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Behavioral Issues in Ferrets

Does your Poway ferret sometimes misbehave? Ferrets may be small, but they pack a lot of personality into those cute little bodies. If you have one of these feisty cuties for a pet, you may have experienced a bit of naughty behavior from your ferret. Ferrets don’t mean to be bad, but they can be a bit feisty.

Here are some tips on common behavioral issues in ferrets:

Biting

Ferrets often bite each other as part of their natural interactions with one another. Ferret skin is much thicker than human skin, and is of course protected by that silky fur, so ferrets don’t hurt one another when they nip. You may need to teach your ferret not to nip or bite. Never yell at, hit, or punish your ferret, as this will only frighten him. What you can do is pick up your ferret and blow on his face. This won’t hurt your ferret, but will probably annoy him enough to discourage him from biting. Holding your ferret by the scruff and bringing him to an immediate time-out in his cage can also be effective, especially if you have other ferrets and they get to stay out and play.

Stealing

Your cute little pet may be a bit of a thief. Stealing is a natural behavior for ferrets. In the wild, ferrets hunt, and then often hide their catch. Somehow, when ferrets became domesticated, this behavior translated into stealing items that are not food. This is apparently a built-in behavior in ferrets, as they were actually named after the Latin word for thief. Ferrets have been known to steal pretty much anything they can move, from computer mice, to socks, to jewelry. Typically, ferrets will hoard these items, often in their cages. Sometimes ferrets will steal items only to make themselves soft little beds.

Destructive Behavior

Ferrets are very emotional animals, and have definitely been known to have temper tantrums. Your ferret may destroy his belongings, or tear up your carpet, in a fit of ferret rage. If your ferret is really acting out, try to see if you can figure out why. Did you just get another pet that is maybe cutting into your ferret’s time with you? Is your ferret not getting enough time outside his cage? Figuring out why your ferret is being destructive is the first step in learning what tactics to use to correct the behavior.

Please click here for more articles from your Poway vet, and feel free to contact us with any questions on caring for your pet ferret.

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