Squirrel eating

Can Squirrels Eat Cherries?

Squirrels, those nimble acrobats of our backyards and woodlands, have dietary preferences that are fascinating to explore. Understanding what’s safe and nourishing for these furry foragers is essential for anyone who observes their antics. If you’ve ever wondered whether these agile creatures can indulge in the juicy delight of cherries, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll delve into the question of whether cherries can be a delightful addition to a squirrel’s diet, ensuring the well-being of these lively tree-dwellers.

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Cherries – A Brief Overview

Cherries, those plump and colorful fruits that often find their way into pies, tarts, and fruit bowls, are a summer favorite among humans. These small stone fruits come in various varieties, all known for their sweet or tart flavors. Cherries are not just beloved for their taste; they also boast impressive nutritional content. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins (such as vitamin C and A), and dietary fiber. Their vibrant appearance and juicy nature make them an inviting treat for humans. However, before considering them for our furry friends, let’s understand what cherries are all about.

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The Squirrel Diet

Squirrels, whether they are bounding through the treetops or leaping across backyard fences, are herbivores with a penchant for nuts, seeds, and plant matter. In the wild, they enjoy a varied diet that includes acorns, seeds, buds, and fruits that they gather with great dexterity. This diet provides them with the essential nutrients they need to thrive. It’s crucial to replicate this diet as closely as possible to ensure the well-being of squirrels in our proximity. A balanced diet is fundamental for squirrel health, and providing them with the right nutrition is central to responsible squirrel observation. With this in mind, let’s explore the specifics of what squirrels typically consume and why it’s pivotal for their vitality.

Can Squirrels Eat Cherries?

With a grasp of what cherries are and what squirrels naturally consume, we can now address the central question: Can squirrels safely enjoy cherries? The answer is a tentative yes. Squirrels can indeed eat cherries, but there are nuances to consider. Cherries themselves are not toxic to squirrels, and many squirrels are naturally curious and may sample them if available. However, the caution lies in the pits. Cherry pits can be a choking hazard, and if squirrels ingest them, it can lead to digestive issues. Therefore, if you decide to offer cherries to squirrels, it’s crucial to remove the pits or opt for pitless varieties, and chop the cherries into small, manageable pieces. Additionally, moderation is key; cherries should be an occasional treat rather than a primary food source for squirrels.

The Benefits

Why might you consider sharing cherries with your neighborhood squirrels? Cherries come with a range of potential benefits for these furry foragers. They are a source of essential vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which can bolster the squirrel’s immune system and overall health. The juicy nature of cherries can also provide much-needed hydration, especially during hot weather. Furthermore, cherries contain antioxidants that can help protect squirrels from oxidative stress. While cherries should not replace their natural diet, they can be a delightful and nutritious addition that offers variety and a bit of extra nourishment. It’s essential, however, to provide cherries in moderation to avoid overconsumption and any associated risks.

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The Risks

While cherries can be a tempting treat for squirrels, it’s vital to consider the potential risks. One primary concern is the cherry pits, which can pose a choking hazard for squirrels. Ingesting these pits may also lead to digestive problems, which can be uncomfortable for these small mammals. Additionally, overfeeding squirrels with cherries can disrupt their diet and lead to health issues. Squirrels should consume cherries in moderation, with a focus on their natural diet as the primary source of nutrition. It’s also important to note that not all squirrels may be equally receptive to cherries, and their reactions can vary. It’s best to observe their preferences and adjust the feeding accordingly.

Preparation and Feeding

To offer cherries to squirrels safely, you should take a few steps. First and foremost, remove the pits from the cherries to prevent choking hazards. Chop or slice the cherries into small, bite-sized pieces to make them easier for squirrels to handle. It’s also important to offer fresh and clean cherries; avoid moldy or spoiled ones as they can harm the squirrels. Fresh, ripe cherries are not only safer but also more appealing to these animals. Remember, moderation is crucial. Treat cherries as an occasional supplement to their natural diet, rather than the main course.


In conclusion, the question of whether squirrels can enjoy cherries has a nuanced answer: yes, but with caution. Cherries can be a delightful and potentially nutritious treat for these agile creatures, offering a source of vitamins and hydration. However, it’s essential to be aware of the risks, particularly the choking hazard of cherry pits and the potential for digestive issues. Squirrels should consume cherries in moderation, and their primary diet should consist of their natural foraged foods. By offering cherries occasionally and responsibly, you can enhance the well-being of the squirrels that share our outdoor spaces. A mindful squirrel enthusiast ensures the health and happiness of these lively animals while enjoying their charming antics.

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About the author

Victoria Nelson

Victoria Nelson is a passionate gardener with over a decade of experience in horticulture and sustainable gardening practices. With a degree in Horticulture, she has a deep understanding of plants, garden design, and eco-friendly gardening techniques. Victoria aims to inspire and educate gardeners of all skill levels through her engaging articles, offering practical advice drawn from her own experiences. She believes in creating beautiful, biodiverse gardens that support local wildlife. When not writing or gardening, Victoria enjoys exploring new gardens and connecting with the gardening community. Her enthusiasm for gardening is infectious, making her a cherished source of knowledge and inspiration.

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