shampoos’’ if you manage to get one? Oh.. and their slowness is not just to be cute or is actually very helpful for the same reason..escape notice from predators!

Plus..their claws are very sharp. Usually they live a lot of years..but I guess that’s in the wild as I doubt it would happen inside a CAGE..! So the idea of the commitment you will take if owning one would not make you think much about it… unfortunately anyway.

All their diet..body temperature..metabolic rate… it’s all fit and adjusted to an environment that won’t fit in their pet condition..

Anyway..I just get shocked that more and more people are starting to focus on sloths as pets…with a very common statement: “it’s CUTE’’

I guess I will never understand this ridiculous human attitude towards everything…as if exotic birds, lizards, snakes wouldn’t be enough. Instead of realizing and evolving we became more and more barbarian with a lack of overall understanding and respect for the diversity of our world...

This is insane..

Oh wait but you long as there's some dimwit selling them..easy as buying..oh the pleasures of money.

Molly Gould on March 02, 2012:

How do you get one of these??? How much?

samanthahomsy on March 01, 2012:

Hi Krista,

I'm really interested in getting a baby sloth but I have no clue where I could get one. If you know of any places or anything could you please let me know. And if there is any other information I should know before purchasing a sloth that would be great too.

Thank you.

jessica on February 27, 2012:

My mum really wants one where could i buy one please email me with the information asap thanks

Taylor L. on February 24, 2012:

The parasites in their fur that you mentioned, do they get in your house or do you not even know that they're there?

Sarah on February 22, 2012:

I wamt a sloth really bad and i have been looking hard on the computer for one but i cant find one can you tell me where you got yours my email is i would be glad thank you

Ryan Foley on February 22, 2012:

I've always liked sloths they've always seemed to match my personality of just slow and steady and hanging around. I've been trying to find one but it is very hard. My email is and if you could email me any information on how to get one I would greatly appreciate it, also any licences or anything else necessary or that you just recommend in general about sloths.

Ashlee on February 19, 2012:

I really want one and I have everything set up but I'm having trouble locating one.

ThoMas Nelson on February 15, 2012:

Hey where do you get one email me at

PIRATEH on February 10, 2012:

How much space do they need? :-/

Savanna on February 09, 2012:

I really would like to know where I could go about getting a sloth.

Emily on February 07, 2012:

Hello! Do sloths get along with dogs? I have a labrador and a poodle. And does anyone know a reputable place where I could purchase a sloth? Thanks!

Lea on February 02, 2012:

I live in London and would love a pet sloth but I don't know if it would be way too cold and what their temperament is like around babies

ugh on February 01, 2012:

Learn to spell "their." It's not "there."

sarah on January 27, 2012:

How do you get a sloth? And how much do they cost?

Yodles on January 24, 2012:

Where do you get a sloth

Taylor on January 23, 2012:

Me and my boyfriend have serisouly been considering purchasing a sloth. I just have absolutley no idea where to get one?! and living in iowa would it be to cold? And what about a license?

my email is

Faye Therese on January 10, 2012:


I am strongly interested in bringing a sloth into my home! I've been doing so much research, but I haven't been able to find a reliable place to purchase a sloth that will be knowingly healthy! If you could reference me to where your sister was able to get yours, please let me know!

Thank you so much. I'm from Virginia.

My email is


Ariel on December 30, 2011:

I would love to purchase a sloth. I live in nothern ny. I have done research on their care and how they live. I would really like to find a place to buy one. Email me @

Natalie on December 26, 2011:

How do you purchase a sloth? i have been looking for two years... i live in tampa florida..

Kc on December 24, 2011:

Hi there.

Questions. Where do you get a license for a sloth? (If you have to get one)

Where can I buy one?

Kaylin on December 15, 2011:

I live in Texas and I want to know if you can have a sloth legally. If I can get one what type would be the best?

Sarah on November 19, 2011:

does it have to be warm year round where you live to own a sloth? or can you own a sloth even if you get snow?

katielynn on November 04, 2011:

i so want a sloth

Jamie08 on November 04, 2011:

Hi there.

Questions. Where do you get a license for a sloth? (If you have to get one)

Can they really be domesticated?

What happens when they are full grown adults?

I live in South Africa nd I'd really like to have one but not sure if they will survive here. Send me more info to my email account at

Thank you :)

Caylee on October 26, 2011:

PLEASE Email me about how to buy a sloth because OH MY GOSH I've wanted one for a year now!

hehe, I'm not a fan of Mc Donalds btw I just put that as my email for a friend :P - Irene on October 15, 2011:

Saw a national geographic film re Sloths.. I have rescued/adopted: hooded rats, cats, dogs, horses, birds - 3 ravens on different occasions, squirrels, rabbits. I am very intrigued by the 2 toed sloths. Live in Ontario, Canada. One of the 3 ravens was a survivor of 3, the two larger died the first night . Dana became so loving and after 2 months joined a local group. the parents gave up quite early on as I couldn't set Dana up outside - too cold and dangerous. Dana took food from my mouth and pecked my eyeglasses - kissed me on the face - came to my shoulder and rode around while I did chores - when Dana could fly she zipped around my apt quite expertly. Hated to see her/him go but it was time.Please send me adopt info current Oct 2011, thanks Irene.

Agie on September 05, 2011:

I have a pet sloth myself... its still a brother rescued her. He found her on the ground and waited for her mother to come, but without any luck. So now im taking care of her until she's old enough to take care of herself out there. she is the cutest thing ever. I dont use a cage or so, instead i just let her sleep next to me on my bed..For now :). she is the cutest thing when she sleeps...

Stoner on September 04, 2011:

Can sloths smoke weed and drink? on July 24, 2011:

Obviously, none of you did your homework... they will most likely die due to being in captivity--they're highly susceptible to diseases and easily get sick being pets... just because something is cute doesn't mean it should be plucked from its natural environment and live in your home for your amusement.

thumbsup4luv on July 19, 2011:

heyy krista, interesting hub, i learnes a lot from it:)

i just have a few questions...

are sloths easy to take care of?

can anyone who is allergic to animals (cats, dogs, etc) be allergic to a sloth?

where could you get a sloth?

are sloths legal in canada?

how much money are sloths?

how big do they fully grow to?

are they calm?

thanx!XD hopefully u can get back 2 me soon!

addisoncorday from canada on July 14, 2011:

btw if u can email me at sorry just really need help!

addisoncorday from canada on July 14, 2011:

ok can someone PLEASE help me out on finding a three toed sloth that is for sale? yes they can live in captivity and i know what im doing so if u can help please do? thanks!

Katy on June 07, 2011:

If you can tell me how or where to get a baby sloth, that would be amazing!

Email me at if you can.

sqwiggle on May 25, 2011:

it would be very helpful if i could get some info on how to buy a sloth as i am having trouble with it.

Melissa A Smith from New York on May 19, 2011:

There is a proper way to keep a pet sloth, and what this article describes isn't one of them. Please see '' for great care advice if you are serious in acquiring one of these animals. Also, fossas are endemic to Madagascar, so I wouldn't say they are a predator of this animal.

katherine on May 12, 2011:

where did u get it?

K-la on April 24, 2011:

plz!!!! where can i get one???!!!

K-la on April 24, 2011:

what is the best place to get a sloth????

alicia pakareu on April 16, 2011:

Sloths cannot live in captivity!

Have a look at the video:

I´would like to share with you this my last videoreport recorded at the Atlantic Forests of Bahia, Brasil, about the great Sloths and how they cannot survive surrended by eucalyptus monoculture plantations of Veracel, which produce celulose that we all consume.

Same as eucalyptus, they cannot live of other leaves. To love them means to respect their territories and their freedom. Wild animals are not pets!

Please share, help us to take action!


Grammar police! on April 15, 2011:

You really like to misuse the word "there", don't you?

"There" indicates location, whereas "they're" is shortened form of "they are".

"Their" on the other hand indicates possession.

Be a dear and fix those parts for me, will you?

S Cart on April 06, 2011:

The top picture shows a three toed sloth and the bottom picture shows 2 two-toed sloths and she says the one closest is the one she was sent, but she says she has a three toed sloth. ??? Hmm.

Michelle on March 21, 2011:

This is a great story!! Do you know where I could get one? please email me at thanks!

Ryan Peejo on March 20, 2011:

I really want to get a pet sloth they seem like the greatest pets ever, how would i go about getting one, and how much would it cost to get one?

funkoxen on March 14, 2011:

got to agree that this article is highly inaccurate. there main predators include leopards? leopards? what do they do get on a plane from africa to go sloth hunting?

im quite disturbed by the demand here. they are probably my favorite animal but i have never and would never consider getting one. word has it you can buy human organs in south america, it wasn't to long agpo that people bought elephant leg umbrella stands and gorilla hand ashtrays...this is the modern equivalent. if you care about theese animals go to costa rica, visit a sanctuary, volunteer, whatever...if you want a cute furry animal that plays with you and gives you kisses get a godamn cat or dog and stop using your powerful western currencys to rape the rainforest. that's all.

Amber on March 13, 2011:

How did you get it? I cant find anything on the internet about how to get a sloth =]

Raf on February 25, 2011:

i envy you, they look like such loving and playful spurts :)

Just a quick Note on February 06, 2011:

Ok, I'm not actually talking about the sloths right here, although after reading these comments, I do think that although everyone would love to own one, it would probably be best if you just went to a zoo and saw them, seeing as they are meant to be in their originaly home. I would love a sloth, but I thnk that they are more important than me.

At...: I don't think you should talk about spelling and grammar, seeing as you should have just said entire. Sorry.

At "...": Ok, this is the real reason I am commenting, even though this is probably pointless. I don't want to be rude, but as an Australian I feel obliged to say something about your "koala bears". They are not Koala bears. They are koalas. They are not from the bear family. I know a lot of people don't pay attention to that fact, and a lot don't know, but I just thought I should mention it. Hope no one sees me as being rude. Thanks for reading!

(Oh, and Sara: I don't think any decent pet stores would sell Sloths. Sorry.)

sara on February 05, 2011:

Are there pet stores that sells sloths in the USA?

drew on January 04, 2011:

Where can you get them at they are just adorable.

Dillon R. on January 01, 2011:

what is the average annual cost to own and care for a sloth?

Jessica on December 27, 2010:

While I agree that the sloth is quite possibly the cutest animal alive, I can't help but believe that it is an act of cruelty to keep one as a pet.

While this person claims that her pet sloth can "live off any type of leaf without a problem", studies show that "each three-toed sloth's food preferences are determined by the bacteria living in its gut. These bacteria are passed down from a sloth's mother when she shares food with her young."

This would mean that although it is eating what she offers it (because it has no other choice), it may not be properly digesting it because this person doesn't know what food and bacteria its mother gave it. It could be suffering from stomach pains and who knows what else and may not live very long because of improper nutrition due to its inability to properly digest what it is fed...

If you truly love them, I feel that you will let them be happy and healty in the wild and admire them from afar rather than contribute to their pain and suffering.


Carolina on December 12, 2010:

I am an american living in colombia sa please do not advise people to get this aninals they kill the mother to get to the baby, from 10 babies only one survives and get to you. This babies die easily. Leave them in the forest were the belong.

Pooki on November 27, 2010:

Are they viscus? and also , do they have to be in warm weather? and do they really die easily? and are they friendly? There so cute but i don't want to own one if I am killing it because it's not in the rain forest...

Charla Burnett on November 26, 2010:

I would really like to own a sloth. Ive did a lot of research on them and I adore the thought of playing games and getting kisses from such a loving animal. Please email me. I would like to discuss what I would need to go through to get one.


symon on November 10, 2010:

Hi! can canadians own sloths? if so where can I get one?



Ilovesloths on October 31, 2010:

I just saw a video on youtube(tickling slow loris) and have been looking up info on how to get one since! They are so adorable and I love exotic animals! Do u think they would be compatible with the exotic cat a savannah? Email me please! Meirab1 please also let me know where to purchase one!.

dumbasses... on October 26, 2010:

you guys need to leave sloths where they can survive,... in tropical climates...

i just love humans.

_xSophie4Tuomasx_ on October 09, 2010:

What about if you live in the UK? How will you get one then? Or if you live in Finland? (i'm thinking of moving there when i'm a little bit older)How will you get one then? And how much would it cost in the UK?

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