TIL: Combing a squirrel makes it stop working
video by GallowBoob
Squirrels can’t be domesticated. Even if you keep them as pets, they’re still vicious, unpredictable wild animals. They’re extremely hard to take care of and simply aren’t pets. People who keep them typically do so only temporarily and then release them into the wild where they belong.
An individual animal can’t be domesticated, domestication is something that happens to a species over years upon years. Dogs are descended from wolves, but you can’t domesticate a wolf because it’s a wild animal. Same with big cats. You can be familiar with them, and play with them, and generally be safe. But at any time, their instincts could just take over and they maul the shit out of you. It happens all the time because people don’t understand the difference between pets and wild animals.
Cats, dogs, and other domesticated creatures are different because we, as humans, have spent so long living alongside them and breeding them as pets.
It takes squirrels about 1 year to be able to breed. Foxes can become at least partially domesticated at 10 generations of selective breeding, but 15 or 20 for a more docile pet like animal. Squirrels are harder to domesticate as they don’t have the same kind of instincts as foxes, being prey animals rather than hunters. It will probably be a much higher number of generations for squirrels.
If I’m right it will take you at least 15 years to get a partially domesticated squirrel, but probably more like 20 years. To get one to the point where it would make a loving pet might be even longer. It is possible that you simply can’t get a perfectly domesticated squirrel, some animals can never be fully domesticated.
Edit: squirrels are pretty animals, but I meant to say prey animals.