How Long Can A Possum Live Without Water? Shocking Facts

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How long can a possum live without water? This question may arise in your mind if you keep a possum in captivity or caught a possum through a trap and want to keep it for some time.

In the wild, a possum can live up to 3 days without water, and up to 10 days in captivity. But, the possum will rarely reside away from a reservoir of water

Some possums can manage to survive for months without depending on water. This is owing to their diet. If their diet keeps them hydrated, a possum doesn’t feel the need to drink water separately. 

How Long Can A Possum Live Without Water
How Long Can A Possum Live Without Water

Do Possums Need Water?

Do Possums Need Water

No organism on this planet can live without water. It is the molecule of life. The same is the case for possums. Many possums live close to a water source. However, others are not too dependent on water. 

Possums can survive in damp as well as dry areas. They keep themselves hydrated by feeding on the insects along with green foliage. Their bodies extract all the water content from what they had consumed.

This way, the water content is regulated in the bodies of possums, and they can thrive in all sorts of conditions without depending much on water. 

How Do Possums Get Water?


Like many other animals, wild possums go near a water source like a river or a lake to drink water. Some possums retrieve water out of the openings present in trees. Such possums drink the water of transpiration or dew on the plants.

Possums also get their fair share of water by drinking from the groundwater seepage. They also go to damp areas where the water has collected after rainfall. Though the possums do not need excess water to survive, they just need enough to sustain life. 

Do Possums Drink Much Water?

Yes, the possums drink water regularly. They prefer drinking freshwater rather than the old one lying around for days.

That is why the containers with water left for possums need to be heavy. They also need a wide opening so that possums do not tip them over. 

A possum will come out in search of fresh water each day. However, if it has been unlucky enough not to find one, it will just continue to survive without it by lowering its physical activity. 

How Do Baby Possums Drink Water?

Baby Possums

The baby possums drink water in a dish with a shallow base. They start drinking water as soon as they are old enough to lap up water independently. A syringe can also give baby possums water. 

A baby possum is less likely to survive in the wild if separated from the mother possum. This is due to the lowering of body temperature. In such cases, a baby possum will die of hypothermia rather than the lack of warmth and food. 

That is why it is essential that a baby possum stays close and attached to its mother so that it can be adequately nourished till it is old enough to survive detachment. 

Do Ringtail Possums Drink Water?

Ringtail Possums

Ringtail possums are brown and have a white or cream-colored underbelly. They are rarely seen. During winters, many animals prefer hibernation and will come out very little in search of water.

On the other hand, ringtail possums will still come out to search for a clean and fresh supply of water. This has become more of a habit for them now. Also, they know for sure that they have easy access to water in winter. So they prefer making the most of it. 

Should You Give Possums Water?

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Yes, possums need fresh water daily. So if you have possums under captivity, you must change their water containers daily and re-fill them again. 

A possum won’t drink from a container that has old water. It prefers and enjoys drinking fresh water. Also, care must be taken while giving them water. The water containers need to be wide and heavy so that possums do not tip them over while drinking. 

What Do Baby Ringtail Possums Drink?

Ringtail baby possums have specialized needs and require specially developed formula milk. It is their best survival chance. It depends on the age of the possum how frequently it needs to be fed. 

Usually, a baby possum requires to be fed after a gap of two to three hours. It is only when they get a little older are they started depending on water. Moreover, their diet comprises all the hydrating foods and plants that keep them nourished in all weather conditions. 

How Long Does It Take For A Possum To Starve To Death

A possum will not last longer than two to three days without food. Food is the prime source for obtaining nutrients. If the possums are deprived of these nutrients, they cannot produce energy.

As a result, the animal starts to die out of weakness. Three days is the maximum time a possum can survive without having any type of food.

During this time, the animal tries its best to find food from any nook and cranny, but if it fails to do so, it has exhausted all its energy reserves in the quest for food.

How Long Can A Possum Survive Without Food And Water

If possums have run out of food and water supplies, it will not be long before the possum finds themselves on the threshold of death.

Moreover, it will desperately try to find some source from which it can utilize and cling to life. Unfortunately, if a possum doesn’t come across in any basis timely, it will soon die.

How Do You Know If A Possum Is Dying

If a possum does not get water for several days in a row, it starts dying. Its tongue sticks out, its breathing becomes slow, and the body goes limp. 

A possum discharges its bowels and starts drooling. When all these signs are there, it means that a possum has died due to dehydration and needs water to recover. Giving fresh water at this point can save a possum’s life.

Wrapping It Up

A possum can survive several days without water. However, that is not in the best interest of a possum. 

Generally, a possum will try its best to live near a water source so that it can have easy access to it. If, however, the circumstances are not favorable, a possum will search out food or foliage that has sufficient water content in it. 

Eventually, a possum will travel to a different place in search of water to survive. Otherwise, a possum will die.