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Why Does My Squirrel Lick Me? 4 Reasons Squirrels Lick A Person

There is nothing delightful as being close to your pet and seeing them licking us is mind-boggling. Licking is an innate and instinctive behavior among many animals.

Licking is very common among dogs, which are the pre-eminent pets in today’s world. At least we’re familiar with this behavior from other animals, if not squirrels.

However, squirrels are also famous for licking people; they’ll lick your face, legs, hands, neck, etc. What does squirrel licking behavior represent? “Why does my squirrel lick me?” You might be wondering.

Animal licking you isn’t a bad thing; they do it for a good reason. Read further in the article to know why your squirrels are licking you. You will definitely love it!

Why Does My Squirrel Lick Me?
A juvenile squirrel eating and licking its keeper

How Do Squirrels Show Affection?

Squirrels experience feelings in the same manner as humans; they can shift emotions depending on the present situation. How can you tell when a squirrel is fond of you and is happy being around you?

Pet squirrels are accustomed to living with humans who interact with them every day, and they’re naturally friendly. It is genuinely lovely to own a squirrel; you wouldn’t grow weary of living with these charming furballs.

If you don’t know why your squirrels give you a stunning look when cuddling it, it’s because these furballs like to be cuddled. They exceedingly like to be caressed. Squirrels will often show affection to humans by licking them.

Compellingly, squirrels never tire from playing; they’ll want to play more frequently. Playing excites them immensely, and you will notice them licking you severally.

Squirrel having fun licking its owner [source: Pecan The Squirrel]

Why Does My Squirrel Lick Me? 4 Reasons Why Your Squirrel Is Licking You

You can barely go for a day without your squirrel licking you unless it’s not happy or is dissatisfied being in your vicinity, or you don’t have time for it. Remember that pet squirrels need our attention as dogs do.

Squirrels admire it most when spending time with people they love, they need to feel at home, and they long to play with you. All these make the squirrel happy and loved. Every happy squirrel owner will often share exciting things about their besties.

It’s absolutely cute receiving kisses and lickings from a squirrel resting on your shoulder or chest. Lol, who wouldn’t appreciate such a cherished moment with their squirrels?

Some people become even more curious to know if the many licking squirrels give them are things to be welcomed or discouraged. Some even go beyond thinking that their furball needs a salt-lick.

So, what does it mean when your squirrel licks you? Do they need salt, or is it a mouthy thing to be discouraged? See the real reasons below.

Reason #1: Squirrels Appreciate You

I suggest you would be kidding, saying that there is nothing like animal love. We have lived with companion animals and can tell how lovely and unique they are and about their sweet friendship.

Squirrels are highly affectionate, especially the flying squirrels, and share a strong bond with humans. They are extremely friendly and appreciative of their caretakers and wouldn’t be reluctant to express their emotions.

Consequently, one way your squirrel shows you love is through licking you. That’s the only way to express it since they can’t talk.

Reason #2: The Squirrel is Very Excited and Wants to Continue Having Fun!

Squirrels are not good at hiding their feelings as we do; pretending is not their thing. They are frisky rodents and, therefore, fond of playing games.

The idea of a squirrel trusting you tends to open more adventurous moves with your stunning furball. They feel nice when you are handling and playing with them; playing is something they treasure anyway.

So, anytime your squirrel licks you when you’re both playing is a sign of happiness and content, and wants the Fun to end not very soon.

squirrel licking owner
An excited squirrel all over the owner

Reason #3: Help You Groom

Squirrels have an outstanding smelling ability. Therefore, they might sense something smelling on you and lick up, trying to remove it.

Interestingly, squirrels can smell very far; they can scent food buried about 1.5 feet underground and unbury to retrieve it.

Reason #4: Seeking Attention

Note that your pet squirrel considers you to be its best friend and sometimes the only friend. Sometimes it may lick you trying to get your attention and start cuddling it.

It is more encouraging to them when they get attention, making the squirrel feel calm and comforted.

What Should You Do When the Squirrel Licks You?

Now you know that squirrels have all the good intentions when licking you, and this is something you should be excited about. However, what should you do when the squirrel licks you?

Should you be just happy and leave it to continue doing its thing? Should you pull the hand out or start to caress the squirrel? Would you discourage the squirrel if you respond anyhow?

A squirrel licking you expects an affectionate behavioral response, and if they get it, it tempts them to proceed with what they’re doing.

Squirrels can be carriers of diseases and transmit them through urine and poop, but not saliva. So, don’t worry about squirrel licks; you can go ahead and caress the squirrel. Sometimes you may decide to ignore it, get some exercise with the squirrel.

washing your hands after handling your squirrel
Squirrels can be carriers of diseases and transmit them through urine and poop, but not saliva.
Notwithstanding, ensure proper hygiene after your squirrel licked you.

In the case of excessive licking, please consult an exotic vet; he will help you figure out if something is wrong.


Do squirrels have feelings?

Yes, squirrels have feelings. They may not show facial expressions, but they communicate their mood through various body signs, e.g., shaking tail, nibling, and licking.

What do squirrels like to play with?

Squirrels enjoy nothing more than playing. They embrace playing with dangling toys, roller toys, climbing towers, grass balls, willow barbells, etc.

What states allow pet squirrels?

Several states have no problem keeping squirrels, e.g., Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Lowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Carolina, Virginia, etc. Some of these states require you to have a permit.

Squirrels rub their faces on things

It’s common for squirrels to rub their faces on things as a sign of marking territory and sometimes leave the scent to find mates and orient themselves.


Finally! Squirrels licking people is not something new to you. Squirrel licking is a good thing, and they do this to show affection to humans.

There are other reasons why a squirrel licks you, including seeking attention, grooming, or expressing happiness and content.

You aren’t at risk of getting diseases from a squirrel’s saliva; their saliva doesn’t harbor the diseases causing organisms. Note that squirrels only lick and associate with the people they trust and don’t threaten them.

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