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Difficulties Introducing Kit to Older Ferrets

We have two ferrets, a male and a female, both roughly the same age (2 years old.) We bought them separately about a month apart and had no issues introducing the two of them and they shared a cage that day. About a week ago, we brought home a male kit (approx 2 months old) and we're not having the same experience. The older ferrets have been attacking him (bitting his neck and shaking back and forth, their tails will poof, etc.) I've noticed a couple very small superficial bite and scratch marks, but nothing serious, but the kit will cry and run away whenever the older ones get close to him. If they are biting him, he will sometimes fear poop and we will separate them. 

They are residing in separate levels of the same cage, but blocked off so they don't have unsupervised access to eachother and I have swapped their bedding. We put them together one at at time so both the older ferrets aren't going after the baby, in as neutral of a room as we have. We try to get them to interact by putting them in the room together and also by holding them together so we have control over both ferrets. Still no real success in getting them to have any positive interacitons- all of them have ended in the older ferret biting the kit's neck and shaking and poofing their tails and sometimes fear poop from the kit.

 

I'm wondering- how often or how many times per day should we try to put them together? Right now we're tyring at least a couple of times per day with both older ferrets. Is this too aggressive and are we forcing the issue/making matters worse? 

 

Also- how can you tell if this just isn't going to work? I've read that some ferrets just don't get along, but I feel like if the first two could do it, they could accept the new kit. I don't want to traumatize the baby in case we have to take him back (which would absolutely break my heart!!!) and I don't want to make him suffer/stress here. 

 

I've read a lot of articles and watched videos about this and just hope that I'm doing the right thing. We want to keep this baby. Any advice would be apprecaited!! Thank you Smiley Happy 

3 REPLIES
Community Representative

Re: Difficulties Introducing Kit to Older Ferrets

[ Edited ]

Hi, KelseyReyne. Thank you for posting and welcome to the Petco Community. We're sorry to hear your ferrets aren't bonding yet. You can take a look at some articles that can give you some great tips with introducing your two ferrets. Here is an article on ferret behavior: https://goo.gl/Z78omR. And here you can find tips on introducing your ferrets here:  https://goo.gl/Gx42f3. We hope this helps. Let us know how it works out. Good luck!

-Tiffany W.

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New Contributor

Re: Difficulties Introducing Kit to Older Ferrets

Hi!

Update! After a few months, we were able to get the 2 boys (older boy and the new kit) to get along!! They cuddle and play together and we are able to house them in the same cage. Success!!!

However, we have not had any success in getting the female to get along with the baby. We've had the kit for 5 months now (he is now 7 months old.) The girl is pretty small- she weighs a little over 1 lb and the kit weighs over 3 lbs. They will circle and sniff eachother for a minite or two, then the girl will attack the baby without any provocation. For example, just today they sniffed each other and walked away. After a few seconds, the baby laid down on the floor facing the girl. The girl went up to him, bit his neck and immediately started to shake violently. When this happens, I scruff the girl and put her in time out in the cage. We only put the two together in the bathroom (neutral space) and they are always supervised. The female is deaf, which makes her more difficult to train and she also can't hear him cry when she attacks him. I'm not sure what else to do as we have tried EVERYTHING.

Will it be a matter of time before she warms up to him or are we at the point where we're going to have to come to terms with the fact that she will always be aggressive towards him? Thanks!
Contributor

Re: Difficulties Introducing Kit to Older Ferrets

You may not want to hear this, but.... My female, "Ms Lil"  ( passed away July 15th at 10 years old ) would never have any other femails around her. She was a cuddle bug, loved the other boys like a moma but was not having any other female around. The local rescue, where I got 2 of my fuzz balls, has to keep a varity of the residence seperated. They let them out in groups to play, and some groups can not be let out with others because they just never get along and there is always some conflict. And it seems that the females are the agressors a lot of the time in these conflicts.

Ferrets are wonderful little creatures, but do have some funny quirks about certain things. I feel for your situation, but don't know which way you should go next at this time.

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