Having squirrels as a pet is illegal in many states of America, and different states require licenses for keeping these rodents as pets. They are active, sharp, and intelligent animals but are challenging to train, as it takes much patience and knowledge to potty train these rodents.
Can a Squirrel Be Potty Trained? You can potty train the squirrels by selecting a suitable cage, add a litter box, and guide them to urinate and poop in a specific place, and treat them with their favorite food when they follow the instructions. However, a baby squirrel younger than 5-6 weeks cannot be litter trained, and you need to stimulate the baby as the squirrel mother does.
They can build good habits over time and become a well-behaved family member when treated nicely because they cannot understand scolding and your lectures.
How to potty train a squirrel?
You can toilet train a squirrel with patience using the following steps: They are wild animals and difficult to train, but they behave decently soon with proper training.
Select a large-size cage
These rodents do not have any fixed place to use as a bathroom, as they can urinate and poop at any place around their living space and keep the nest clean.
You can select a large-size cage of three to four cubic feet so the squirrel does not feel stressed or anxious in a closed environment.
There should be enough space to move freely and keep the bathroom area separate from the food and living place.
Make a suitable place to use as a bathroom, as it can take several months to train the rodent completely so that it can poop or urinate in the litter box and avoid creating a mess all inside the cage or house if you set it free for some time.
You can also train them to go outside the house, such as in your backyard, if this place is safe for the pet because they are used to defecating in soil or around trees.
Place a litter box
You can place a litter box at one corner of the cage and select the litter box size convenient to access for them because the litter boxes for cats are dogs are large and have high corners.
They cannot get comfortably into the litter box and therefore hesitate to use it when they need to poop.
Select a small-size litter box or pan for small pets or make a litter box using a repurposed vegetable container and fill it with a suitable litter material.
The rodent tries to use the place as a bathroom, which is easy to access because they do not like to do hard work for using the litter box.
Therefore, select an appropriate size litter box to train them because easier access to the box makes it easier to train them in a short time; otherwise, they will not become used to it.
Select a suitable litter material
The litter box contains a dry and absorbent litter material used as a bathroom or toilet by different pets in the house to avoid a mess in this place. Therefore, selecting a safe, absorbing, and efficient litter material for the pet squirrel is essential.
Different types of litter materials are used for pets, such as wood shavings, wooden pallets, shredded sugar cane, sand, and other absorbent organic material safe for pets.
You can use wooden pellets, wood shavings, and shredded paper as litter material, free from fragrances and toxic chemicals, to avoid rashes or damage to the squirrel’s respiratory system.
Maintain the litter box area
Maintenance and cleanliness of litter boxes are essential, as the unsanitary environment is not safe for their growth and the food they eat, as germs and bacteria can spread to their food.
Clean the litter box and the cage daily and replace the litter box material daily to keep the box sanitary. You can wash the litter box with a detergent and warm water to remove the germs and bacteria.
It is better to avoid using bleach, ammonia, and harsh chemicals because it can cause problems for the squirrel if got in touch with these chemicals.
Squirrels are animals that want to keep themselves and their living place clean; therefore, it is essential to maintain the cage and litter box if you want to train them.
Train them to urinate and poop in the litter box
Train them to urinate and pop in the litter box by placing the waste into the litter box, and they adopt this behavior.
Placing their faces in the litter box at the start will train them to use this place as a bathroom because they smell this area and associate it with the toilet.
It can take time to toilet train these rodents, but you need to be persistent with this practice, and soon they will learn to use the litter box.
Treat them every time they use the litter box
Positive reinforcement is necessary for everyone to do better in the future, and the same goes for the pet squirrel.
Therefore, it is better to praise the squirrels every time they follow the rules and use the litter box to urinate or poop.
Treat them with their favorite food, such as nuts or fruits, and call them by sweet names. This can encourage rodents to do the same thing in the future. I have used this method to potty train my pet squirrel.
They do not understand the punishments and negative reinforcement, and this leads them to become scared of you, which causes behavioral issues.
What happens if you do not potty train the pet squirrel?
It is better to litter or toilet train the pet squirrel because it can cause mess all around the house if you do not train it to use the litter box.
They are foraging animals and want to feel free to do different activities. Therefore, they can defecate or urinate anywhere in the house, which causes you to clean this place.
This can be irritating to clean the faces and urine from sofas, mates, and bed sheets, and causes a smell in the house, which makes the environment unhygienic.
They can poop on your clothes and ruin your favorite clothes; therefore, it is better not to wear them when holding these rodents.
Can you potty train the baby squirrel?
You cannot potty train a baby squirrel younger than five to six weeks, as they cannot poop or urinate on their own. Their mother stimulates them by gently licking the genital parts.
Therefore, it s not possible to toilet train a baby squirrel younger than 5-6 weeks, and you need to stimulate the baby after every time you feed the little rodent.
You can use soft tissues or cotton balls and stroke them in a circular motion around the genital area of the baby squirrel. This will stimulate the baby and urinate or defecate in a few seconds.
Keep a towel to avoid urine or waste on the floor, and keep it there until the baby urinates. The bay squirrel faces are oblong, small, and smell mild.
You can start training the baby after six weeks of birth because the pet will use the litter box soon, and the process will come quicker.
Where do squirrels poop or urinate in the wild?
The squirrels poop or urinate in the soil and often bury their waste in the ground because they behave differently in the wild, as they get enough space to roam and play.
They can poop inside or outside the birdfeeder and under cars because they can defecate anywhere they find shelter.
They poop on wooden surfaces, such as decks and roofs, and on the rocks in the backyard. This can be linked to their nature to live in wooden places, such as trees because they make nests in trees using leavings and twigs.
They need a comfortable place to do their business; therefore, you can place an old T-shirt in their cage to provide a better environment to adjust.