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Thread: Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

  1. #1
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    Default Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

    My “Mamma Girl” runs laps around my room starting before sunrise until right before it starts getting dark. She begins doing this towards then end of September/beginning of October, lasting til approximately December/January. She literally nonstop runs in a complete circle along the outter perimeter of the room, though @ times she switches up her pattern along the path.
    She’s so consumed by this, that it causes her to lose weight from her not stopping even to eat (although she will detour for a second here & there for a quick drink). It’s a real challenge trying to distract her from doing this. It’s almost as if it’s some form of OCD, like she has no control & just can’t stop. It breaks my heart just watching her & feeling helpless.
    Has anyone else experienced this?
    Is this normal? Is there anything I can do for her?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

    How old is she? How many years has she been doing this? Does she have full use of the room or a cage she is let out of each morning? If this is something that only begins in the fall I wonder if she feels a need to forage and gather, but there's nothing to forage so she just keeps looking for she knows not what?

    Maybe rearrange things so she has a different "path" to traverse, to change things up a bit?
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

    I have heard of this behavior with female 'house squirrels' from at least two other rehabbers here on TSB. One was a fox squirrel, one a grey. Same thing:constant pacing or running, weight loss, compulsive behavior. In both cases it eventually subsided but it probably took years off the "owners" lives. We could only attribute this to a heat cycle or seasonally-appropriate behavior but never really understood the full cause. Hang in there.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

    My boy does this too. He's less than a year old. It started the beginning of October. He doesn't run the whole perimeter of the room, but he does take the same path over and over. Yesterday I rearranged his room so now he's running a new path that involves a little jumping, but it's still the same, run a random circle from object to object, pause and stare out the window for 30-60 seconds, then repeat. He has two sets of windows in his room so his path depends on which window he wants to stare out of that day. He never lets it interfere with eating though. I know this doesn't answer your questions, but sometimes it's nice to know you're not the only one dealing with something.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

    My squirrel psychology thought is that the squirrel is agitated and wants to be free, to leap from tree to tree.

    Do you intend to release the squirrel in the spring?

    Also, how old is the squirrel?

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

    yup this is the case i have word for word and my boy is almost 7 years old--

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

    Not to dig up an old thread but did the behavior ever subside? Having the same issue now with our 2 yr old NR female grey. It's been 11 weeks now and we are wondering if it's ever going to stop, we feel so badly for her!

  10. Serious fuzzy thank you's to SquiMom from:

    Taz2020 (12-12-2021)

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by SquiMom View Post
    Not to dig up an old thread but did the behavior ever subside? Having the same issue now with our 2 yr old NR female grey. It's been 11 weeks now and we are wondering if it's ever going to stop, we feel so badly for her!
    My boy foxer is a year and a half and he started doing this at the beginning of fall. He would run the perimeter of the room, jump on the bed run to the window, stare out the window 10 or 15 seconds and then jump off the bed and run around the room and this went on over and over and over, everyday. He recently stopped in the last week or so.

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Why does my female grey run laps in the fall?

    In the wild and in captivity over the late summer into fall; the activity level of tree squirrels increases. This wasconfirmed in a diet trial that determined that calorie intake was needful to increase during the same period till early winter. Adding a tiny bit of English walnut daily with a bit of calcium to offset the higher phosphorus to calcium ratio may then be needful if the squirrel is losing too much weight that typically occurs at this time of year when the squirrel isn't supported with a climbing habitat vs. free roaming that moreover doesn't support safe and prolonged climbing in human habitats. This form of activity is key to supporting bone and heart health in arboreal (tree climbing) squirrel species. Our foxer lived past 11 yo, we were told had a very strong heart according to our vet; having supported a climbing habitat was key to supporting this aspect of health.

    Include in the inside of the cage non toxic plain woven cotton rope like is commonly available at a horse supply store; but do not use any plastic rope ever. Cut a small opening, just about four 1/4 inch squares of cage fabric out of the top of the cage just big enough to thread through the width of the rope; then knots the end on the outside. From there leave enough rope to knot the end with about 8 inches to spare. After the rope has had a week or two to absorb some of the squirrel's scent it will begin to play with it. When your squirrel is most active; pull the rope up and then let it drop and repeat. Our girl loved to grap the rope and then drop to kick and bit it which gave her much pleasure as it did us.

    Provide a shelve for your squirrel to rest on that is large enough for their body placing the shelf about three quarters way up from the bottom of the cage. The cage needs to have a padded bottom to rest upon which can be cleaned with non toxic carpet spray, and allowed to dry before placing the squirrel back into the habitat cage. We would change out the carpet we put on the floor when too many holes were made by our squirrel.

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