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Why Does My Squirrel Nibble On Me? What It Means and How to Respond

Have you ever been nibbled by your squirrel or other animals, and you wonder why? Cool then! This article is for you.

Animal nibbling is a common and natural instinct among many animals, and squirrels are no exception. Squirrels like to nibble on their caretakers from time to time.

Although most people embrace this behavior, they aren’t sure what the squirrel is doing or trying to communicate and can’t stop themselves from thinking, “why does my squirrel nibble on me?”

Your squirrel is undoubtedly telling you something and expects you to understand it. Apparently, a negative response will discourage this pal. Without much ado, let’s dive deeper into this mystic question and know the reasons behind squirrel nibbling.

I suggest you take a seat, be patient, and look forward to more enlightenment! Thank me later.

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

How Does a Squirrel Show Affection to Humans?

A squirrel-to-squirrel communication is very evident through vocalization. These rodents are doubtlessly vocal, and their sounds are surprisingly complex. They use not one sound to communicate with each other but several.

Every sound passes a particular message. Many people may think that squirrels talking to humans is a foreign concept. In reality, squirrels can talk to people but do it differently, not how they communicate with their counterparts.

Think of them as incredibly intelligent and communicative; they’re anxious to pass a message to their caretakers or people they trust. 

Indeed, these frisky creatures talk to us in various ways, including nibbling, biting, licking, staring, and bustling through your feet.

You wouldn’t be shocked when a squirrel licks or nibbles on you; it’s not a strange thing. It’s a charming way of saying I appreciate you or thank you.

Why Does My Squirrel Nibble on Me?

Nibbling is evident in both the wild and domesticated animals; they often do this to humans. However, an animal will not approach you on the first day, and boom, they start nibbling on you.

Of course! You have to win their trust first, and this doesn’t happen within one day. Wild squirrels, for instance, are very cautious and curious about your every move. They want to learn your intentions and see if you’re trustable.

A gentle nibble from squirrels on your finger is fine; you’re safe as long as the squirrel doesn’t exert pressure. Note that these creatures have four large front teeth that are ever-growing throughout the squirrel’s life.

There is a high demand for squirrels to chew, nibble, and bite things, which helps to wear their teeth. Now you see that squirrel nibbling is normal behavior. So, why on earth would a squirrel nibble on you?

Case #1: Show of Affection!

Nibbling is a unique way for squirrels to show affection to humans and indicates that they trust you.

If your squirrel is gently nibbling on your fingers with its incisors, it’s charmingly saying, “I love you, friend!” or simply thanking you for being a nice person.

A happy squirrel nibbling and playing with its owner [The Dodo]

Case #2: Excitement

There are so many reasons for squirrels to feel happy around a person they love. A delighted squirrel will nibble on nearby treasured things/persons.

You are your squirrel’s favorite person, and your friend feels happy sharing their excitement with you. The only thing to do is by nibbling you.

Case #3: Can we Play?

If there’s something inseparable with squirrels, it’s playing. They love playing more than they do to themselves.

When in a playing mood, the squirrel thinks of you or its toys. So, it could be possible your squirrel wants to play, and that’s why it’s nibbling you. It does this excitedly and while wagging the tail.

Case #4: Teething

A young squirrel that nibbles you constantly is because of their teeth showing up. Indeed, teething isn’t a good experience for babies since it’s a little painful for them.

Therefore, nibbling on you is just a way for the baby squirrel to soothe the pain. You might also notice it nibbling toys or other objects in the house.

Why Does My Squirrel Nibble On Me?
Just like with human babies, teething can make young squirrels nibble on you to relief themselves

Case #5: Curiosity

If there are curious animals that I know, then it’s squirrels. A squirrel will be incited to do what another squirrel is doing, and that includes nibbling you.

Young squirrels are, in most cases, prone to mimic what the adults are doing. Sometimes the squirrel will nibble to understand what the things around are, including you.

What To Do If the Squirrel Nibbles on You?

As much as squirrel nibbling is harmless, remember that you are dealing with a wild animal, and the nibble can turn into a bite anytime.

Squirrels are naturally unpredictable; even pet squirrels have been reported to grow wild. A squirrel might be busy with nibbling but eventually, bite you due to overexcitement or sometimes aggression.

Considering that you want to let your buddy continue nibbling you, keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure. Moreover, squirrel bite is dangerous because it exposes you to diseases.

The best way is to find better ways to curb nibbling behavior when it’s still early. Below are a few ways to handle nibbling in your squirrel.

  • Get something for your squirrel to nibble on. Toys are the best option when it comes to such behavior.
  • Give the squirrel a few moments of play. Squirrels are excited about playing. Giving them some minutes of play encourages them to stop nibbling and start playing, and hence leaves you alone.
  • Discourage the squirrel from nibbling you. You would hear a person telling their squirrel, NO NIBBLING, and the squirrel gets the message. Use a gentle tone not to scare the squirrel away.


How do you befriend a wild squirrel?

Squirrels hate to be startled. To successfully befriend a wild squirrel, consistently provide it with the squirrel’s favorite foods, and never scare it away.

How do squirrels communicate with humans?

Squirrels communicate with humans through various behavioral reactions, e.g., licking, nibbling, running between our feet, and biting.

Do Squirrels remember you?

Yes, squirrels will definitely remember that good thing you did to them and will always associate you with it. They remember you after bonding with you.

How do you know if a squirrel likes you?

A squirrel will lick or nibble on you to show affection. It’s their sweet way of saying they adore you.


In conclusion, a squirrel will nibble on you for different reasons, but the primary one is to show affection.

Both domesticated and wild squirrels are likely to show affection to the people they love. Squirrels also nibble to communicate with humans.

If the squirrels tend to put more pressure when nibbling you, that calls for the need to discourage this behavior as soon as possible. Anything that can cause a squirrel bite should be avoided. Squirrel bite is fatal.

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