Are Squirrels Rodents? [Find the Truth]

The order of Rodentia, one of the largest families of mammals, has more than 2050 living species. There are 29 families with 468 genera- you can guess how big their family is, right? If you count the numbers, there are more than 7 billion rats in the world- one for every human!  

But it’s not only about rats; other rodents like the chipmunks, capybaras, guinea pigs, etc. are included in the list too. And what about squirrels- is a squirrel a rodent? In one word- yes, squirrels are rodents. 

And today, we will discuss everything about the squirrels as rodents- from their class to why they are classified as rodents. Let’s dive into the conversation!

Are Squirrels Rodents?

Is a Squirrel a Rodent? 

If we think about mammals, rodents are the largest order them. Among all the animals that breathe air and do not lay eggs, instead, birth living babies, rodents are the largest order. 

There is confusion regarding the squirrels. You’ll see people be disgusted about the rats most of the time but love squirrels for how they are! Well, to open your eyes, let us tell you once again that squirrels are rodents. 

Unlike rat and groundhog rodents, squirrels live in the trees. The idea that “rodents only live on or inside the ground or house” is not right. It’s quite chilling if we say squirrels are just tree rats.

Squirrels and the Class 

Now that you know squirrels are rodents, you might ask why they are in this class! It’s tough to suddenly decide if it’s a rodent or not as there are more than 2000 species of rodents living among us. 

But we will make it easier for you. To begin with, there are three major groups of this family- 

Mouse-like Rodents: These rodents are just like the mouse. They have long whiskers and tails. Also, if you look at their face, you’ll see that they have pointed faces. 

Cavy-like Rodents: Such rodents have short tails, unlike mouse-like rodents. But their body is stronger and includes a large head. 

Squirrels: The squirrel rodents have soft fur compared to the other ones. What makes them different is their bushy and soft tails. Also, as they climb trees, they have a flexible body type. 

Why are Rodents Squirrels?

We have discussed the squirrels in the rodents’ family. But what characteristics of a squirrel make them rodents? We will brief it in a while.

Features of a Squirrel that makes it a Rodent

Features of a Squirrel that makes it a Rodent 


The very first defining characteristic of a squirrel that makes it a rodent is the set of incisors. Both their lower and upper jaws keep growing. The growth never stops. 

This works for all rodents and it’s one of the significant features of any rodent. The specialized structure of their teeth and jaws is the major feature that makes the squirrel a rodent. 


The next characteristics are easy- you already see that almost all rodents have bodies that are covered with hair. 

Compared to other animals that have bodies that are covered with scales or feathers, rodents have fur or body hair. The same goes for squirrels too. This makes the squirrels a rodent. 


And finally, they don’t lay eggs like the other classes of animals. Instead, they give birth to live babies to continue their family tree. Besides, they also nurse their young and teach them the basics of living.  

Wrap Up 

Though squirrels are adored when they are in the trees, they can be destructive too. They have developed their fame as pests because of their destructive character. 

They impose a lot of health hazards and so, squirrels living alongside humans cause a lot of danger. They are fearless and territorial in cases and can bite you if they feel threatened.

About Dale E. Bitting

He is the founder of Rodents Info, where he provides comprehensive methods, tips, tricks, and techniques to keep harmful rodents at bay from homes and landscapes. As a rodents expert, he shares valuable information and resources to help safeguard properties against unwelcome critters. Dale is also passionate about nurturing and caring for harmless pet rodents. He offers pet parenting guides, tips, and advice to ensure these furry companions live happy and healthy lives. Join him as he explores the fascinating world of rodents and celebrates the joy they bring to our lives. Learn more..

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