Squirrels are becoming common co-stars in many literary works, movies and television shows. They can be considered a pest to some but because of its agreeable appearance the squirrel is becoming a household pet.
The squirrel is a small rodent that can grow up to 12 inches with the tail ranging between 4 and 10 inches in length. The weight of a squirrel depends on the subspecies but the average squirrel usually weighs less than 2 pounds. The fur of a squirrel can come in a variety of various colors including black, red, gray, brown and white (albino).
Squirrels are not domestic pets but can be tamed. The only problem is: squirrels can become aggressive when they reach sexual maturity. An aggressive squirrel will bite and claw anything that gets to close. They may also destroy anything around in an attempt to break free. This can be the most difficult stage for squirrels and their owners. Sexual maturity usually hits around five or six months during this time it is important to make sure the squirrel has plenty of toys and play items to keep it occupied.
In the wild, squirrels are naturally omnivores. They eat nuts and fruit along with any insects that they can dig up or catch. Squirrels are also known for eating out of bird feeders. Squirrels can be fed nutritious, high-quality bird food that has nuts and sunflower seeds in it. The diet for a squirrel should also include plenty of fruits and vegetables including cucumber, lettuce, kiwi and cherries.
Squirrels can be litter trained with enough patience and time. Without litter training a pet squirrel will eliminate when and where it pleases. If the squirrel is kept in a cage at all times without a litter box they will probably eliminate in one corner. Try putting a litter box in the corner that they prefer with some shreds of newspaper. Clean the box often, everyday if possible, to keep any unwanted smells from lingering in the room and your home.
This animal is very active so it should have a very large cage, preferably 4’ x 6’ x 6’x tall. There should be plenty of branches, ropes, toys, hammocks and shelves for the squirrel to play on and jump around. Squirrels are curious and like to play with toys. Make sure you provide an abundance of them for the squirrel to avoid boredom and mischievous behavior. Wheels can be used for exercise as long as it is big enough. Provide plenty of chew toys made of various materials including wood to keep their teeth sharp.
If you are considering adopting a squirrel be sure you will legally be allowed to keep one. The legality of owning any exotic animal varies by jurisdiction so check with your local law enforcement agency to find out the specifics. A squirrel should be properly bought from a pet store or professional breeder not captured from your backyard or local park. Keep in mind that not all veterinarians will treat squirrels because they are considered an exotic pet. Make sure you find a proper veterinarian that is willing to treat your new companion before you adopt one.