Posted on Leave a comment

How to Stop Ferret Biting

How to Stop Ferret Biting

how to stop ferret biting

Most ferrets are loving, playful, social animals. As with any pet, however, there are a few who seem to be biters. There is hope for the biter, however. Most aggressive ferrets can be turned into gentle pets if given the correct amount of training and patience.

Ferrets can bite for many reasons–most are not due to aggressiveness. Before you address how to stop ferret biting, you need to identify the reason why your ferret is biting.

First of all, not all ferret bites should be considered attacks–most are not. Biting is sometimes the way a ferret tries to communicate. She may want to play and give you a nip to get your attention. If your ferret bites and holds on, or bites so hard that she draws blood, it is not a friendly nip. Both types of biting can be corrected.

Some reasons why a ferret may bite:

Baby ferrets

Young ferrets are natural nippers. They explore the world with their mouths and they also go through teething. If this is the case, it really should not be a concern, as they will grow out of it with a little training.

Untrained

Ferrets need to be trained not to nip when they are young. Ferrets play hard with littermates and playmates. They need to have limits set so they know how hard they can play with you.

Sick or injured

If your ferret isn’t feeling well or is hurt she can’t tell you. She may be in pain and want to be left alone. If this is a sudden change in behavior, it may be the case. Be sure to have her checked by a vet.

Unneutered

Unneutered ferrets can be more aggressive than neutered ones. Hormones can cause a male ferret to assert his dominance over others–including you. The solution is to get him neutered.

Change

Change, whether good or bad can be scary. A ferret in a strange situation or environment may be frightened and confused. When a ferret is under stress, she may bite. Give her time to adjust to the new situation, person or environment before you consider her biting a problem.

Displaced aggression

Some ferrets react aggressively to particular sounds, smells or objects. There may be no apparent reason–only your ferret knows why. With a little observation, you can identify what the smell, sound or object is. Common triggers are vacuum cleaners, brooms, loud music, and strong smells. You can keep your ferret away from the trigger–or at least keep her in her cage while doing household chores if this is the cause.

Trained to bite

If your ferret was cared for by someone else before you brought him into your home, he may have been inadvertently taught to bite. For example, if the person picked up the ferret and he nipped and then put him down to run around, the ferret may have associated nipping with getting the run of the house.

Mistrust

The main cause of ferret biting is mistrust. Your ferret may have had a bad experience with a person that traumatized him. Or, he may have been mistreated repeatedly. Ferrets can associate people with pain and react to protect themselves.

When you have identified the cause, you can address how to stop ferret biting.

There are right ways and wrong ways to teach your ferret not to bite. You will probably make the problem worse if you try any of the following:

  • Mist a bitter spray or another so called deterrent in your ferret’s face
  • Flick her on her nose or head when she bites
  • Hit her
  • Put her in solitary confinement for long periods of time
  • Bite her back
  • Use her regular cage for a time-out

How to stop ferret biting

Depending on your ferret’s personality and past experiences, she may or may not respond to certain methods of reconditioning. There are several techniques you can try. Don’t give up on one tactic right away. It takes patience and consistency to stop ferret biting. However, if the biting gets worse after much consistency and patience, then you should probably move on to another method.

This list provides some obvious solutions and some more creative techniques. You may combine some of these tactics together, as well.

  • Neuter an unaltered male
  • Take your ferret to the vet to rule out any medical reasons
  • If you know your ferret reacts to a particular trigger, keep him away from it
  • If your ferret is young, visually or hearing impaired, take care not to startle her
  • Make sure your ferret is well fed with a proper diet
  • Spend more quality time with your ferret and get her more accustomed to being handled
  • Put a bitter spray  on your hands so they don’t taste good
  • Yell “NO!” or “STOP” very loudly when she bites
  • Say a firm “NO” or “STOP” and flip her on her back in a submissive position and hold her there for a few minutes when she bites
  • Give him a 15-20 minute “time-out” in a small cage (not his regular cage) with no toys, bed or food immediately after biting
  • Wrap him firmly in a towel and hold him or carry him around for 10-20 minutes and talk to him gently and pet his head
  • Immediately substitute a toy for your hand or whatever was bitten and allow him to only bite that
  • Add another ferret to your home as a playmate, so he has someone to play rough with

how to stop ferret biting

Remember if you want to stop a ferret from biting, you need to be consistent and firm, but gentle. Reward your ferret for good behavior. In time your ferret will learn to respond to kindness and gentleness with like behavior.

Your comments are welcome.

Please follow and like us:
Posted on Leave a comment

Ferret Cages

Ferret Cages—Not Just a Cage, a Home

ferret cages

Choosing a home for your ferret depends on how much space you have and how much money you want to spend. Ferret cages range from simple one-level starter homes to multi-level townhouses with all the upgrades.

Remember, your ferret will spend a lot of time in his cage, so you want to make sure he is not only comfortable but has a stimulating environment. There is a huge difference from just getting a ferret cage to providing your ferret with a home he will be happy in.

Selecting the Proper Ferret Cage

Many pet cages are more than adequate for your ferret’s needs, but do you want to live in a house that is just adequate? Whatever type of accommodations you are considering for your ferret, there are a few things that are a must.

Ample Size: The minimum cage size should be no smaller than 3″wide x 2″ high x 2″deep. There should be enough space for a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and playroom. Like you, your ferret doesn’t want to eat in the bathroom or sleep in the kitchen.

Good Ventilation: All bathrooms need good ventilation. Since your ferret will be doing his business in his cage, it too needs good ventilation. Do not use aquariums or other enclosed housing.

Sturdy, Escape-Proof Design: Ferrets are escape artists. One of my ferrets, Toby, liked to try to break out of his cage. He would stand up, grab onto the bars of one of the doors and use all his strength to try to bend the bars to make his escape. The best types of ferret cages are those made of galvanized metal with vinyl-coated wire.  Ferret cages need strong wire with small openings between the wires and secure doors. Ferrets will try to push their heads through bars and use their heads to push doors open (or as with Toby, use their strength).

Easy Access: You need to be able to not only reach your ferret easily, you also need to be able to easily get to her food, water, bedding and of course–the litter box. If it’s a multi-level townhouse, you want to make sure it has an opening on the top level as well as the bottom level.

One Story or Multi-Level?

Although a single level home is sufficient, it doesn’t provide much stimulation for an active ferret. Plus, multi-level cages offer more space for fun cage accessories. Your ferret will greatly appreciate the extra space and opportunity to climb up and down, crawl through a tube, sleep in a hammock or burrow in a tunnel if you equip his home with these entertaining accessories.

This unique corner cage is available here

ferret cage

Please follow and like us:
Posted on 2 Comments

Ferret Stuffed Animals—Find Your Favorite

Ferret Stuffed AnimalsFerret Stuffed Animals

Find Your Favorite

If you love ferrets, you probably love ferret-themed stuff. I know I do!

So if you want to cuddle with your ferret and your ferret isn’t a cuddler, here is the next best thing–ferret stuffed animals! I feel that you are never too old for stuffed animals! Plus, if you have a ferret or are a ferret lover, you don’t have to worry that someone might question why a grown woman or man has a stuffed animal. Everyone will think it’s normal because you love ferrets. Personally, I have quite a few ferret stuffed animals. Ok, more than a few!

Ferret stuffed animals are not something you see every day, unlike other pet stuffed animals –cats, dogs, bunnies… I have had many people ask me where I found my stuffed ferrets.  To help you find a ferret stuffed animal to call your own, I have compiled a diverse selection of ferret stuffed animals that should suit a variety of tastes.  There are black-footed ferrets, hand-sculpted ferrets, ferret puppets and even ferrets with an online counterpart! Continue reading Ferret Stuffed Animals—Find Your Favorite

Please follow and like us:
Posted on 16 Comments

OurPets Catty Whack Toy–Review for Ferrets

OurPets Catty Whack Toy–Review for Ferrets

OurPets Catty Whack Toy--Review for Ferrets

OurPets Catty Whack Toy is actually intended for cats. But that doesn’t mean ferrets can’t enjoy it too!

Ferrets and cats have a lot in common. One big similarity is that cats and ferrets have hunting instincts that they like to use when playing. Another similarity is, like cats, ferrets sleep a lot. But, when they are awake they need to be active and expend all that energy they store up while sleeping. Cats and ferrets both need mental stimulation from play to keep from being bored and to fulfill their hunting instincts. Physical activity from play keeps pets physically fit and enriches their quality of life. More than just exercise, playing also relieves anxiety, stress, and boredom. We all know what happens when a ferret gets bored and starts looking around for something fun to do!

OurPets Catty Whack Toy–Review for Ferrets

OurPets Catty Whack Toy is an unpredictable motion and sound game where hunting instincts are activated in play. This interactive toy is specifically designed to encourage independent play. It’s a type of hide & seek action game with a fast-moving feather wand that peeks out randomly from different places. The erratic movement of the teaser keeps your ferret’s attention as he tries to figure out which of the 6 holes the teaser is going to peek out of next.

Other features included a chirping/squeaking sound that your ferret may find interesting. It has a carpeted top so your ferret has a soft place to plan his attack from above. The bottom of OurPets Catty Whack Toy has 4 non-skid rubber feet, which keep the toy from sliding around as your ferret plays. There is an automatic shut off that turns the toy off after 10 minutes–probably long enough for most ferrets’ attention span. The dimensions are 10” x 4” x 10” and it takes 4 “C” batteries–not included.

 

OurPets Catty Whack Toy–Review for Ferrets

Pros

  • Unique interactive toy
  • Stimulates natural hunting instincts
  • Encourages independent play
  • Unpredictable feather teaser movement
  • Multiple ferrets can play at the same time
  • Auto-shut off
  • Carpeted top
  • Non-skid rubber feet
  • A replacement feather wand tip is included and you can purchase additional ones

Cons

  • Feather teaser can come out if ferret catches it and pulls it hard enough
  • Some ferrets may decide to pull the entire toy around by the feather
  • Can’t turn off sound
  • Can’t adjust time for auto shut off
  • Supervising play recommend

Ourpets Catty Whack Toy–Review for Ferrets

Summary

OurPets Catty Whack Toy may be a great option for ferret parents looking for a unique ferret toy where hunting instincts are activated in play. Like cats, ferrets are intrigued by the erratic movement of the teaser and have fun trying to catch it.  Because the feather teaser can be pulled out if your ferret catches it and pulls hard enough, supervising your ferret while playing is recommended.

Get your OurPets Catty Whack Toy HERE.

Looking for other interactive toys? Check out Ferret Toys–Rumba For FerretsCatit Design Senses Food Treat Maze, and Catit Flower Cat Water Fountain.

Your comments are welcome.

Please follow and like us:
Posted on 12 Comments

DIY Ferret Toys– Swinging Fun

DIY Ferret Toys--Swinging FunDIY Ferret Toys– Swinging Fun

Ferrets are always looking for fun, but sometimes what they see as fun is dangerous or destructive or both. As ferret parents, we are always trying to come up with new ways to safely entertain our fur babies.

Sometimes we need to think outside the box (or cage) to discover new ideas for ferret toys. DIY ferret toys can be a creative and fun way to give your ferrets new experiences.

DIY Ferret Toys– Swinging Fun

One DIY idea is to “make” your ferret a swing. I say “make” because there is little, if anything, you actually need to put together.  There are lots of hanging hammocks and other bedding that can be attached to the top of a ferret cage and hang down. But what about a swing? A fellow ferret parent had this idea and I thought I would share it with you. Continue reading DIY Ferret Toys– Swinging Fun

Please follow and like us:
Posted on 12 Comments

Ferret Toys–Rumba For Ferrets

Ferret Toys--Rumba For FerretsFerret Toys-Rumba For Ferrets

Ferret Toys–Rumba For Ferrets

Did you know you can have your floors vacuumed and entertain your ferret at the same time?

Ferrets need a lot of attention and lots of different toys and fun experiences so they don’t get bored. As ferret parents, we are always on the lookout for new ferret toys and things we think our ferrets will have fun with while distracting them from having fun with our things (socks, slippers, pens, remotes…)

The problem is, ferrets have a short attention span. They may play with a toy for a little while or may just stash their toys in one of their favorite hiding places.

Some interactive toys or self moving toys keep a ferret’s attention longer.  One of my ferrets loves her walking toy kitty She bounces at it as it moves until she knocks it over. I have to keep standing it up so it continues to walk and she continues to jump at it.

Another one of my ferrets loves to play with water, so she has a lot of fun with her Catit Flower Water Fountain.

These interactive ferret toys are great and many ferrets love to play with them. Some ferrets, however, play with a toy for a short period of time and then lose interest in it and never play with the toy again.

Many of us spoil our ferrets and although we may be disappointed that the newest ferret toys we brought home did not impress our fur babies, we are all too eager to try something else.  You can’t beat the joy of watching a ferret play–it never gets old! Continue reading Ferret Toys–Rumba For Ferrets

Please follow and like us:
Posted on 2 Comments

Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil–Good For Ferrets?

wild alaskan salmon oil--Good For Ferrets?Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil–Good For Ferrets?

Salmon, in general, is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of choline, pantothenic acid, biotin, and potassium.

When used in moderation and sourced from reputable brands, salmon oil is a beneficial addition to a ferret’s balanced diet. Not only is it good for a ferrets’ skin and coat–helping with dry skin, itching and adding shine– but it is also beneficial for their heart, eyes and joint health.

Salmon oil is a great treat that can be used for distracting your ferret when clipping nails or cleaning ears.

The benefits of salmon oil have influenced many pet owners, including ferret parents, to incorporate salmon oil into their fur babies’ diets. Overall, supplementing with salmon oil is good for pet health; however, too much of a good thing may have adverse effects. Continue reading Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil–Good For Ferrets?

Please follow and like us:
Posted on 4 Comments

Ferret Playpens–What to Look For

Ferret Playpens--What to Look ForFerret Playpens–What to Look For

Playpens are not just for toddlers and puppies!

If you have a ferret (or 2 or 6) you know that they can get into lots of trouble when left unattended. However, it may not always be practical to keep an eye on your ferret while he is out of the cage–especially if you have more than one. Ferrets are often bored in their cage and just sleep. Or they may get determined to break out. One of my ferrets, Toby, likes to grab onto the rungs of the cage door and pull and shake it with all his might–trying to escape.

Ferrets need plenty of time out of their cages in order to be happy and healthy.

One way to provide your ferrets with playtime is to use a ferret playpen. Although a ferret playpen is not a substitution for one-on-one playtime for you and your ferret, it can add a new and fun experience for your ferret. The right playpen can provide a safe and confined area for your ferret to play, relax and nap. Ferret playpens can serve a variety of functions such as a portable, confined area when traveling and a safe way to be outdoors. Continue reading Ferret Playpens–What to Look For

Please follow and like us:
Posted on 4 Comments

How To Trim Ferrets Nails – Step By Step Guide

How To Trim Ferrets Nails - Step By Step GuideHow To Trim Ferrets Nails – Step By Step Guide

I have been often asked how I keep my ferret’s nails so neatly cut and trimmed. 

Many ferret parents leave it to the Vet to take care of this grooming necessity. However, it’s not that difficult if you know a few tricks.

Ferrets cannot keep their nails at the proper length on their own. They don’t get worn down much naturally and grow quickly. If left untrimmed too long, a ferret’s nails will start to curl and grow under her paw and even into it.

When your ferret’s nails are too long, they can have tears, sharp points, and ragged edges. She can easily catch them on bedding, furniture or carpets. This could break the nail, tear it, or rip it off completely. Your ferret could further injure herself from trying to free her paw.

I know of a ferret mom who found one of her ferrets dangling from her cage hammock by one nail! She caught her nail in the fabric when she tried to get out of the hammock. I can’t imagine how much that must have hurt. She was lucky no permanent damage was done. Continue reading How To Trim Ferrets Nails – Step By Step Guide

Please follow and like us: