What Does a Squirrel Purr Mean?

Squirrels use different vocal sounds, including purring, for alertness, communication, and other purposes. These animals do not communicate with their other members like humans. Therefore, they use sounds and gestures to show different reactions.

What Does a Squirrel Purr Mean? Squirrels purr means they are happy, comfortable, nervous, want to play or cuddle, hungry, or want to attract their mates during the breeding season. They do not purr like a cat because it is not part of their natural behavior.

Squirrels also make other sounds like chirping, chattering, and barking to show their different behaviors towards their community members and humans. Purr sound is comparatively less common in these animals than grunting, chirping, chattering, and barking.

Why do squirrels make a purr sound?

The purr sound of the squirrels is not considered true vocalization like grunting, squeaking, squealing, and barking, but it represents the different behavior of these animals.

Happy and comfortable

They do this when they feel happy and comfortable. They become excited when they find their favorite food in abundance quantity in their surrounding habitat.

In addition, the presence of a diversity of food also makes them excited. They eat various fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds to meet their nutritional requirements.

I saw a squirrel on my lawn making a purring sound while eating roasted peanuts. Nuts and seeds are their favorite food, and they like eating them.

They become happy when they find nuts and seeds in abundance quantity. They enjoy a diverse diet, including fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Moreover, they also come in your lawn when you place a bowl full of a combination of foods. You can hear their noise from your yards, representing their happiness after meeting their nutritional requirement.

Streams and lake water usually freezes in water and cause dehydration in their body. These become excited when they see water taps, leaky pipes, or bird baths in their surroundings to hydrate them.


Squirrels can become nervous and produce different vocals to show their anxiety. These are prey animals, and predators in their surroundings trigger their nervous system.

They produce a loud purring and grunting noise to call their other colony members for help. Cats, dogs, and different birds or animals are their predators, and they can attack them and their babies.

The presence of parasites in their nest also makes them worried because it can harm their babies. These also become anxious when predators come into their nesting area.

These animals have strong auditory power, and the usual sounds and activities in their surroundings can disturb them. Loud noises from vehicles, construction, and human activities make them anxious.

They love to live in open environments and wild areas. Sometimes they get trapped in buildings and other enclosed spaces, which makes their escape difficult.

They make various noises to call other colony members for their help. In addition, they also become stressed and sad in enclosed spaces because of limited social interactions and food sources.

Moreover, they do not like human interactions and become nervous when they see humans in their surroundings. Furthermore, they also become anxious when someone disturbs their nests.

Play or cuddle

Baby squirrels produce a purr sound when they play or cuddle with their mothers. Their offspring love to play and cuddle with their mothers to interact with them.

In addition, hairs are not present in their babies, so they cuddle their mothers for thermoregulation and to keep them warm. They come near their mothers to maintain their body temperature.

Moreover, cuddling gives a sense of attachment and strong bonding with their mothers. It provides them with a comfortable and secure environment.

I also hear the purring noise of the baby squirrels during mother feeding. It represents that they are feeling comfortable because of the warm temperature.


Squirrels eat a lot because of their physically active lifestyle. They remain active during the day to find food for their current and future use. They have to store the surplus food for winter when sources become scarce, and their activities are limited.

Sometimes they become hungry during food foraging and cannot find enough resources in their surroundings to meet their needs. They do not have enough energy to move forward and make the purring sound to call other species.

The other species come there because of the specific signals, making them aware of the food resources in a particular location.

Alert other members

Vocal sounds are also helpful in alerting the other members of their species. Squirrels make a slow purr sound when they see any predators in their surrounding location.

The slow sound is beneficial to alter the surrounding species about the presence of predators and alert them. Moreover, they warn other members about environmental changes and potential hazards.

They are territorial animals and use vocals and body language to alert their other colony members and show dominance over them.

Attract mate during mating season

Male squirrels usually make loud purring and grunting sounds during the breeding season. The breeding season of these animals usually starts between July to August and December to February.

They make their territories to attract female mates for breeding. The female gets attracted to them because of the presence of a nest and enough food sources.

They also use specific body language and sounds to show their territory’s dominance, which attracts the females.

Do wild squirrels purr?

Purr sound is less common in squirrels living in wild areas. The domestic ones commonly make this noise when they live with pet cats. Cats prominently make purr sounds as part of their natural behavior and for communication purposes.

Gray squirrels, mostly living in wild areas, are famous for their vocal sounds. They do this to show certain behaviors and communicate with other colony members.

Squirrels’ common sounds include barking, squeaking, squealing, and purrs. It feels like a vibrating sound and is less common in wild animals.

Wildlife experts widely observed them and reported that this sound is not common in wild squirrels. They do not make that noise frequently for signaling purposes and as an alarm.

These species rarely make this sound which can also occur because of variation in vocalization.

Do squirrels purr like cats?

Purr sounds are common in cats, and squirrels’ sound does not resemble them. They do not make the purr sound like the cats, which is more prominent and sharper.

You can mostly hear this sound in animals living on the ground and in trees. In addition, squirrels many people think that they learn this behavior from the pet cats in their homes.

One of my friends also has a pet cat in his home, and he told me that squirrels play with them, and both of these animals make the same sound.

I wonder how both of these animals learn things from each other. They do not produce the same vocals as cats because it is less common in them.

They usually use chattering, barking, and squealing sounds for social interactions and alertness. In addition, the likelihood of this increases when they live and are raised with pet cats.

They produce purr noise more relative to other vocalization sounds. Moreover, I think it resembles the grunting noise they usually make for different purposes.

I also observe them on my terrace, and they are also flicking their tail while making this vibrating sound and eating food.

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