I am Dana, a Veterinary Doctor who studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. For years, I have got common questions from friends and family about their pets. So, I decided to open up this website and answer all those frequently asked questions. Alongside, here I share my expert knowledge about pet care, pet health and the animal environment. Click Here to read more about me. Thanks for visiting aplaceforanimals.com

Do Ferrets Bite? Tips To Train Your Pet To Stop Biting

do ferrets bite

Have you heard of ferrets? You must have! Ferrets are popular among many new pet owners now. They are usually in cages, but you’ll be surprised to know they love to explore, play, and do fun activities with you. You can say they are like dogs or cats.

You may have seen many videos of people making their ferrets dance. It’s very cute! They’ve slim, flexible bodies and great companions once they get comfortable.

As ferrets are becoming a popular pet choice, you may also feel the urge to get one for your home. That’s a good decision! But no animal is flawless, right? Now you may ask, “So, what’s the flaw? Do ferrets bite? Are they dangerous?” Well, ferrets do bite sometimes, but there are reasons behind it.

Before you get a ferret for yourself or someone else, go through this article to learn everything about them.

Are Ferrets Dangerous?

Yes, there’re wild ferrets but the ones kept as pets are domesticated. Sure, their sharp teeth and occasional hissing can make them seem dangerous. But they’re loving and sweet animals.

Your pet ferret will stay by your side and may even snuggle with you. The fun part is you can even take your pet on a walk with a leash on. Sounds interesting, right?

If you’re still worried about the biting part, you must know any animal with teeth will bite—one day or another. But that doesn’t mean they’re dangerous. Moreover, if you’re that afraid, you can always have a ferret cage setup where your pet can stay.

So, no, ferrets aren’t dangerous; they have an adorable array of personalities. That’s what we are going to talk about in the next portion.

Ferrets’ Behavior & Personality Traits

We love talking about ferrets. Hope we aren’t boring you. Like humans, animals have distinct behaviors and traits that make them stand out among others. But ferrets have some common behaviors.

Note : NOT all ferrets will have all the mentioned traits.

  1. Smart: You won’t believe how smart a ferret really is! They can quickly figure out how to climb on furniture and countertops. They can also calculate the distance of the jump to be able to land without getting hurt. Ferrets will also knock over stuff to reach their destination. Does this seem similar to any animal? Yes, you’re right; cats also do the same thing.
  1. Leadership: Not all ferrets have this trait, but if you have more than one ferret, you will notice an alpha among them.
  1. Protective: Ferrets are protective of their babies and themselves. They can easily get startled and act defensive, but they love to be quiet and snuggle with you the whole day.
  1. Friendly: Some ferrets are friends of the world. They aren’t afraid to meet new people and can easily befriend anyone. They think of everyone as a new playmate.
  1. Silly: All ferrets are silly little animals. If you have a pet ferret, you definitely know they’re quirky. They will sometimes fall suddenly and look at you to pretend they meant to do it.
  1. Loving: Ferrets love warm places, and what’s better than your lap? You’ll find your ferret cuddling with you while you’re asleep or sitting on a sofa. You now have a lap ferret.
  1. Jealous: Some ferrets can get jealous of other animals. They want to be in the spotlight at all times. Sometimes they can become so protective of their owner that they won’t let anyone come near them.

Aggressive Ferret Behavior to Other Ferret

Ferrets like being with other ferrets. Usually, they don’t fight with their cagemates, but many ferret owners have noticed fights between male ferrets.

Fights between male ferrets could occur during the ferret mating season if kept in the same cage. They behave aggressively toward other ferrets at that time to show their dominance. This makes them more attractive to females. Moreover, this aggressive behavior occurs due to hormonal changes.

But they can also show violence to the female ferrets leading to fights. So, it’s our advice not to breed ferrets.

Why Do Ferrets Bite?

“If ferrets are so sweet, why do they bite?” This may be the question that’s going through your mind now. Right? No worries, you’ll get your answers in this portion of the article, where we will discuss why your pet ferret bites you.

6 Reasons Behind Ferret’s Biting Behavior

Ferrets are gentle-natured animals. They love being social and mischievous. But their biting behavior isn’t like other animals—just intentional and accidental. Here are six reasons for your pet’s biting behavior.

1. Your ferret is teething

Believe it or not, ferrets lose baby teeth to make place for adult teeth—just like any puppies or kittens. Ferrets grow to have 34 teeth in their life–molars, premolar, canines, and incisors. The canine teeth are the ones they use to bite or grab prey. They’re called fangs.

The teething process gets complete at about nine months of age. They will tend to nibble or bite you at this stage because of their soar gums, just like babies.

2. Your pet ferret is playing

Ferrets love to play bite. If you give them some toys, you will notice them chewing on them. When your pet ferret wants to play, it will nip on your feet or hands to get your attention. So, this behavior isn’t an act of aggression.

3. Your ferret is scared or startled by something

Ferrets are small and vulnerable animals. They get spooked by loud noises or even sometimes new people or scents.

The other reason for fear of biting could be past neglect and abuse. Maybe your pet is traumatized by their horrible past where they got mistreated. This can trigger fear and make them bite you.

4. You have some scent on you that your ferret likes

Food-like scents are the most common reason for a ferret bite. They might be drawn towards the smell if you’ve eaten something before handling your ferret.

Moreover, some scents like fruits or berries draw the attention of ferrets. You can predict this bite coming as they may lick you first.

Likewise, scents like nail polish, paint, cleaning chemicals, etc., can cause aggression in your pet as they don’t like these scents.

❓Did You Know : Ferrets have poor eyesight, so they often depend on their smelling sense.

5. Your little furry buddy wants your attention

Ferrets can be needy at times. They will curl up to you and nibble on your hand to pet them. Moreover, they can’t speak, so they try to use sounds or bites as a way of ferret communication.

6. Your ferret is in pain or sick

If your ferret is biting you suddenly, it might be in pain or has a disease. If you had your pet from a young age and they suddenly start biting when stepping into adulthood, hormonal changes are the reason. But after that, if this behavior is new, you must contact a vet and get them checked.

How to Stop a Ferret from Biting?

The reasons for your ferret biting you isn’t a problem unless it’s related to health issues. But, do you think it’s a good habit? No, right! Biting is never good behavior and shouldn’t be encouraged by any pet owner. You need to train your ferret from an early age, so we have four ways to help you.

How to Train a Ferret Not to Bite in 4 Ways

Bite training isn’t going to be easy or quick. You must be patient to make your ferret understand that biting isn’t good behavior. Moreover, not all the ways will work for your pet. So, don’t lose hope in the very beginning. Stick to the ones that work and carry them out for a week or so. In some cases, it may take longer.

Training Tip 1: Play with your ferret

playing with pet ferret
Image credit: kemll, Pixabay

When bringing a pet into a new home or environment, it’s important to familiarize them with their surroundings. They may be scared of the latest equipment or afraid to explore. So, you have to do it for them.

Try positive reinforcement training.

  • Give them treats while playing if they behave well.
  • You can also pick them up under their armpits and give them some pets.
  • Talk to them while walking through the rooms in your house, and if they start biting, let them down and walk away.
  • Lastly,  ferret-proof your home so your little friend feels safe.

Training Tip 2: Scruff your ferret and Hiss

Mother ferrets hiss when they want to scold their babies. As a human ferret mom, you can apply this way too. Whenever your ferret is biting you, scruff them on the loose back neck skin and pick them up to your eye level. Then hiss at them to sign that it’s not appropriate behavior. You can also firmly say “NO” to train them to stop biting whenever they hear you say it.

Your ferret might wiggle or struggle while doing this training but don’t worry; they aren’t getting hurt. Also, try not to pinch their skin too hard, which might cause pain, making them act out.

Training Tip 3: Timeout Box

Like tip number two, the timeout method is also an effective way to train your pet ferrets. All you need for this training is a box with height.

Whenever your pet ferret bites you, just pick them up, hiss, and place them in the timeout box. Don’t keep them in the box for longer than 2-3 minutes, as your ferret will forget what they are in there for. It will only confuse them and make them miserable.

Do this training every time your ferret starts biting; slowly but surely, they will learn to behave.

Training Tip 4: Use Unpleasant-tasting things

If your ferret is biting you because they think your hand or feet smells nice, there’s an easy solution to stop it. Use lemon or vinegar to prevent your ferret from biting you. It has an unpleasant taste and won’t harm your buddy. Just avoid using any spices or chemicals.

All Your Ferret Needs is Love

Any animal with teeth will bite, but now you know why. You will also get positive results if you apply the training tips properly. But most of all, your furry pal needs love to understand and bond with you.

Some people keep their ferrets in cages for a long time which causes stress and neglection feelings. Don’t do this! It’s an inhumane act. If you don’t know how to care for an animal, you shouldn’t get one in the first place.

We hope you can now bond with your ferret better. Wishing you a great day!

For more helpful information, explore our website like a ferret would do. Don’t forget to leave a comment because we love hearing from you!

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