Why Are Squirrels Constantly Scratching (Explained)

Why Are Squirrels Always Scratching

Have you ever noticed that squirrels seem to be constantly scratching and grooming themselves? It’s typical behavior among many squirrels, but why do they do it? 

Squirrels groom to remove parasites and maintain hygiene, stay cool in hot weather, mark their territory, bond with their social group, and keep their senses sharp. It’s an essential behavior for squirrels to stay healthy and thrive in their natural habitats.

In this article, we’ll find out why squirrels do these strange things and how they help them stay alive in the wild.

Squirrels groom to remove parasites and maintain hygiene.

Fleas, ticks, and other parasites often live on squirrels and can make them feel itchy and uncomfortable. By constantly grooming themselves, squirrels can remove these parasites and keep their fur clean and healthy. Also, keeping clean helps squirrels avoid getting eaten by predators, who are more likely to go after dirty or sick animals.

Grooming helps squirrels stay cool in hot weather.

Squirrels have a layer of fur that helps insulate them from the cold, but it can also make them feel hot and uncomfortable in warmer weather. Squirrels can remove excess hair and cool down their bodies by grooming themselves. This is especially important for squirrels that live in hot, dry places, where getting too hot can be a severe problem.

Scratching helps squirrels mark their territory.

Squirrels are territorial animals that mark their territory by scratching trees and other things and leaving scent marks. Squirrels can spread their scent by scratching and grooming themselves and making themselves known in an area. This keeps other squirrels from making it into their territory and can also help them find a partner.

Squirrels groom to bond with their social group.

In addition to being territorial, squirrels are social animals that live in groups or colonies. Grooming is a way for squirrels to bond with their group members and strengthen their social bonds. Grooming is a common act of affection and social bonding among squirrels.

Squirrels groom to maintain their sharp senses.

In addition to helping squirrels keep their senses sharp, grooming also serves the dual purposes of preserving hygiene and marking territory. Squirrels can better detect predators and find food by keeping their eyes and ears clear of debris and clean by routinely grooming their fur.

Grooming helps squirrels groom their young.

Mother squirrels play a critical role in the grooming and care of their young. By grooming their babies, mothers get rid of parasites, improve blood flow, and keep their children clean and healthy. As the babies grow and become more independent, they will also start to groom themselves and each other to bond and maintain social cohesion.

Conclusion: Grooming is essential for squirrel survival.

In conclusion, grooming is an essential behavior for squirrels that serves multiple purposes. Squirrels scratch and clean themselves to stay healthy and do well in their natural environment. They do this to get rid of parasites, keep themselves clean, mark their territory, and bond with their social group.

What happens if a squirrel scratches you?

If a squirrel scratches you, it was most likely an accident or the squirrel was feeling threatened or scared. Squirrels have claws that they use for climbing and digging, and they may scratch if they feel threatened or are trying to defend themselves. In general, squirrels are not aggressive animals and will try to avoid contact with humans. If you are scratched by a squirrel, however, it is critical to thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection. Seek medical attention if the scratch is deep or if you are concerned about the risk of infection.

Is it OK if a squirrel bites you?

It is generally not okay if a squirrel bites you. Squirrels have sharp teeth that they use to chew and eat food, and a bite from a squirrel could break the skin and cause bleeding. A squirrel bite can also be painful and may cause swelling or bruising. In some cases, a squirrel bite can become infected, especially if the wound is not properly cleaned and treated. If you are bitten by a squirrel, it is important to wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection. You should also seek medical attention if the bite is deep or if you are concerned about the risk of infection. It is important to remember that squirrels, like all wild animals, can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, so it is important to avoid contact with squirrels whenever possible to reduce the risk of injury or infection.


Squirrels are known for scratching and cleaning themselves all the time, but why do they do this? Squirrels groom to get rid of parasites and keep themselves clean, to stay cool when it’s hot, to mark their territory, to bond with their social group, to keep their senses sharp, and to groom their young. By constantly grooming themselves, squirrels can stay healthy and thrive in their natural habitats.


I'm an animal lover who managed to learn multiple ways to help animals throughout the years. Through this site, I will be sharing my experiences, knowledge, and everything I've learned.

Recent Posts