|Specific Care Information:||Relative Care Ease: Average|
If you decide to have a Coati as a pet, do your homework. Find out what the state and local laws in your area are regarding exotic pets. Then read about them and talk to people who have Coatis (if possible) for advise on their care and feeding. Think about what type of housing you will provide (outdoor cage, indoor cage) including location, size, and temperature/climate control. Find a veterinarian who will treat Coatis (they need annual vaccinations as well as someone to treat it in the event of an emergency or boarding). Then, and only then, acquire one if you still want one.
Coatis are considered by man to make better pets than raccoons, because Coatis do not typically "go wild" as raccoons will (provided you give it lots of love and attention). A Coati can be a handful at times and will get into things and take things apart. Keep Coatis away from computer keyboards (they will pull the keys off), computer mice (they will take the ball out of the mouse and chew it up), cleaning supplies/household chemicals (they will rub fragrances into their tails), and keep a close watch for any hazard a child can get into. Think of your Coati as a perpetual two-year-old child and childproof things accordingly.
The Coati's nails will grow to a certain length and will usually take care of themselves; hence, there is no need to trim them. Regarding bites, it is the bottom canines, which do the most damage as they act like razors when you pull your hand away. They will bite if you try to take something away from them that they don't wish to part with. Use a broom or sheet of cardboard to separate the object from the Coati. If you need to discipline your Coati, use a fly swatter - it has a lot of flex and will get the point across.
Coatis require some of both canine and feline vaccinations as well as the killed rabies vaccine.
In captivity, Coatis eat a varied diet. Pet food can form a good base feed and it's said that formulated monkey food is the best because it contains both plant and animal material. In addition to the monkey chow, provide instant oatmeal (cinnamon roll or maple brown sugar flavored works best), wheat bread, pasta (the tomato sauce is the big draw) ice cream (use sparingly as a treat), carrots, fig bars, peanuts, corn, fresh raw fruits, eggs (raw or cooked), and hamburgers (occasionally). When outdoors, Coatis will forage for insects; hence, use caution when/if applying pesticides. They can also be fed the occasional bit of white meat, like chicken or fish.
Coatis will tolerate a bath (better than a cat). The best place is a kitchen sink with a veggie sprayer. Use flea shampoo for either cats or dogs. The Coati can be trained to hold his nose up in the air as you spray the suds off of his face (use low water pressure unless you want to take a shower with him/her) and wrap Coati in a large bath towel afterwards and cradle him/her like a baby. The Coati will take a nap as the body heat helps in the drying process.
Coatis can learn to get along with other pets; however, small animals (i.e. hamsters, birds, reptiles) may be eaten as they are instinctively considered food. Obviously, if the Coati grows up with other animals interaction will be better.
Above all else, find time every day for your Coati. Go for walks, car rides, trips to the park, play with and pet him/her. They have an expected life span of 15 years plus; however, there are no guarantees in life. Enjoy the time you have with your Coati. Don't let the novelty wear off and end up keeping it caged for a majority of its life - let those around you see and touch it. It may be the only time they see one that up close and will help in its socialization with other people. The best restraint is a body harness; have the Coati wear it ONLY when actually on a leash. The Coati will continue to grow; the harness won't. A harness left on all the time will constrict your Coati in time. The second best is a wide strapped soft collar with quick release. Due to the design of the neck and head, it's like having a rubber band on a sugar cone and proper adjustment is really important. You don't want it too loose or he/she will "slip" it and you don't want it too tight or it will strangle your Coati. As with the harness, have the Coati wear this only when actually on a leash. Place your vaccination tags on the ring provided (collar or harness). Do not use a "choke chain". It may be easy to slip on and off for convenience but it can kill.
Because Coatimundis are so social in the wild, they will need lots of activities, toys, and attention to prevent them from becoming bored. Make sure your Coati's cage is no less than six feet by six feet by six feet in dimension, though larger is always better.