Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

Today is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Really.

Naturally, it’s time to honor Chubs, the squirrel who lives with me. Since he moved in over the Summer (more accurately: fell down my chimney), you’ve had many questions about what it’s like caring for him. I’ve picked the top five and answered them below — and if you have any others, please feel free to ask in the comments!

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

1. What does he eat?

Since Chubs lives inside, he has a slightly different diet than wild squirrels because he doesn’t need to pack on as much weight for the Winter. He loves veggies and fruits and every morning, Joey chops up an organic mix. Some of his favorites are carrots, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, celery and apples. Recently, he’s been enjoying avocado, too.

Of course, he loves nuts. He gravitates towards almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds.

That said, everyone has a guilty pleasure. When Chubs has been a good boy, there’s nothing he enjoys more as a special treat than a big, crusty piece of bread.

2. Where does he live?

For the first few months of his life, he had a wood framed cage with chicken wire that Joey built but he quickly outgrew it. We could tell that he was getting restless from a lack of space to run around in and I had two massive IKEA wardrobes so we cleared one out, added mesh to the doors and built him a full-on jungle gym inside. He has mounted balconies made from old shelves, branches, a “nest” to burrow into for naps, a rope bridge and a water bottle. It’s the equivalent of a squirrel palace.

When we’re home, we let him roam in designated spaces. He loves to play with Rocky and even rolls over like a dog to have his belly scratched!

3. Is he potty trained?

Oddly enough, yes. It’s similar to having a cat. We have litter in the bottom of his cage and though he had a few accidents when he was a baby, he has been great over the last few months. When people ask how it’s possible, all I know is that he’s really smart…and he just knows.

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

4. Does he still do squirrel type things like burying nuts?

Constantly! Some behaviors are instinctual and even though he’s never lived in the wild, he still has all the typical squirrel mannerisms. We are constantly finding nuts and crackers hidden under our rugs and pillows.

When he’s not burying nuts…..he’s stealing my lipstick. I’ve dubbed him the Lipstick Bandit because recently, quite a few of my MAC shades have gone missing.

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

5. Don’t squirrels have sharp claws?

Yep. They’re like tiny needles! It was easy to play with him when he was a newborn but once his claws grew in, we ended up with a lot of scratches. These days, I always throw on a sweater before I let him out of his cage.

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

So, there you go. Your pressing squirrel questions have been answered! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to party with Chubs and celebrate his special day.

30 Responses to Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

    • Shauna says:

      I doubt many people actually go and seek out pet squirrels — everyone I know who has one has been because it was a rescue and they couldn’t locate the squirrel’s family. Ideally, wild animals should stay in the wild but by the time Chubs was nursed back to health, the temperatures were freezing. He’s adjusted surprisingly well considering the weird circumstances!

  1. Kat says:

    Around here, I think that local ordinances would prohibit having a squirrel as a pet. Were you required to get a special permit or anything to have a pet squirrel?

      • Kat says:

        Yeah, like I said, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t fly where I live! I think we are limited to domestic or farm animals, provided the requirements for farm animals are meant. I’ve never known anyone to have a pet squirrel, so I was just curious about your situation. I know that rules vary by location!

  2. jennifer sage says:

    What is it about small furry things that cause us to vocalise out loud at their adorable cuteness. Fan following Chubs from New Zealand where we don’t have squirrels and occasionally call my cat Chubs. Aaaaaaaaw he is so cuuute

    • Shauna says:

      Haha! I noticed that the folks in New Zealand were extra entertained by my squirrel stories! And I love that you occasionally call your cat Chubs. 😉

    • Shauna says:

      We haven’t visited the vet yet — he’s really well taken care of but if the time comes, we’ll have to find one that allows squirrels. 😉

      When it was warmer, we’d let Chubs out in the back yard and he actually stayed pretty calm around other squirrels. It’s the strangest thing but I think he’s so used to us that he doesn’t really know any better.

    • Shauna says:

      Squirrels are tough — they really are wild, even when living inside so I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to get one! Chubs is a sweetie and we’ve made the best of an odd situation. I wouldn’t change a thing…but he can be very high maintenance!

  3. Angelique says:

    Aw, he’s so precious. I just read this whole thing to Arthur btw. He was asking how the potty training part went. I am so glad he and Rocky are chill, that was my number one concern. Chubs is precious!

    • Shauna says:

      I think because Rocky met Chubs when he was a baby and sick, he has always been extra sensitive towards him. They love playing together….and it’s pretty entertaining to watch!

  4. When I was a teenager my friend had a pet squirrel! He was awesome. She obtained him because he was hurt and she nursedit back to health. They attempted to let him go when he was well again but he always came back! :-)

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  8. Kami says:

    Okay so I have two 8 week old, sibling male squirrels(Nigel and Rocky). So far things are going well. My question is when they reach sexual maturity will they fight even though there are no females around and they’re brothers? We let them play in the house all day(someones always there to supervise) we got them a huge cat climbing thing and they love it, and their large cage is on its way in the mail. They are eating formula, apples, walnuts, and almonds. I’ve introduced blocks and they have chewed a little on them but have never fully eaten one. I got them antlers but they don’t seem to chew on it(any advice on that?) They are very active and loving. I plan on keeping them because all rehabbers said they could only euthanize so please don’t say ” you need to take them to a rehabber”.Also any tips on potty training? I always make mine pee before I let them run around the house but they always pee all over their cage. I tried getting a pan and filling it with litter and putting it on the side of their cage…but they started to try and eat it and I figured that wasn’t good. Is there any advice you could spare for me? I am sticking with the formula I have because I haven’t read a straight answer and my little guys are doing well on the one. Thank you guys so much!

  9. Nedra bonavita says:

    Trying to find someone who has or has had a pet gray squirrel. Ours has started becoming a little aggressive. Not a normal thing for her in our 3 years. It is usually to do with nuts. She has started burying things constantly and will come after you if you get close. Not sure if its because its fall. And how long it lasts.

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