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Thread: Maple keeps jumping on my face

  1. #1
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    Default Maple keeps jumping on my face

    My now 11 week old squirrel has grown quite nicely and has a ton on playful, baby squirrel energy. We are currently working on getting her a harness to help in ways to exercise and release some of that energy, but for now we let her run and roam the house for bits of time while we are home. I'm teaching her that my shoulder is her safe space, so if she gets spooked, she goes to my shoulder. She occasionally comes to my shoulder to "check in" too. The problem is that when she runs, she jumps on my head and face sometimes. In her excitement I don't think she realizes where she's going until it's too late. Or sometimes she just perches on my head. It's not aggression, it's play but I don't want her playing on my face. Her claws are sharp and I've frequently found my face bleeding from her leaps. Does anyone have any advice on how to keep her from face contact? We are getting her cat nail trimmers today so we can *carefully* trim the white tips of her claws. I'm happy that she's a happy, healthy playful girl but I can't lose any more blood! Help...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    The best fix is to do a proper soft release to the wild when she gets a little older (15 weeks +/-).

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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    We don't think she's able to be released because her depth perception and sight isn't the best. We took her to the vet and he suggested we keep her or send her to a rehabber to keep her because she'll be killed in the wild. So we are deciding to keep her and make her an 8 by 10 foot squirrel enclosure to give her the best authentic squirrel life

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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    Well, I bought a metal spaghetti strainer, tied strings on the handles, and tied it around my head. Yes, I walked around the house with a strainer on my face.

    You have a few months of kind of crazy coming up - all those hormones suddenly hit them and they lose their little minds. The nice thing is that the two squirrels I have raised both then learned that faces were better not looking like hamburger and stopped the face stuff. The ticket is not letting the behavior stop you from interacting with them A LOT during this painful time. Do what you need to do to prevent yourself from being injured and spend as much time playing with and interacting with her. They are learning stuff at a furious rate at this age and it is absolutely when you want to make sure you forge your relationship if she is to be a house squirrel.

    There are no photos of me in my spaghetti strainer. I did forget it was on and got caught by the Fedex guy once.

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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    That's awesome lol...I might try the strainer idea. Right now we have a tsk tsk tsk sound as her no sound, so we're training her with that. I might try the strainer though... that's clever

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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Yes, I walked around the house with a strainer on my face.
    ....and here I thought face plants were a right of passage. .
    Step-N-Stone
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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Well, I bought a metal spaghetti strainer, tied strings on the handles, and tied it around my head.

    There are no photos of me in my spaghetti strainer. I did forget it was on and got caught by the Fedex guy once.
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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    ....and here I thought face plants were a right of passage. .
    So did I, I usually have scratches on my face almost daily 🤔🤣😆

    Oh and the FedEx guy
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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    Quote Originally Posted by vegas0917 View Post
    My now 11 week old squirrel has grown quite nicely and has a ton on playful, baby squirrel energy. We are currently working on getting her a harness to help in ways to exercise and release some of that energy, but for now we let her run and roam the house for bits of time while we are home. I'm teaching her that my shoulder is her safe space, so if she gets spooked, she goes to my shoulder. She occasionally comes to my shoulder to "check in" too. The problem is that when she runs, she jumps on my head and face sometimes. In her excitement I don't think she realizes where she's going until it's too late. Or sometimes she just perches on my head. It's not aggression, it's play but I don't want her playing on my face. Her claws are sharp and I've frequently found my face bleeding from her leaps. Does anyone have any advice on how to keep her from face contact? We are getting her cat nail trimmers today so we can *carefully* trim the white tips of her claws. I'm happy that she's a happy, healthy playful girl but I can't lose any more blood! Help...
    Did you try saying "Ouch" or "Aww" in an exaggerated voice in pain consistently? I think they totally understand these kinds of universal sounds/emotions.
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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    Yes, ouch and ow help. The big challenge is to remain calm during it all because that can make them more agitated, leading to more quick movement. I can say that yelling at them with passion only makes things worse. They really don't intend to do this. They just don't understand us and our soft skin, all of their kind have pretty tough hides. Mom even carries them around with her mouth and their job is to grip her head and neck with their paws while she climbs to another tree and nest.

    I found that if she was on my shoulder and reached for my lips this usually meant "Take me somewhere. I want to be somewhere else." This was often satisfied by open the door to the room and allowing her to run about.

    If I had a hockey mask, I would definitely have worn it. Wearing safety glasses made for eye protection usually fit pretty closely to the face. These usually can be found in a hardware store, or try sun glasses.

    I think they prefer being on the top of your head because it provides unobstructed views and the ability to leap in any direction.

    When she is on my head I usually put up one hand to pet her and the other in front to block her if she decides to descend the front of my face. I also found that with these two hands I could often transfer off my head so she would be resting in one or both palms, which they sometimes enjoy and will groom at little. Maybe even give me a bit of a manicure. Likes a little gentle belly rubbing.

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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    Thanks! Makes sense. Sorry, I didn't mean to scream or yell or anything like that. Just a noise to indicate that it hurts. I think they understand and sense that.

    And I agree, keeping calm and moving slowly makes them feel safer and calm too!
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Maple keeps jumping on my face

    Okay, that does make sense, thank you all! I have noticed when I tense up she sees that and immediately stops, same with the biting when wrestling. If I go limp she lets go. The tsk tsk sound has helped a ton too.

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