Why Do Squirrels Make Grunting Sounds?

Squirrels make different sounds, including squeaking, buzzing, barking, and grunting. In addition, they use different vocal sounds to show various gestures to other squirrels.

Why Do Squirrels Make Grunting Sounds? Squirrels make grunting sounds for communication, mating, showing dominance, feeling irritated, warning others about predators, being excited, angry, or hungry.

The type of sounds squirrels make depends on their species and the nature of the threat. The grunting sound varies from slow and short-pitched to high, depending on their messages, emotions, and warning signals.


Squirrels grunt by clenching their teeth together and contracting their diaphragm muscles. They make slow vocal sounds to communicate with other members of their species.

They use different vocalizations and scent markings to communicate with their mates. In addition, they also use their tail for signaling purposes.

They need communication to share information about the food sources and their availability. In addition, mother squirrels typically use this to communicate with their offspring.

It is the signaling sound for their children that they have to move to a new location for food and shelter. Moreover, young mothers also make slow noises to show their presence to their babies.

These grunts are soft and low-pitched because they communicate with each other and share information. 

Mating season

Male squirrels show different body gestures and vocalizations to attract mates during breeding. The male species’ grunting sound is considered the mating call to attract their female mates. I have seen them making purr sounds during this time.

These sounds are slow and are used to impress their mates. In addition, some of these species make a high-pitched sound to show territorial dominance.

Moreover, they also show other gestures, such as chasing and tail flicking, with these vocalizations to attract their mates.

The sound depicts their intentions to their females that they are ready for mating. The female mates are attracted to them because of their health, shelter places, and plenty of food sources. They give birth to their young ones after mating and keep them in a nest made of leaves.

Show dominance

Some species of squirrels make loud grunts to show their dominance. Territorial disputes are common in them because they live together.

Territorial disputes are the normal behavior of these animals to provide enough access to different resources to their mates.

These are highly territorial animals who always want to defend their territory from other species. These are common in them during the breeding season to attract their mates for breeding.

The main reason for these disputes is to build a territory that provides their mates enough food, water, and safe shelter. These are also common to maintain the diversity of their specific species.

They make aggressive and sharp grunts to defend their territory and show dominance. Therefore, they can mate with males and pass their genes to the next generation to maintain their diversity.

Feel irritated

Squirrels also get irritated and frustrated like humans, making different sounds to show their emotions. However, they do not make facial expressions like humans to show their sadness and frustration.

They can feel frustrated because of physical discomfort. Pain and injury on any part of their body irritate them, and they do not act normally because of pain.

They also get frustrated because of stress which can occur for different reasons. For example, they become highly irritated when other species disturb their territories.

Territorial disputes make them stressed and uncomfortable. In addition, they can also experience stress because of loud noises from the surroundings and the presence of predators.

The absence of food sources in their surroundings to maintain their nutritional needs also irritates them. Moreover, they do not find shelter during harsh weather conditions, which can frustrate them.

Warning signs in danger

Squirrels use different warning signs to alert other members of their communities about the presence of threats and different predators. In addition, they produce different audible and visual signs to communicate with their mates and protect them from potentially life-threatening problems.

Different wildlife animals can eat them as their food source. They make a high-pitched grunting sound with frequent successions when seeing any predator near them.

In addition, they also use a series of vocalizations when they see predators near their territory. Snakes, domestic cats, foxes, and coyotes are their predators.

Hawks, eagles, and owls are also their predators, and they catch them within seconds with their sharp talons.

Moreover, they also make a warning sound to alert the other member of their species about the predator’s presence.

They also make these noises to call their other mates to fight against the predators. They also use it as a warning sign that there is no food at the specific place, and they have to move forward.

They use the same warning sign to aware their members if other animals already occupy sheltered space.

Excited or angry

Squirrels also become angry like humans and other animals when someone disturbs their boundaries. These become aggressive when their owners do not give them enough food and a place for shelter.

In addition, they show angry reactions when you remove the eating bowls from their cages. The problem also comes when someone disturbs their territories.

They aggressively make high-pitched and frequent grunts to show dominance and threaten people and other animals, trying to harm their young ones.

The male species become highly aggressive during mating season when they compete with each other for female attention. They also show anger when someone accesses their food source.

Slow-pitched grunts show the excited and happy nature of these animals. They become happy when you give them their favorite food.

These can sense different food materials because of their strong smelling power. Fruits that contain a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds always make them happy, and they start running around to express their emotions.


They make a grunting sound when they are hungry and need food to meet their dietary needs. Therefore, it is necessary to provide them with plenty of food and water when you hear the series of vocalizations from your pet animals.

They want attention from the other community members to share information about the food sources. Many people also keep them as pets in their homes, and it is a warning sign for their owners that they are hungry and need food.

They also make these sounds when you remove the food in front of these animals, and they are hungry. They signal their owners about their hunger through a series of vocal sounds.

Do not remove food from their cage when you hear these noises.

Human affection

You can hear squirrels’ slow grunts when you show them affection and attention. This is because human affection makes them happy and comfortable.

In addition, it can also give them a relaxed and calm feeling. These vocal sounds show they are happy and feel comfortable when you give attention to them.

These are wild animals, and you cannot pet and groom them like domestic ones. However, they are highly trained animals and also know how to groom themselves. Therefore, they do not need assistance from humans for their grooming.

In addition, avoid touching them because they carry different diseases and perceive you as a threat. Avoid touching domesticated squirrels because they have sharp teeth and can bite you. You can show affection by providing them with their favorite foods and plenty of water.

Related Articles:

What is the average lifespan of a squirrel with rabies?

Do Squirrels Drink Sugar Water?