Keeping chipmunks as pets: is that possible?

Chipmunks are becoming increasingly popular. However, the cute rodents are not suitable for everyone as pets, because the small fluffy balls are unfortunately not cuddly animals, despite their cuteness.

Chipmunk has his cheeks full - Shutterstock / William G Carpenter

Chipmunk has his cheeks full – Shutterstock / William G Carpenter

At least since the “Chipmunks” films, more and more people would like to have the agile squirrels at home. As with any animal, the purchase should be carefully considered beforehand. In contrast to guinea pigs and the like, chipmunks are small exotic creatures and therefore need special housing conditions. They can be kept as pets, but there are a few things to consider.

Interesting facts about chipmunks in the wild

Chipmunks and chipmunks weigh 80 to 150 grams and are 20 to 25 centimeters long. A good half of their body length can be the tail alone. They are native to North America and Asia, where they can easily live to eight years in the wild. Chipmunks live in loose colonies, where each animal has its own territory. They defend their territory with bitter fights and immediately go their separate ways after mating. They create tunnels and chambers underground in which they sleep and feed. The menu includes fruit, vegetables and grains, but also insects.

Chipmunks at lunch: "Yummy peanuts" — Image: Shutterstock / Elaine Davis
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03/09/2013 – 10:26 am

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So are chipmunks as pets

The animals are diurnal, so you can actually watch your squirrels play and climb. And that’s what you’ll do primarily with a pet chipmunk: watch it. They are not suitable as cuddly animals and playmates, as they rarely become tame and do not seek closeness to humans on their own. Anyone who wants to bring their own little “Chipmunks” gang home will be disappointed: Due to the natural life structure of the rodents, keeping them alone is not cruelty to animals, but the rule. If you want to keep two animals together, you need a huge cage that can be separated if necessary.

The Right Human for a Chipmunk: Are You Suitable?

Chipmunks are well suited as pets for quiet people with a lot of space, because in addition to the large cage (at least two square meters and two meters high) they also need regular exercise. It’s also good if you like tinkering and handicrafts, because the squirrels are happy about a large selection of hiding and climbing opportunities in their enclosure. They can be kept indoors and outdoors alike, but they don’t like cigarette smoke or loud noises. Busy hustle and bustle in their environment, however, does not bother them.

You might also be interested in these topics from the Animal category:

Guinea pig or rabbit: what suits me?

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