Do Squirrels Have Good Memory?

Squirrels are intelligent and clever animals but react instantly according to the situation and save their nest and babies. They do not like it when other species and animals enter their nest and show offensive behavior when stressed.

Do Squirrels Have Good Memory? Squirrels have a good memory and can remember the buried nuts, problem-solving techniques, habitat, and the predators attacking or stealing their food. Gray squirrels have the best memory among all species, as they bury thousands of nuts annually to eat in winter. They can remember the humans who feed them and often return to them for food.

Some of them have exceptional memory, while some can forget about some things they learn. They have an excellent understanding of their environment and many things they come across to use in the future if they face a calamity.

How good is a squirrel memory?

These animals have a phenomenal memory, especially when it comes to food, habitat, predators, and problem-solving techniques.

Bury food

Squirrels are famous for burying their food underground, approximately 2-2.5 centimeters under the ground, to use it during hibernation.

They can remember the places where they bury their food. Research showed they little rodents can bury approximately 9000-10,000 nuts annually.

They can recover or remember 95% of the nuts and sometimes find only 75% because they bury the food in different places and forget some locations where they store their food.

They lose approximately 5-25% of the nuts they bury, as these rodents can forget about so many places or the predators can steal their food if they notice them hiding their food.

Their excellent memory helps them survive the hibernation period and feed the young babies because they do not move much in winter to find food and use the buried nuts.

Problem-solving techniques

Their sharp memory helps them to learn different problem-solving techniques, which they utilize to get food or overcome several problems in the future.

They use the techniques when they relocate to new places to protect themselves and their babies using their intelligent minds.

For example, experimental research showed these rodents learn different techniques and remember these problem-solving techniques for a long time to use them in different and new environments.

They were introduced to a problem-solving situation, which they faced approximately 20-22 months before, to check their memory.

In this experiment, five to six squirrels had to open the puzzle box filled with the nuts, which they had done 20-22 months ago. It took approximately 8 seconds in the first attempt to solve the problem and press the lever to get the nuts.

On the second attempt, they pressed the lever and solved the puzzle to get the nuts in approximately 2 seconds. It shows these rodents can remember the situation they face after several months and repeat the steps to get the nuts in an average of three seconds. 


They remember their habitat and use their memory to trace the routes they use to travel away from their habitat to find food.

These animals are territorial and do not allow other species and animals to enter their space. They travel several miles a day for searching food and play with their siblings, but remember where they come from and reach their habitat without any effort.

Wild squirrels live in a nest for a few years and move to a new nest with their new family member or babies, while some species use their old nest and rebuild them. 

They can return to their previous habitat when you relocate them from your backyard or house because they have a strong memory and can conveniently return to this place.


Squirrels memorize their predators and their techniques to attack them and protect themselves from future attacks. These rodents have different aerial and ground predators attacking them to eat their food or the babies.

They remember the predators’ behavior towards them and hide or run away from this place if they notice the predators approaching them with specific signs.

They make high-pitched noises when observing a predator, such as an owl or fox, around their nest to alert the other rodents about their arrival and save their lives. 

Do squirrels remember humans that feed them?

They can remember humans, depending on the time they spend around them and the benefits these rodents get from humans. Pet and wild squirrels show different behavior toward humans.

Pet squirrels

People often keep squirrels as pets and feed them healthy and fresh nuts. They remember the humans that feed them and can make strong connections if they live with them for a long time.

They can remember their owner after several months due to the affection they show when they are always around their caring owners.

The pet rodents are trained to behave nicely and make a bond when people treat them friendly and feed them their favorite food.

However, pet squirrels do not rely much on their memory for problem-solving techniques or burying their food because the owner feeds them many times daily.

They can remember their living places, and you do not have to worry if they move out of the house into the garden because they come back after playing or spending some time there.

Wild squirrels

Wild squirrels in the wild and the parks can also remember humans that feed them and return to get food from those feeders.

They can recognize the facial features of the humans who feed them in the yard and remember their behavior patterns, such as if they feed them daily and the rodents look at them to get food.

Wild animals do not show affection towards humans, and they remember them only for food or any good thing humans do for these animals.

There are no observed scenes when they would return to reconnect with the humans who feed them but recognizes them if these rodents see them more often in the park or yard.

Which squirrel has the best memory?

Gray squirrels remember things better than all of their species, as they are famous for burying thousands of nuts annually.

They have the best memory, and they can successfully recover all the nuts they bury under the soil because they have long-term memory and eat those nuts in winter or when no food source is available.

They are the most common type of squirrels found in yards or gardens, and they have the exceptional ability to return to their nests, as they have excellent nesting capabilities.

They can memorize hundreds of places where they hide their food and sometimes fake the hiding to deceive other animals stealing their food.

How long is a squirrel memory?

They have excellent memory that can last approximately two years, as they can remember the food they bury and their owner for several months or even years.

They are popular and can remember events and techniques for more than 20 months and solve different problems.

Some squirrels can have short-term memory if they have neurological issues, or the young rodents will forget about buried food and do not remember the humans who feed them if they see them after several months.

Does squirrels’ sense of smell affect their memory?

The smell is one of the strongest senses in squirrels, and they can identify the place, family members, and even humans with their smell.

They also mark their territory using the scent glands and have a phenomenal sense of recognizing their habitat with their smell.

Memory has a strong connection with smell, as they can remember the place or the sibling from their odor. The smell is considered the strongest signal, and these rodents can memorize things with their fragrance.

Research showed that grey squirrels find or memorize the location where they bury nuts with their smell, as these rodents use their memory with the strong smelling sense and find the food.

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