Why do squirrels run away?

Generally, humans don’t intend on hurting squirrels, but these cute little creatures run away when they see us. So, why do squirrels run away?

Squirrels run away from you because they see you as a predator. These animals are easily scared and won’t risk being in close contact with a perceived threat if they think they’re in danger. They don’t have the luxury or the ability to ignore fear.

As humans, we assume that animals flea as a way to escape predators. If you were an animal, and there was a predator in your area, you would want to disappear too. But this is generally not how this plays out, squirrels initially freeze, then they run away. If you want to learn more about this phenomenon then keep reading. If you’re a squirrel lover, wildlife enthusiasts or are simply curious this article is for you.

Why do squirrels run away?

If you pay attention to squirrels, you’ll notice that many of them actually stand still if you or a predator are in the area. Their colour allows them to blend in and camouflage themselves against the background of the wilderness. 

If a squirrel does run and hide from you then it realises that it’s been seen, so naturally, it won’t choose to stay, it would rather try to flee. These animals are easily scared and won’t risk being in close contact with a perceived threat if they think they’re in danger. 

Humans are curious and interested in squirrels but squirrels can’t be curious and interested in humans. This is because we’re huge compared to them and they don’t know if we’ll attack them. They don’t have the luxury or the ability to ignore fear, this is how they’ve been able to survive for so long. It’s their self-preservation mechanism. If they were to ignore this fear they would not survive as long as they have 

How do squirrels show affection?

These adorable little animals can be quite affectionate to humans if kept as pets. If you own a squirrel you know that they are playful and will perform tricks like jumping around for you. The better care you give them the more affectionate they will be towards you.

Signs of affection include holding onto your fingers, licking you, licking your fingers and nibbling on you. They will show affection to you if you rub gently on them.

If you own a squirrel, and you two are very comfortable with each other, it will show affection by kissing you and licking you. You can cuddle it and hold it like a baby, it will still move around as you cuddle. If you rub on its back it will become soothed and relaxed. It might even fall asleep in your hands if it’s comfortable enough

Do squirrels get attached to humans? 

Squirrels do in fact get attached to humans, they will pick one person and express their likes towards that human for the rest of their squirrel lives. They’re not aggressive and are very loving.

That being said, squirrels can be very clingy, if it attaches to you and you’re away from the animal it can be difficult to handle for others. If someone else needs to take care of it make sure that that person is as patient and caring as possible with the squirrel 


In summary, squirrels run away because they perceive you as a predator. They will stop for a second before running away then bolt if spotted. Squirrels get attached to people and because of this, it can be very difficult to separate the squirrel and it’s owner. If you want to know whether a squirrel is affectionate, check its behaviours. Squirrels will nibble on you and bite you as a sign of affection 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other squirrel related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: How do squirrels breathe, why do squirrels eat green pine cones, how do squirrels get calcium in the wild, how do squirrels drink water in the wild, why do squirrels stop in the middle of the road, how do squirrels trim their nails

Why do squirrels run away?
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