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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.

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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

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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

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Hazardous Plants For Pets–These Plants Can Be Toxic

Hazardous Plants For Pets–These Plants Can Be Toxic

I have compiled a list of 57 hazardous plants for pets–Dogs, Cats, Ferrets…

Some of these plants can be toxic.

Some of these hazardous plants are indoor plants, others are outdoor plants. Many can grow indoors or out. Some of these plants are more harmful than others, and some can be toxic. Plants, such as Poinsettias and Firesticks secrete a liquid that can be toxic. Other plants, such as Philodendron and Devil’s Ivy, if eaten, can cause swelling and burning of the mouth and tongue as well as digestive issues, spasms, and even seizures. While some parts of these plants are often more hazardous than others, every part of some plants are toxic. With the Sago Palm, for example, every single part of the plant is poisonous—including the seeds, roots and leaves. Eating any part of the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, liver failure. Continue reading Hazardous Plants For Pets–These Plants Can Be Toxic

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Veterinary Pet Insurance For Ferrets

Updated December 19, 2018

Veterinary Pet Insurance–FOR FERRETSVeterinary Pet Insurance

You may have thought that veterinary pet insurance is only for cats and dogs. It’s true, most pet insurance is. But what about your ferret children?

Veterinary visits can be quite expensive and the bills can really add up. Plus, most vets require payment up front. It may not be much of a financial burden for your ferret’s routine visits, but what if she gets sick or hurt? What if there is an emergency or she needs surgery or treatment for a chronic condition? I have spent thousands of dollars in vet bills within a few years due to sick ferrets. Ferret parents need the financial assistance of pet insurance too. Too many ferret parents are faced with the decision of putting a ferret down due to costly vet bills.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. I have discovered that it is possible to get veterinary pet insurance for ferrets! And it doesn’t need to be cost prohibitive. This insurance is Pet Assure. Continue reading Veterinary Pet Insurance For Ferrets

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Trusted Pet Sitters–Trusted Housesitters Review

Trusted Pet Sitters–Trusted Housesitters Review

You want to take a vacation. But what about your pet?Trusted Pet Sitters--Trusted Housesitters Review

Some pets you may be able to take with you. But do you want to?

Some pets just are not suited for travel. Some pets you can’t easily put in a kennel.

And what if you have multiple pets? Boarding  2 dogs is doable, but the cost can really add up–you may pay more to board them each night than you are paying for your own hotel room! What if you have a dog, a cat and a bird? or a chicken and a goat? What if you have 3 ferrets? It can get a bit complicated and expensive.

I have discovered a unique pet sitting/house sitting service called Trusted Housesitters. It really should be Trusted Pet Sitters because in my opinion pets come first. If I am looking for a pet sitter to stay in my home, I will be looking for a pet sitter, not a house sitter, but that’s just me. I have done some research on Trusted Housesitters and I’d like to share it with you. Continue reading Trusted Pet Sitters–Trusted Housesitters Review