What do Possums Eat?
The truth is a possum eats just about anything it can put in its mouth. Does that mean it should eat such things; probably not. While a true omnivore, a possum can eat anything and be fine but it should not be exposed to lots of processed foods. These do not occur in the wild and tend to be bad for the system. Possums seem to get by but once they get sick it can cause damage to their teeth and their fur and they tend to die rather quickly. The proper nutrition for a possum is mostly based off animal proteins with a few plants and berries thrown in for good measure.
Possums eat all manner of animals and they will scavenge anything they can find. This is why they are often in the middle of the road eating fresh road kill. They eat lots of mammals, amphibians, insects, worms, reptiles and even birds. They are not the greatest hunters in the world, but they do have an advantage in that they hunt at night and have terrific night vision due to their nocturnal habits. Many of the mammals they eat tend to be of the mice or rat variety.
On the plant side they eat leaves, pods, fruits and nuts. All of these are whatever is readily available in their area. In the wild this is all you would find in a possum’s system but in the more people oriented places you will also find trash and human food in their diet. Possums are known dumpster divers and will go wherever they can find easy pickings. If you don’t want possums in your area it is best to get a trash can with a locking lid to keep them away.
Possums as Pets
It is not a good idea to keep a possum as a pet. They have a very small brain and really are not meant to be domesticated. Even people who find orphaned possums have a hard time after they are a few months old. Their sharp teeth tend to make them dangerous and their claws are equally frustrating. They don’t like to cuddle, they keep different hours than most humans and they really are meant to be roaming around. If you raise a baby possum it is best to release them when they can eat and forage for food on their own. You will notice they never quite get used to being picked up like a more docile guinea pig would.
Possums are interesting and slightly creepy creatures. Most people see them in the dead of night and only notice them because of their glowing, reflective eyes. Their long noses are rat like and the way they scurry into the shadows seems a bit terrifying to some. Really they are just animals trying to get by and they do clean up the messes of others by eating the scraps.