Can Flying Squirrels Be Pets? [What You Need To Know]

can flying squirrels be pets

Flying squirrels are adorable, making them ideal pets for people who like more exotic pets than regular dogs or cats. Every person needs n animal companion, and a flying squirrel might be your match if you’re a fan of exciting pets. So can flying squirrels be pets, and what are some of the things you need to know?

Flying squirrels can be pets, as they will bond with you, are smart, and are not likely to bite. However, they are not suitable pets for most, as they are social, require specific care, are costly, trafficked for profits, and can have a painful bite. They can also become destructive and are nocturnal animals. 

There will be downsides to any pet, but this becomes especially true with flying squirrels. 

Continue reading with us as we explain why flying squirrels can be pets but are only suitable for a very small group of people.

Having A Flying Squirrel As A Pet

There are two types of squirrels that are native to North America, known as the southern and northern flying squirrels. 

The southern flying squirrel is the smaller one, with a white belly and grey hair. The northern flying squirrel has a mix of brown and grey hair with a grey belly. 

Ten states have made it illegal to own flying squirrels as pets due to their exotic status. This is often because trappers will capture them in the wild and illegally sell them in other countries.

Even though flying squirrels have been banned as pets in certain states, they are still getting smuggled in. 

If you want to purchase or adopt a flying squirrel, it would be best to research the ethical and legal ways to get one.

The Good Things About Having A Flying Squirrel As A Pet

If cared for properly, a flying squirrel could be the perfect pet, with their quirky personality and high energy levels. However, remember that the first few weeks after taking them home is the most crucial, as they need to get used to you and the new environment. 

Let’s take a look at all the good things about having a flying squirrel as a pet:

Flying Squirrels Will Bond Closely With Their Owners

When flying squirrels are bred in captivity and spend time with their owners from the earliest stages of their lives, they are known to bond closely with their owners. 

They can be affectionate and love attention, but only if you spend a lot of time with them as they’re growing up.

Flying Squirrels Are Intelligent

These squirrels are clever animals, and if you spend enough time with them and create a strong bond of trust, they can be trained and learn lots of adorable tricks!

They Are Less Likely To Bite Than Other Pets

Although a flying squirrel may bite when nervous, they are not known for biting as much as other small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and hamsters.

The Difficult Things About Having A Flying Squirrel As A Pet

Although no pet will be perfect, there are some clear disadvantages to owning a flying squirrel, making them only suitable pets for some people. 

These disadvantages should be considered thoroughly, as flying squirrels remain exotic pets and are not meant to be pets:

Flying Squirrels Are Highly Social Animals

Squirrels are a huge time commitment. They need constant attention and a companion to keep them happy and prevent them from becoming depressed or stressed.

Although they require a large cage, you can’t keep them locked up constantly. These rodents lots of time outside of the cage, with constant supervision when roaming free in your home.

Flying squirrels need an owner who will carry them around, feed them, and be around them constantly. 

If you become the owner of a flying squirrel, you need to be ready to build your life around them, as they bond strongly, and they won’t be happy when they are rehomed or ignored.

Flying Squirrels Have Specific Living And Care Requirements

Flying squirrels have very specific care requirements that may be challenging and expensive, including a large cage or living area compared to other small pets. 

Their cage should not only be significant, but it should be tall enough for them to run around and glide in, yet it should have small enough openings to keep them from escaping and hurting themselves in the process.

Flying Squirrels Have A Painful Bite

Although we mentioned above that flying squirrels don’t tend to bite as much as other small animals, they can. It would be worth noting that any animal will bite when they feel stressed or agitated, which is especially the case with a flying squirrel. 

If they are not raised as babies and properly tamed, they could become nervous when you handle them and bite you. 

They also have sharp and strong teeth, as they are wild animals, which makes their bite extremely painful. Although domesticated flying squirrels are less likely to bite, they will attack when provoked.

Flying Squirrels Are Expensive To Purchase

We mentioned that providing care and the correct living arrangements for flying squirrels could be costly. Well, flying squirrels themselves are expensive as well! 

The average flying squirrel price ranges between $250 and $600; when you add food and a suitable cage, these costs can quickly add up.

Trafficking Flying Squirrels Is Illegal

While flying squirrels may look cute, their popularity as exotic pets has created a dangerous black market.

Sadly, these animals are frequently stolen from their natural homes and sold as illegal pets.

This leads to flying squirrels having unsuitable or unsafe living conditions, making it unsafe for them and those who illegally purchase them.

Flying Squirrels Can Become Destructive

These rodents will chew constantly and relentlessly, resulting in them becoming destructive if they are not provided with a wide variety of appropriate items to chew on.

They Are Nocturnal

Sometimes you may come home from work late at night, and all you want to do is wind down after a long and challenging day. 

However, because flying squirrels are nocturnal, they will run around at night and demand attention while you need to sleep.

Final Word

It becomes clear why flying squirrels aren’t ideal pets because they need ample space and constant love and affection. 

If you’re up for the challenge of having an exotic pet like a flying squirrel, make sure you know all the difficulties of owning one! Also, make sure it is legal in your state, as some states don’t allow squirrels as pets.

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