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Why Is My Squirrel Not Moving And Sleeping So Much?

So this distressed lady walked up to me after a conference to ask, Kevin “I don’t know but I’ve been wondering, Why Is My Squirrel Not Moving And Sleeping So Much?” If you’re wondering the same thing then this article is for you. Read on to learn why!

Our pets are our best friends. Any atypical behavior in them makes us unpeaceful and nervous. Squirrels, like any other animal, cannot talk nor tell us how they are feeling.

However, we know if they are happy, afraid, unwell, or angry by observing. Squirrels signal their feelings and soundness through different behaviors. And this means that it’s difficult not to notice if your animal companion has a problem.

A squirrel not moving and sleeping so much can cause anxiety, which has made many people worry that their pet is dying. Want to know why your squirrel is not moving and sleeping so much?

I have covered that in the article. Read on to be enriched on the same, plus other useful information!

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Linda. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

4 Causes that Make My Squirrel Not Moving and Sleeping So Much

A couple of reasons bring about a change in movement and sleeping pattern in squirrels. Squirrels often behave like that due to a health issue or weather condition, but it can also result from another cause.

You will not know how to respond or help your friend unless you understand the real reasons behind squirrels not moving and sleeping excessively.

Concisely, squirrels tend not to move, and they sleep so much because of the reasons such as age, the weather is too hot or cold, or it’s a sign of metabolic bone disease.

My Squirrel Not Moving And Sleeping So Much
Squirrel sleeping

Related On the Age

Squirrels can be busy little furballs. They are lively and bustling rodents with their lives centered on running around gathering and hoarding food, mating and raising young ones.

With all those hobbies in consideration, sleep is also a fundamental requirement in a squirrel’s life. Age correlates highly with the number of hours a squirrel can sleep within a day.

For instance, the average sleeping time for adult squirrels is 15 hours per twenty-four hours. The babies need substantially more shuteye. Baby squirrels can sleep for as long as 22 hours each day, with only 1-2 hours of activity.

Long sleep is because the baby squirrels use a lot of energy in their physical and mental growth process. Moreover, a considerable amount of energy is dissipated as the newborns adjust to the new environment after birth.

The Symptoms Of MBD

MBD is a bone strength disorder associated with a dietary calcium deficiency as the primary cause. MBD is also usually caused by lack of exposure to ultraviolet UVB radiations and calcium/phosphorus imbalance in the diet.

It is a nutritional problem that’s most common in chelonians and herbivore reptilians. Leeching out of calcium from the bones remains the only solution to boost the low Ca level in the blood.

Eventually, if there’s no replenishing, the bones become pretty soft and weak. Some of the signs of MBD in squirrels is excessive sleeping, not wanting to jump, climb, or move around. The squirrel becomes lethargic and shows a high level of inactiveness.

MBD is a painful and common disease among squirrels, and hence you need to watch for any signs of discomfort. Thankfully, MBD can be treated.

You can fight it by offering a diet with dense vegetables and fresh fruits with protein meat, e.g., crickets and phoenix worms, to ensure properly balanced nutrition. Calcium supplements also play an integral part in treating MBD.

The Weather Is Too Cold

Most animal species don’t tolerate extreme colds in winter and therefore hibernate during this time.

However, the only squirrel species that hibernate are the ground squirrels. The rest of the squirrels are awake in winter but spend a lot of time sleeping and resting in their nest.

Squirrels don’t like being cold and mostly stay indoors sleeping when temperatures are below 30℉, and only venture out for a few minutes to get food in the morning and evening. They will also avoid windy and stormy weather.

If your squirrel is moving less and sleeping more because of the cold, provide plenty of bedding to help it burrow down for warmth. When you touch the squirrel, it should feel warmer than your skin.

You can insulate the house with dry leaves, pine needles, etc., to help the squirrel stay warm in the nest.

squirrel in a warm place to warm itself up
If the weather is too cold the squirrel may sleep in a warm place to warm itself up

Also, provide huge quantities of food during fall. For instance, avocados provide a lot of fat and starch that adds warmth to squirrels.

The Weather Is Too Hot

As you drink plenty of water, relax under a shade, or perhaps fan yourself to cool down, remember that squirrels can become restless as you are because of too hot weather.

Their body temperature is between 98-102℉. Because of the high body temp, squirrels are not as susceptible to heat as humans. However, they get hot and sweaty under very high temps and need to cool down.

When it is extremely hot, squirrels move less and sleep more. You won’t see squirrels playing around during this time.

The foraging pattern also changes, where they forage in the morning and late afternoon after temperatures decline. To chill out, squirrels imply various responses such as sweating through their feet and respiration.

If you pity your squirrel and want to help it, you can place a shallow plate-like dish with cool water near a place where the squirrel lays down.

squirrel sleeping on the stomach to cool itself down
Squirrels tend to lie on their stomach on a cool surface when they are cooling themselves down


Why is my squirrel sleeping all day?

If your squirrel is sleeping all day, it could be because it is young or in unfavorable weather. Perhaps your squirrel is suffering from MBD.

What are the signs of a dying squirrel?

Some common signs that dying squirrels manifest include body weakness, seizures, visible tumors, diarrhea, eyes and mouth discharge, etc.

What to do if a squirrel is not moving?

If you want to help a squirrel that is not moving, the first and foremost approach is putting on thick gloves and using a thick towel to prevent biting.

Pick and place the squirrel in an open box and on something warm, e.g., a bottle of hot water wrapped in a towel.

If it’s your squirrel and you are sure it’s sick, your reptile veterinarian is the best person to reach out to. For abandoned squirrels, quickly seek a wildlife rehabilitator intervention.

Why do squirrels lie on their stomach?

Squirrels tend to lie on their stomach on a cool surface when they are cooling themselves down. Lying on the stomach allows the squirrel’s superficial blood vessel to contact a cool substance, e.g., ground.

Final Thoughts

The article is short, thus it is easy to remember a lot of things. However, in case you forget some things, please don’t forget the following points.

  • Squirrels express how they feel by manifesting a couple of behaviors, such as jumping, reluctance to move, too much sleeping, refusing food, etc.
  • It’s common for squirrels to move less and sleep more, which is associated with age, MBD, too hot and cold weather.
  • MBD in squirrels can be treated by practising proper husbandry, including offering a balanced nutritional diet and calcium supplements.

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