Do Squirrels Eat Oats

Do Squirrels Eat Oats? Discover Their Surprising Diet

Do Squirrels Eat Oats? Squirrels do eat oats. They are a common food source for many species of squirrels. Oats are a popular and nutritious food for squirrels. They are often found in bird feeders and can also be scattered in gardens or feeding areas to attract squirrels. Squirrels are known for their diverse diets,…

Do Squirrels Eat Oats? Squirrels do eat oats. They are a common food source for many species of squirrels.

Oats are a popular and nutritious food for squirrels. They are often found in bird feeders and can also be scattered in gardens or feeding areas to attract squirrels. Squirrels are known for their diverse diets, which include nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

Oats provide them with essential nutrients and energy. While squirrels primarily eat nuts and seeds, they will readily consume oats if given the opportunity. So if you want to attract squirrels to your yard or provide them with a tasty snack, offering oats can be a great option. Just make sure to use uncooked oats, as cooked oats can be harmful to squirrels.

Squirrels’ Natural Diet

Squirrels primarily eat nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. While they might occasionally nibble on oats, it is not a significant part of their natural diet.

Squirrels are known for their versatile diet, and while they primarily feed on nuts and seeds, they also consume a variety of other foods that make up their natural diet.

Nuts And Seeds:

  • Acorns: Squirrels have a natural instinct for finding and hoarding acorns, which are a staple in their diet.
  • Walnuts: These nutrient-rich nuts are a favorite among squirrels and provide them with essential fats and proteins.
  • Hazelnuts: Squirrels are skilled at cracking open the shells of hazelnuts to access the delicious and nutritious kernels inside.
  • Sunflower seeds: These seeds are a popular choice for squirrels, offering a good source of healthy fats.

Fruits And Berries:

  • Apples: Squirrels enjoy nibbling on apples, as they provide a sweet and juicy treat.
  • Berries: Blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are among the fruity delights that squirrels indulge in when they are in season.
  • Pears: Squirrels have been known to feast on pears when they are available, relishing the sweetness of this fruit.

Insects And Worms:

  • Insects: Squirrels are opportunistic eaters and will not turn down a protein-packed meal of insects when the opportunity arises.
  • Worms: These wriggly creatures are also on the menu for squirrels, providing them with protein and essential nutrients.

Squirrels’ natural diet consists of a combination of nuts, seeds, fruits, berries, insects, and worms. They have adapted well to finding food sources in their surroundings and have become skilled foragers. Understanding their natural diet can help us provide appropriate supplementary food to support their health and survival.

Do Squirrels Eat Oats?

Squirrels do eat oats. In fact, oats are a popular food source for squirrels and they are known to enjoy eating them as part of their diet.

Exploring Squirrels’ Eating Habits:

  • Squirrels are known for their varied diet, which includes nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and even insects.
  • They have a preference for high-energy foods to sustain their active lifestyle.
  • Squirrels are opportunistic feeders and will consume a wide range of food sources available to them.

The Role Of Oats In A Squirrel’s Diet:

  • Oats can be a part of a squirrel’s diet due to their nutritional content.
  • Oats are rich in carbohydrates, fiber, and essential minerals like manganese and phosphorus.
  • They provide energy and promote healthy digestion for squirrels.

Factors That Influence Squirrels’ Preference For Oats:

  • Availability: If oats are easily accessible and abundant, squirrels may include them in their diet.
  • Seasonal preferences: Squirrels may show a greater interest in oats during periods when other food sources are scarce.
  • Taste and texture: Squirrels have individual preferences for different foods, including oats. Some squirrels may enjoy the taste and texture of oats, while others may not.

While squirrels are known to have diverse eating habits, oats can be a part of their diet. Factors like availability, seasonal preferences, and individual taste influence their preference for oats. Providing squirrels with a variety of nutritious foods ensures their well-being and supports their natural feeding behavior.

Surprising Foods Squirrels Enjoy

Squirrels surprisingly enjoy a variety of foods, including oats. Raw, uncooked oats are safe for squirrels to eat and can be a delicious treat for them.

Squirrels are known for their love of nuts and seeds, but did you know that they also have a taste for a variety of other foods? Here are some surprising foods that squirrels enjoy:

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Vegetables That Attract Squirrels

  • Carrots: Squirrels are attracted to the sweet and crunchy texture of carrots.
  • Pumpkins: If you have leftover pumpkins from halloween, squirrels will gladly indulge in them.
  • Squash: Whether it’s acorn, butternut, or spaghetti squash, squirrels find these vegetables irresistible.
  • Tomatoes: Squirrels love snacking on juicy tomatoes straight from the vine.

Squirrels And Peanuts: A Favorite Snack

  • Peanuts: Squirrels are big fans of peanuts. They love the taste and will often stash them away for later.
  • Peanut butter: Whether spread on a tree trunk or left out in a bird feeder, squirrels will go to great lengths to get their paws on some peanut butter.

Other Common Foods Squirrels Love

  • Berries: Squirrels have a sweet tooth for berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
  • Apples: Crunchy and juicy apples are a favorite snack for squirrels.
  • Corn: Squirrels cannot resist the taste of fresh corn on the cob.
  • Sunflower seeds: These tiny treats are a staple in a squirrel’s diet.

Squirrels have diverse palates and will happily explore different food options. Whether it’s vegetables, peanuts, or other common foods, these furry creatures know how to satisfy their hunger. So, the next time you spot a squirrel, consider sharing a tasty treat with our furry friends.

Are Oats Safe For Squirrels?

Squirrels can safely eat oats. Oats are a nutritious and natural food source for squirrels, providing them with energy and essential nutrients.

Squirrels are known for their diverse diet, which includes nuts, seeds, fruits, and even small insects. But what about oats? Are oats safe for squirrels to eat? Let’s explore the topic further.

Potential Risks Of Feeding Squirrels Oats:

Feeding squirrels oats may seem like a harmless and nutritious option, but there are a few potential risks to keep in mind:

  • Digestive issues: Squirrels have a specialized digestive system that is designed to process their natural diet of nuts and seeds. Introducing oats into their diet may cause digestive issues, such as bloating or diarrhea.
  • Nutritional imbalance: While oats are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber for humans, squirrels require a different balance of nutrients. Feeding them too many oats may lead to a nutritional imbalance in their diet.
  • Possible contaminants: Store-bought oats, especially those meant for human consumption, could potentially contain pesticides or other contaminants that may be harmful to squirrels.

Best Practices For Feeding Squirrels Oats:

If you still want to offer oats as a treat to squirrels, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Moderation is key: Offer oats as an occasional treat rather than a staple food in a squirrel’s diet. This helps minimize the risk of digestive issues and nutritional imbalances.
  • Raw and unprocessed: Opt for raw and unprocessed oats, as they are less likely to contain harmful additives or contaminants. Avoid flavored or sugary oats, as these can be harmful to squirrels.
  • Introduce gradually: Start by offering a small amount of oats and observe how the squirrels respond. If they show signs of digestive distress, discontinue feeding oats.
  • Variety is important: Remember that squirrels have a natural diet that consists of a diverse range of foods. Offer a variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables to ensure a well-rounded diet.

Alternative Foods For Squirrels:

If you’re looking for alternative foods to feed squirrels, here are some safe options:

  • Nuts: Offer a variety of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. These provide essential fats and proteins for squirrels.
  • Seeds: Squirrels enjoy seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds. These are nutritious and provide a good source of energy.
  • Fruits: Provide fresh fruits like apples, grapes, and berries. These are a natural source of vitamins and antioxidants for squirrels.
  • Vegetables: Offer vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and leafy greens. These provide necessary fiber and other essential nutrients.

Remember, a balanced and varied diet is crucial for the overall health and well-being of squirrels. While oats may not be the best option for their diet, there are plenty of other foods that squirrels can enjoy safely.

Attracting Squirrels To Your Yard With Oats

Squirrels are known to eat oats and can be attracted to your yard with this delicious treat. Providing oats as a food source can help to encourage squirrels to visit and enjoy your outdoor space.

If you want to enjoy the playful antics of squirrels in your yard, attracting them with oats is a great way to go. Squirrels are known to love oats, and setting up feeding stations with this tasty treat is a surefire way to attract these furry creatures.

In this section, we will explore some helpful tips for creating squirrel-friendly feeding stations, the dos and don’ts of using oats as a squirrel attractant, and other ways you can encourage squirrels to visit your yard.

Tips For Creating Squirrel-Friendly Feeding Stations:

  • Choose the right location: Place your squirrel feeding station in an open area, away from obstacles like trees or walls that could help squirrels access it easily. This will ensure that the squirrels feel safe while enjoying their meal.
  • Provide a variety of food: While oats are a great squirrel attractant, it’s always a good idea to offer a variety of food options to cater to their preferences. Include other treats like nuts, seeds, and fruits to entice squirrels to visit your yard regularly.
  • Use squirrel-proof feeders: Invest in squirrel-proof feeders to prevent squirrels from hogging all the food and leaving nothing for other backyard visitors. These feeders are designed with built-in mechanisms that make it difficult for squirrels to access the food.
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Oats As A Squirrel Attractant: Dos And Don’Ts:


  • Use rolled oats: Rolled oats are the best type of oats to offer squirrels as they are easier for them to eat and digest.
  • Place oats in shallow containers: Provide the oats in shallow containers or dishes to make it convenient for squirrels to access and enjoy them.
  • Keep oats dry: Ensure that the oats remain dry as moisture can cause them to become clumpy and unappetizing for squirrels.


  • Avoid using flavored oats: While humans may enjoy flavored oats, it’s best to stick to plain, unflavored oats for squirrels. Artificial flavors and additives can be harmful to their health.
  • Do not overfeed: It’s important not to overfeed squirrels, as it can lead to dependency and disrupt their natural foraging behaviors. Offer oats as a supplement to their diet, rather than their sole source of nutrition.

Other Ways To Encourage Squirrels To Visit Your Yard:

  • Plant squirrel-friendly trees and shrubs: Squirrels love to climb and seek refuge in trees and shrubs. Planting species like oak, hickory, and pine can provide them with safe havens and natural food sources.
  • Provide nesting opportunities: Install squirrel nesting boxes in your yard to provide squirrels with additional shelter options. These boxes mimic the natural tree cavities that squirrels use for nesting.
  • Create a water source: Place a shallow birdbath or small pond in your yard as a water source for squirrels. They will appreciate having access to clean water for drinking and bathing.
  • Avoid using chemical pesticides: Squirrels are sensitive to chemicals, so try to use natural methods for pest control in your yard. This will ensure a safe and inviting environment for squirrels.

By following these tips, you can create a welcoming space for squirrels in your yard and enjoy the beauty and entertainment they bring. So, go ahead and attract those adorable furry visitors with a tasty offering of oats, and watch as your yard becomes their favorite hangout spot.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Do Squirrels Eat Oats

Can Birds And Squirrels Eat Dry Oatmeal?

Yes, birds and squirrels can eat dry oatmeal. Dry oatmeal is safe for birds and squirrels to consume and can be a tasty treat for them. Oats are a nutritious and high-energy food source that many animals, including birds and squirrels, enjoy.

Whether it’s in the wild or purchased from a store, oats are a suitable food for these animals. So, if you have some extra dry oatmeal, you can feel free to offer it to birds and squirrels without any concerns.

What Animals Will Eat Oats?

Oats are eaten by a variety of animals, including horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, pigs, and poultry. However, oats have lower nutritional value compared to other grains like maize and cereals, so they may not meet the energy requirements of high-yielding animals.

Despite this, they are still commonly used as feed ingredients for many animals. Birds, including squirrels, can also eat oats. Raw porridge oats are safe for birds and can be a delicious treat for them. It’s important to note that oats found in the grocery store are similar to what birds encounter in the wild.

So if you’re wondering what animals will eat oats, the answer is a range of livestock and birds, including squirrels.

What Should You Not Feed Squirrels?

Squirrels should not be fed certain foods for their safety and health. Avoid feeding them large quantities of oats or other grains as they can cause digestive issues. Additionally, do not feed them processed foods like cookies or sugary treats, as they are not suitable for their natural diet.

It is also important to avoid feeding squirrels human foods that are high in salt, such as chips or pretzels, as it can be harmful to their health. Lastly, it is best not to feed squirrels any food that has been contaminated with pesticides or chemicals, as it can be toxic to them.

Stick to their natural diet of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables to ensure their well-being.

Can Chipmunks Eat Quick Oats?

Yes, chipmunks can eat quick oats. Oats are a safe and nutritious food for chipmunks.


Squirrels do eat oats. Whether it’s raw porridge oats or steel-cut oats, squirrels are known to enjoy these grains as part of their diet. Oats can be a nutritious and energy-rich food source for these small mammals. While squirrels are primarily herbivores, they have been observed foraging and eating a variety of nuts, seeds, and grains, oats included.

Providing oats as a supplemental food source can attract squirrels to your backyard or garden, allowing you to observe their behaviors up close. However, it’s important to note that while squirrels can safely consume oats, moderation is key. Excessive amounts of oats or any other food can potentially lead to health issues for squirrels.

So, if you plan on feeding oats to squirrels, it’s best to do so in small quantities as part of a varied diet.

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