Occasional Visitor

Ferret Biting

I have an albino, partially deaf female ferret. She has a bad biting problem that I think originated from being mistreated at the store. I've had her for a few months and have tried many methods to getting her to stop. I think part of the problem is a trust issue that she has developed towards humans. When I try to correct her with scruffing, she thinks nothing of it and tries to bite again as soon as I stop scruffing. I've tried bitter spray and it stops her biting in that instant but hasn't had any lasting effect. Time outs have no meaning to her either. She doesn't like any treats thus far in order try to and reward good behaviors. What do I do?

4 REPLIES
Community Manager

Re: Ferret Biting

[ Edited ]

Hi crazyferretmom.

 

Thank you for your question and welcome to the community! Here's a previous conversation from the community on this subject that may be helpful. Ferrets may bite, but they bite indiscriminately if they have not been properly trained. Kits will bite often at first, until they have been trained not to. Still, trained ferrets will sometimes bite if they are scared or hurt. Wearing gloves is not necessary for handling a well-trained, properly treated ferret.

 

If your ferret bites or otherwise misbehaves with you during play, you may want to try scruffing her. Scruffing is grabbing your ferret by the thick skin on the back of their neck and dragging a short distance. This is accepted, routine discipline between ferrets, and it works between humans and ferrets too. Here's an article with information on ferret behavior

 

I'd love to see a photo of her!

Alex Cat Very Happy

Frequent Contributor

Re: Ferret Biting

Maybe your Pherret gets scared easily, it is possible that she was not taken care of when she was in the pet store. Try to approch her quietly but make sure she knows you are going to pick her up before you do.Because she is half deaf she dosen't always know what is going on around her.

Contributor

Re: Ferret Biting

How old is she and how long have you had her?

I have 4, and only one has ever given me a biting problem. Scruffing seemed to stop him, and now it is very rare for him to bite at all. All of mine are free roamers. The cage doesn't have a door, and they come and go as they please. I've found that ferrets become very docile as time goes on as free roamers. Almost to the point of being like cats. I talk to all of mine, almost like they were children, in a smooth upbeat kinda of voice all the time, and when they do something bad, I give them a much "harsher" tone. Praise and treats for using litter box, which really isn't much of a problem any more. My youngest doesn't take treats. He's a Petco ferret that another family bought. They did'nt want him after about 6 months.  He's probably about 19 months old and a super well behaved little fat boy...lol Never had a biting problem with him. He's a chow hound.... boy never passes the kibble bowl....lol

When I had to scruf mine, I did it very quickly and abruptly at the time of the bite, not to hurt him, but to shock him at the quickness and untill he yawned ( the sign of submission ), with my other hand right up in his face. Now, he's pretty much a cuddle bug.

In playing it's normal for them to "mouth" you, and sometimes a sharp tooth will scratch and draw a little blood. Almost like a cat sctatch. That's mostly normal, and I don't "punish" for that.

 

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Ferret Biting

Can you give us a little report how is it now?
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