As a teenager, I spent some time on my grandparents’ exotic animal farm.  There were all kinds of animals there: possums, sugar gliders, kangaroos, etc.  My favorite animal, however, was the wily, super smart coatimundi. 

South American coatis are similar in some ways to our native raccoons.  They are very clever and able to get themselves into a whole lot of mischief if not watched.  On the farm, we would raise them up from just a few days old, so I had the pleasure of bottle feeding and bonding with some of these adorable little babies.

While they may look cute and cuddly, a full grown coati can easily cause serious damage and even death to a human, so they must be well socialized and trained from a young age.  In captivity, it is common to declaw them and have their canine fangs removed to help keep their owner safe from inadvertent bites and claws.

Coatis can be leash trained, litter box trained, and trained to do a number of tricks.  They love to snuggle up next to you to go to sleep and can make an ideal pet for someone who is committed to working with them on a regular basis.

I would not recommend a coat for a home with small children.  While they can be very tame when bottle raised, they are still wild animals and can more easily revert to their feral nature than dogs or cats who have been domesticated for hundreds of years.

If you are looking for a unique, highly intelligent and playful companion, coatis may just be a great choice for you.