Meerkats are ideally one of the most popular and widely recognized members of the mongoose family. A group of Meerkats is referred to as a 'mob' or a 'gang'. They are known for their striking appearance and quirky personality. They are common in Sub-Saharan Africa, with different cultures preserving them as a symbol of family and cooperation.
Meerkats typically live in underground burrows in the arid desert and savannah environments of Southern Africa. They construct complex networks of tunnels and chambers that can extend as deep as 6.5ft or 2 meters underground. These burrows must be kept at a steady temperature and humidity to ensure the survival of the colony. Meerkats require an enclosed space to stay safe while feeling homely, which can include rocks, logs, and branches to climb.
A meerkat's natural diet consists mainly of bugs, lizards, and small mammals such as rodents. Their diet must be high in protein and fat to maintain their high metabolic rate. In captivity, meerkats can be fed with live or pre-killed insects, small mammal meat, and even boiled eggs. However, it's crucial to ensure their diet meets the proper nutritional requirements.
Meerkats are highly social animals and are usually active during the day and at night, where they hunt for food in groups. They are very vocal and use a wide range of sounds to communicate, including growls, chatters, and purrs. Meerkats are very curious and playful; as such, they require plenty of stimulation in their environment.
To ensure the best health and wellbeing of your meerkat, you must provide them with constant and specialized care. Attentive care includes offering a controlled and stable living environment such as their underground burrow, that is kept at an optimal temperature and humidity. A meerkat's diet must be consistent, nutritious, and protein-packed, as this is essential to their wellbeing. It's imperative to keep their environment clean, and to practice a good hygiene routine where their bedding and enclosure are changed regularly. Engage them in regular playtime and provide them with interactive toys to ensure they won't get bored or distressed.
In summary, meerkats require a very specific habitat, diet, behaviour, and wellbeing to help them thrive. Providing meerkats with a safe and healthy environment is essential to their survival as social creatures, and ensuring their continued vitality requires a significant level of expertise and commitment.
Owning a meerkat is not for everyone, and we highly recommend doing thorough research before considering this as a pet. As a final note, practicing caution and care when interacting with a meerkat is essential to creating a safe and long-lasting bond with these charming creatures.