Squirrels can be pesky thieves. This cheeky pint-sized bandit has been caught on camera stealing several items ranging from bird feeders from gardens to snacks from convenience stores. They also wouldn’t spare a cat’s dinner, especially if the feline is nowhere in sight.
It is, therefore, surprising to see a squirrel spot a cat’s food and resist any urges to grab the dinner and make a run for it. But an honorable squirrel was captured on video relaxing near a cat’s dinner, showing no interest in the food.
Why This Is Unusual Behavior
One reason that could explain the squirrel’s honorable conduct is that it had already found food it prefers around the compound. The primary foods in its diet include seeds, fungi, nuts, and small animals.
Thus, if there’s a bird feeder in the neighborhood, chances are that the squire has already filled its belly with the seeds, hence the lack of interest in the cat’s chow.
The other reason is that cat food isn’t particularly good for squirrels.
Squirrels love cat food, especially solid and dry because it gives them the chance to gnaw their ever-growing teeth. Squirrels have four sharp incisors that continuously grow at a rate of 5.5 inches yearly. Gnawing helps to wear down these teeth, which is why they love chewing various tough foods.
But squires will eat taurine-rich wet cat food if that’s the only food they can come across in the compound. An excellent way to stop a squirrel from stealing a cat’s food is to provide alternative food in the squirrel feeder.
Cat food isn’t particularly good for squirrels because it contains cellulose, which they can’t digest. Canned and processed cat food also has different types of plant fiber that the squirrel can’t digest. These additives include:
- Beet pulp
- Fruit pectin
- Flax seed
These cellulose-based foods are great for the cat because they help control cat hairball, diabetes, and weight issues. But the same nutrients can harm squirrels. Other poisonous foods to squirrels include cashew nuts, high-starch foods, and salted foods.
Why Squirrels Are Excellent Thieves
Squirrels have amazing tiny bodies that allow them to pinch something and make a quick getaway before they are discovered. The squirrel has padded feet, which reduce the sound it makes when moving. The feet also help them land safely during a jump.
Squirrels can jump up to four feet vertically, which is remarkable considering their tiny bodies. They can also jump 20 feet from an elevated surface and land without injuries.
The position of their eyes helps them scan the environment and ensure they’re not being watched before pinching the item that captures their attention. Their relatively big eyes are found on the upper sides of their tiny heads, allowing them to scan their surroundings without turning their heads.
Squirrels are fast runners. Their short, powerful legs, low weight agility, and low body fat allow them to sustain a speed of 20 mph for up to four minutes. That is sufficient time to disappear into the bushes with their loot.
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