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Ferret aggressive bowl biting

My ferret is about 10 weeks old and the vet said she is no longer teething. When she is chewing her food, she will latch on to the bowl and aggressively start attacking/grinding her teeth on the bowl. I have changed bowls and she only does this on her food bowl, not her water bowl. If I try to scruff her she gets very territorial and and will hiss and make various noises at me, and when I reach to scruff her she is very startled. My vet said it is a behavioral thing and try to discipline her when she does this, but she does this ALL the time, every couple bites of food. I have noticed she normally does it "mid-chew" where she still has some food in her mouth. She has been doing this since we got her 2-3 weeks ago.
7 REPLIES
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Re: Ferret aggressive bowl biting

Your ferret still will need a chew toy even if she isn't teething.

Ratlover252525
New Contributor

Re: Ferret aggressive bowl biting

I have never personally had one of my beloved ferrets (in over 40 years) do this (bite it's food dish) but i would never recommend "scoffing" a ferret. They are not designed to be scroofed as cat is. Is the food bowl filled or empty? Is there any other ferrets or pets in the home? Is the ferret confined to a cage? So many varations. In general a health ferret only acts out due to bordom Or even in this case your ferret may not like the food even. Hard to say for sure. As far as the ferret 'hissing' this i found to be normal. About 50% of my ferrets did this...but i found they're just testing sounds they can make. 90% of ferret stop all sounds by the time they reach 6 months. I don't get on the internet currently very often (taking care of my elderly parents) but if i can help in any way please feel free to contact me either on facebook or twitter (@team_Pebbles). If this is your 1st ferret i promise with love & patience you will find the love that grows between you & your ferret is a blessing. Ferrets truly are my Passion. Best to you & yours

New Contributor

Re: Ferret aggressive bowl biting

She has chew toys - this is strictly only when she is eating. She does not behave like this when she is anywhere other than her food bowl

New Contributor

Re: Ferret aggressive bowl biting

This is my second ferret, my first ferret unfortunately passed when we changed her diet. They are/were both Marshall ferrets so I am hesitant to change her food due to what happened to our last ferret. She ONLY does this to her food bowl in the back/sides of the bowl, not the front where she rests her feet - note the blue food bowl vs purple water bowl in the picture below. She does this even if the food bowl is filled to the very top. I have tried changing the levels or location of the food bowl in her cage and from a thinner to a thicker plastic bowl... but neither of these have changed how she eats. She is an only ferret and we do not bother her while she eats, she is allowed to roam free through (most) rooms in the house and we try to keep her as entertained as possible - but I don't believe boredom plays in to her biting her food bowl.

 

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New Contributor

Re: Ferret aggressive bowl biting

It sounds like she may not like the food. If the food is different from what your ferret was originally eating before you adopted your fuzie it may just take a bit of time. -or- your ferret has found by biting at the bowl gets your attention.  As long as your ferret is eating & isn't bored this habbit (bowl biting) will subside. My guess is your ferret is trying to get your attention. Ferrets truly love to be the center of attention. Best to you & your fuzzie!

New Contributor

Re: Ferret aggressive bowl biting

Based on your reply (awesome facts givin'...thank you) & you said the fuzzie saw a vet...then it's most likely the fuzzy has learned that chewing the bowl gets your attention. Rather it's just you moving the bowl, adding more food to it, etc. Trust me my Cocoa, even at his age, occasionally goes back to kicking his own food everywhere! Though i stand back & do not react to it, i know it's his way of trying to tell me something. With my fuzzies having free roam of our home (except when i'm not home of course...safety) & being healthy, etc i watch him closely but without him knowing he caught my attention & 100% of the time it's just a old habbit for him & at times he will do it. All animals form habbits, some at a very early age, i found most of my fuzzies that originally were bred by Marshall's come with a some sort of habbit. Basically if a ferret is from any big-chain pet supply stores (Petco, Petsmart, etc) they are from Marshall's. I hope i helped you & your fuzzie. I'm not sure why (if done properly) switching  food brands would kill a fuzzie. If you were told because you properly switched a ferret from Marshall food to another is why your ferret died...do NOT believe that! That is Ridicouls & shame on whoever made you believe that! All my fuzzies were properly switched from the original food...(& have their own food bowls) w/their own favorite food. Cool thing is they never eat out of the other's food bowls. 

New Contributor

Re: Ferret aggressive bowl biting

Opps almost forgot...you have a very smart ferret...you said she doesn't chew the front side of her bowl...well the chewed backside & sides wouldn't wouldn't feel good to any ferret (on her face, nose, mouth) so by her making sure the front is soft she's so smart! Try to be patient but if i can help let me know.

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