Squirrels do not Make Good Pets

Squirrel Balls

The cutest squirrel balls you’ll ever see

A few weeks ago our landscaper found a couple of baby squirrels and we’ve been raising them ever since. They were three or four weeks old when we got them, old enough that their eyes were open and they had fur, but not old enough to be all that active. Here we are at six or seven weeks old and their actively level has shot through the roof, they’ve gotten squirrelly.

Soon they should be old enough to be let free. In the meantime they live in my sun room.

Do you like little poop pellets?

This room was clean one hour ago.

This room was clean one hour ago.

It’s an interesting fact that squirrels will not go to the bathroom in their nest. The other side of this statement is that they’ll go anywhere else that suits them. This includes the floor, your furniture, and even you. Squirrels produce small and hard poop pellets, of which they produce about a billion a day. Even when locked in their cage you will still manage to find little poops all over the house. I believe they ride on the wind like a dandelion seed.

The only upside to all of this is that the poops come out dry and scentless. I guess that’s a win.

Squirrels will scratch the holy hell out you.

Squirrel Scratches

This is my hand. Its actually a good scratch day.

Squirrels have sharp little claws, unlike a cat, these claws are always out. Squirrels also love to climb on you, its a wondrous squirrel activity to run up and down and all around you as you scream in pain from the thousand cut torture. Sadly, you’ll find yourself liking this. My hands look like a teenage cutter. I keep squirrels so that I can feel.

Another thing of note, squirrels can jump very far. If you get within ten feet of a squirrel and they want on you, they’ll jump on you. This could mean jumping on your back, your head, or your face. Good times.

Squirrels Enjoy Chewing

Wicker Chair

I left them alone near our sun room furniture.

Wicker furniture seems to be the favorite chew toy. They’ll also chew up all of the plastic bits in their cage, turn any branches you give them to saw dust, and they also enjoy shredding fabric. If you want to keep something, don’t leave it where a squirrel can find it.

Squirrels do not Have Empathy

Unless you have food on your person, squirrels are indifferent to your problems. They do not come over to be petted, they do not want to cuddle. If they do not want to be picked up even their most gentlest attempts to escape result in painful scratches.

They’re you’re best friend if you have food. All the same they’ll stab you in the face for a walnut.

Chill Squirrel

5 comments

  1. My wife and I have had 3 pet squirrels over the last 15 years. I beg to differ with the author, but they do make a wonderful pet. I had one that slept in the bed with us in a home made “box” covered in terry cloth. She put herself to bed if we didn’t come when she was ready. Whenever I came to bed, she would come up and snuggle around my neck to be petted on until I fell asleep, then she would kiss me (nibble) on the neck, and go down to the foot of the bed to her “bed”. She lived for 7 years, and when she finally passed away, I cried for days……..I had lost my best friend. She was with me during my recovery from heart surgery. I have had dogs as pets most of my life, but I never had one that was even close to as loving as my beloved P-Nutt.

    The secret is spending time with them…….playing, teaching, and interacting. Squirt is our current pet, and is the first male that we have raised. He is quite strong, but very responsive. We trim his nails weekly, and none of the 3 have ever been allowed to climb anything except for their cage. We trained them to stay off of all tables, and most furniture. It does take time and effort, but it is all well worth it.

    Sorry to ramble on, but I just had to respond to the quote about them not being good pets. Oh, and as for the uh hmm “business”……..all of ours were potty trained by putting a plastic container with dirt in it in the bottom of their cage. They would all stop whatever they were doing to return to their cage to ……….make………….and regular changes of the dirt keeps all of the odors at bay. Perhaps it is just us, but we definitely have had great results with having squirrels as a pet.

    1. I think a lot of it was that we received our squirrels when they were about four weeks old. Their squirrely behaviors had already developed at that point. They had more attention than they ever wanted. They were fairly well potty trained up until the point we housed them in the sun room for their eventual release in the wild. Once they got into the sun room and had a taste for going outside all bets were off on the pooping. I have heard lots of stories like yours, I think the trick is mostly to get them while they are very young, newborns even.

  2. Everything you say about squirrels also applies to other rodents, like rats and hamsters. What’s the difference? Why do rats make good pets, but not squirrels?

    1. Squirrels are wild animals that want to be free and everything else that goes along with being wild. Even one raised from birth, they may be tame and not freak out around a person, but they are not domesticated, like say a dog is. The sort of rats you buy in a pet store are domesticated.

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