How to Deal with an Aggressive Ferret
An aggressive ferret is a real problem for both them and us, their family. These pets are much appreciated around the world for their intelligence and restlessness, but in spite of that, sometimes this nice mammal can show hostile attitudes.
To solve this problem, the fundamental thing is to understand their language and identify the reasons why they can even bite us. In addition to their basic care, the ferret is a pet that needs a family to take care of them and offer them affection of all kinds.
Keep reading this AnimalWised article and find out how to deal with an aggressive ferret.
A ferret's language
Before we begin, it is important to know how ferrets express themselves, it may bite you because you do not understand their language properly, here are some guidelines:
Do not touch them constantly, remember that the ferret sleeps 14 to 18 hours a day, which is why if you see them yawning often the meaning is clear: let them rest. Bugging them will only result in a ferret that will distrust you and will not want to spend time with you, this is why an aggressive attitude may appear.
Do you have more than one ferret since they are in their puppy stage? Among them, games and bites are constant, but having a thicker and harder skin, they don't hurt each other.
Faced with a fun situation you will see the ferret jump on all four legs and make sounds similar to "doc-doc", that means your pet is happy.
Ferrets have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so when it's very hot you'll see them with their tummies stretched out on the floor, a good position to cool down and when it's cold they'll shrink, shivering until they feel better in their "nest".
Is their tail bristling? This attitude clearly means that the ferret is scared or does not trust you, they can probably bite you in such a situation.
Hissing is a system of communication between ferrets that often expresses pain or discomfort. Stop manipulating a ferret that makes these sounds because they can bite you.
Is your ferret aggressive when playing?
As we have mentioned before, sometimes and especially in times of growth or development, the ferret begins to bite. These are innocent games in which running and playing begin to stimulate their teeth and prepare for future hunting.
If you've touched a rabbit, mouse and even an unfamiliar cat, they can bite you when they smell the potential scent of prey. They are also likely to have a predilection for biting your feet. Their sense of smell is highly developed.
If you have an aggressive ferret kit in your care (in addition to letting them rest frequently) you should try to put aside your fear of bites because they are intelligent animals that will detect your fears. Play with your pet and stroke them without fear so that they understand that you feel calm and that you have no problem.
Does your ferret bite people except yourself?
If your relationship is very good and close, your pet can suffer an outbreak of jealousy. In this case and as a pet owner, you will have to involve yourself and make them understand that this is not an appropriate behavior.
It is very important that your pet can relate well with other people or ferrets so that, in very exceptional situations, they do not hurt anyone. Remember that a child or other ferret owners could approach them and get a bite without meaning to.
Are they scared?
If they hiss at you or have a prickly tail when they see you it means that your ferret is definitely afraid. You should know that it is normal for this to happen when you move into a new environment or in a situation they consider stressful or unpleasant.
Try to give them some time to adapt if you have just adopted them, don't bother them although it is important that, little by little, they start to get used to you. This process must be gradual and we must always do it with great sensitivity. Make sure you know how to care for a ferret as a pet for more information.
For these cases, prizes and sweets for ferrets are a fundamental and very useful tool that will allow our new friend to understand us and understand that there is nothing to fear.
Correct communication in the face of an unwanted reaction
This process, like that of any pet, requires a great deal of patience, positive attitude and persistence. We will not educate a ferret nor will they get used to us in simply two days, but you can try to move the process forward with these three tricks:
- Try to get them used to you by leaving a piece of clothing with your smell in their cage.
- Let them explore the house, what will be their home, until then they won't be completely relaxed. If you see they smell around, it's a very positive sign.
- Don't scold them if they bit you five minutes ago, they won't remember.
If your ferret bites someone or bites you directly, you must tell them that this is not allowed. For them, an aggressive ferret causes a state of generalized stress that has a direct effect on their state of mind.
- To start with, whenever they do something wrong, we will use the word "No" without shouting but in a forceful way.
- We'll never hit them or hurt them.
- We will try to reward with sweets the behaviors that we like of our ferret. This will create a special bond between you and allow us to repeat this action (since they will associate it with a positive reward).
- If our ferret bites when playing with us, we can give them a soft touch on the nose, something they don't like but doesn't hurt them. Do not perform this action if they are a very aggressive specimen.
- In nature, in the face of bad behavior their parent grabs the ferret by the crease of the neck while shaking them. Never hurt or shake them excessively, it is a ritual they will understand. In addition, this procedure relaxes the animal to some extent.
If these tips don't help you and your pet continues to behave too aggressively (even if they are playing) we recommend isolating them for a short period of time in a carrier (not in their cage) where they ca stay in the dark, then you must let them go out and try to interact correctly with them.
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If you want to read similar articles to How to Deal with an Aggressive Ferret, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.