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Caring for a Rescued Chipmunk

Category Wildlife
Hand feeding a rescued chipmunk.
Sometimes our pets bring us gifts of small wildlife, such as chipmunks. If you receive such a gift or find an injured or seemingly orphaned one you will want to care for it until it is well or taken to a rescue. This is a guide about caring for a rescued chipmunk.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
June 17, 2009

My cat caught a chipmunk, but I got it away from him. I brought him in the house and put him in a container. He looks shocked and I can't tell if he's injured. I don't see any blood anywhere, but I don't want to scare it anymore than it has been, so I don't want to pick it up just yet. What can I do for it?


By elliemay from Plymouth, NH

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 17, 20090 found this helpful

The smartest thing would be to contact your local wildlife rescue place and turn it over to them. That's the smart thing.

Now here's what I would do (and have done in the past). For a chipmunk, I would put him in a good sized hamster cage. Hamster food would be good for him.

One thing that you don't want to do is to try and handle him. Not now or in the future. If he doesn't start to come around in a day or two, take him to a vet. He may have internal injuries. But remember. He is a wild animal, no matter how small and cute he is. And once he has been nursed back to health, he should be released back into the wild. Or at least turned over to a zoo.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

June 17, 20090 found this helpful

From my reading I have learned that at least in birds when a cat punctures the skin, it will cause a bacterial infection that will be fatal. The chipmunk might need antibiotics to heal properly. Look up wildlife rehabilitators in your area and see if there is one nearby. Take it over there and let them worry about it. Thank you for caring for it though.

PS I remember reading a story about an imprinted Crow that loved humans and was a pet. It got loose and went to another person for love, thus showing no fear, and the person killed it with a broom. Teaching animals to trust people when that animal is wild is causing that animal to be very disadvantaged as soon as it is healed it will still like to be around people. I hope this helps. I will help you look for a re habber if you cant find one. Robyn

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June 18, 20090 found this helpful

Wildlife rescue as suggested is the best idea and if you see no blood or obvious woulds, I'd let it back out in the woods.

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June 18, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks everybody for your advice. The chipmunk had a small wound on its leg and I put organic antibiotic on it for a few days and he was eating and doing great. I let him go back to the wild this morning. He jumped out of the cage and just sat there looking at me for the longest time and I scooted it a little to tell it to go and he ran off into the bushes. It was a great experience!

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August 30, 20110 found this helpful

Hi, I lost my chipmunk some months ago. My sincere advice/request to you is NEVER feed a chipmunk with cow's milk (from my personal experience).

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By 0 found this helpful
May 9, 2017

I saved a chipmunk from my cat last night, and kept it in a small cage with hay, birdseed, and water. This morning I checked on it, and it seemed to be dead although it wasn't stiff. I checked its body all over and it didn't appear to have any puncture wounds and no bleeding. It didn't respond to anything I did to it, but I noticed that it seemed to be breathing, but very shallowly. It's almost as if its playing dead, but more so appears to be in a deep sleep. If it is, why wouldn't it wake when I was handling it? I set it back down and left it alone. I'm afraid to just lay it out in the yard for fear that something will get at it. What should I do?


Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 10, 20170 found this helpful

Make sure it is warm and fed. Check to see if its mother appears. Here is a great article:

http://animals.  pmunks-8534.html

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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