How to Calm a Squirrel
Firstly, the squirrels you catch need to be trusted. It may take months to earn their trust, so be patient. After some time, they may allow you to groom them. If they respond to your affection by rubbing their back or ears, they will likely reciprocate by nibbling on your hands. You can also use verbal cues to gain their trust. Here are some tips for successfully calming squirrels.
When approaching a squirrel, be careful. If you are not sure how to approach, sit on the ground. A squirrel’s fear may come from loud noises or sharp claws. Avoid staring at it. This can scare it and cause it to flee. Sitting quietly and staying out of its way will help you to calm a squirrel. Remember, a squirrel’s fear may also come from strong smells.
The key to calming a squirrel is to be quiet while you feed it. Feed the squirrel food while it is hungry. Try to feed them once in the morning, when they are most active. Try to feed them for about 20 minutes a day. It’s best to feed them in the morning, when they’re most clingy and alert. If you see a squirrel in your yard, it may be an indication of trouble.
You can use in-cage activities to help a squirrel become comfortable in its cage. Most squirrels enjoy chewing, so you can place a variety of chew toys in the cage so the animal can play for hours. Remember that your pet does not want to play with your cell phone or electrical cord. Keep the cage in a room that isn’t busy with a lot of human activity. Also, don’t expose your squirrel to any species that it may fear, as this can lead to issues with your pet or human.
If your squirrel becomes injured, you can try to assess the situation in a quiet room. Put a soft cloth or towel underneath its hindquarters so it feels safe. You can also place a stuffed animal in the cage that has no hard parts in it. If you can’t find stuffed animals that you can buy for your pet, Brough suggests that you place tough pieces of tree bark or sizable bones inside the cage.
The easiest way to get a squirrel to come back to you is to offer it some nuts. Squirrels are highly territorial, and they can literally bite you if you don’t offer them anything. But they’ll eventually get over this fear and return to their normal behaviors. To begin calming a squirrel, offer it small portions of food and speak softly to it. Then, use the back of your hand to pick it up. Don’t hold it in your hand – this could put the animal’s fingers in the path of your hand. Show your palm and open hand to your squirrel, and he will be less likely to bite you.
After giving a squirrel a handful of nuts, try putting out a few other types of food. A fresh ear of corn is ideal, but some squirrels prefer a dried husk. You can also try using millet spray, which is available in many pet stores for birds. Make sure to clear out the uneaten food right away, as the squirrel might have hidden a stash of food.
Squirrels are often irritable and may respond to your presence by making aggressive calls. Interestingly, juvenile squirrels can annoy adult squirrels. This is because boisterous juveniles are often rejected by adults. Most species of squirrels, from ground squirrels to North American reds, reject humans who approach them. However, there are some tricks to calming a squirrel down.
Ground squirrels have long, fluffy tails. The purpose of the tail is to regulate body temperature, but it also serves a function as a visual distraction when squirrels are facing predators. When facing rattlesnakes, for example, ground squirrels wave their tails back and forth to confuse the snake. Ground squirrels also shake their tails when agitated or upset. This is an unmistakable way of conveying emotion.
Squirrels are notoriously shy and wary of humans. But with a little patience, you can learn to tame one. Baby squirrels are easiest to tame, but not everyone has access to these small critters. If you’re planning on feeding a squirrel, keep in mind that patience will pay off. Try feeding the squirrel peanuts – they are the easiest foods to tame.
First, stimulate the baby squirrel to urinate and poop. To do so, you can use a Q-tip or a piece of Kleenex dipped in warm water. Apply the swab to the squirrel’s abdomen and move it around in a brushing or rolling motion. Repeat this procedure every time the baby squirrel feeds. Try to feed the baby at least once a day until it is old enough to feed on its own.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.