The 11 Reasons why Squirrels lay flat

  • By: Alex
  • Date: July 29, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

When you see a squirrel lying flat on the ground, it’s not because the poor creature is tired.

When you see a squirrel lying flat on the ground, it’s not because the poor creature is tired.

In fact, there are five excellent reasons why squirrels might choose to lie down in this way. Let’s take a closer look at each of these reasons below.

1) Squirrels often lie down to catch their breath after running around.

After a long night of climbing and foraging, squirrels like to catch their breath. This is why they often lie flat on the ground after taking a break from chasing each other around in the trees during playtime.

2) It’s also common for female squirrels to lie down in this way when they are nursing their babies.

Adult squirrels have no sweat glands, which means that staying hydrated is a severe business for them indeed. Because of this, they drink water daily and sometimes even take a dip in the water.

Nursing squirrels need to keep an eye on their babies at all times, which is why they often lie down flat when nursing their young.

3) It’s common for male squirrels to lie down this way when marking their territory.

3) It's common for male squirrels to lie down this way when marking their territory.
3) It’s common for male squirrels to lie down this way when marking their territory.

Squirrels have scent glands on their throats to mark their territory. When a male squirrel feels that another nearby male is intruding on its turf, it will lie down and rub the underside of its neck against the ground to mark its boundaries.

4) Squirrels also lie down this way during mating season.

When a female squirrel is ready to mate, she will present herself to the male in this way. Males will then sniff and lick her belly while mating with her.

5) Laying flat might also serve for cooling off.

They might also be cooling off in this way. Squirrels dissipate heat through the blood vessels in their tails and legs. Lying down with their legs close to the ground allows them to cool more efficiently.

6) Lying down this way might also shield the squirrel from rain and other elements.

Squirrels don’t have a lot of furs, which means they can easily catch a cold when exposed to humid or windy weather for too long. Because of this, it’s common for them to seek shelter under tree trunks and another cover when it’s raining.

7) By lying flat on their back, they can intimidate or scare away predators in the area.

This position can also serve as a way for squirrels to avoid predators. If they are in an area where there is danger lurking around every corner, the best thing they can do is hide.

Crawling under bushes or holes is often not an option because these creatures are too bulky to fit into small spaces easily.

To get themselves out of a sticky situation, they’ll choose to lie flat against the grass and hope their enemy passes them by without noticing their presence.

8) When cornered, a frightened squirrel might roll over this way.

Squirrels tend to run when faced with predators, but sometimes they are too big or bulky to get away quickly. If the predator is just about on them and in their face already, they might choose to curl up into a ball to shield themselves from their attacker.

9) Squirrels might also lie down this way after injury or sickness.

9) Squirrels might also lie down this way after injury or sickness.

Squirrels are known for their quick reflexes, which means that they usually avoid predators with ease.

However, squirrels sometimes get injured while participating in other activities such as tail chasing and playing with others.

What’s more, the fact that they have a lot of unprotected bodily parts can make them very prone to diseases and infections. In either case, the squirrel will have difficulty getting back on its feet again if it’s already injured or sick.

10) Lying flat might be a sign that your pet needs some attention too.

If you notice that your pet is often lying flat on its tummy, there might be some problems that need to be addressed.

For example, it could have a respiratory disease. Another possibility is that the cage is too small for your pet to move around more easily.

11) Finally, when rolling around in grass or dirt, this position might be the most comfortable for your pet.

If you want to provide your pet with some comfy surroundings that will make it feel like home, then you’ll need to work on its cage first.

Providing your pet with spinning wheels and climbing blocks will ensure that it can get around quickly in its new house.

If it doesn’t have the chance to climb around as much as it would like, it might choose to curl up into a ball instead.