Monday, April 16, 2012

Ferrets and Biting


Like most animals ferrets have teeth. They are similar to that of a cat and can do a lot of damage if the ferret isn’t trained correctly to prevent bites.

Owning a ferret means you are the one responsible for how a ferret will react in certain situations.

Most sites tell you different ways of dealing with a bitey ferret. The one thing that I agree with is Never flick the end of a ferret’s nose to get them to stop biting. They will only see this as playing and will continue to bite.

Rules to prevent bites:

1. Never rough house with your ferret. I am guilty of this but my boys know that it is okay to gently nibble on my fingers only. But I also know how each boy will react. When I had Lance I never rough housed with him because he couldn’t hear me tell him no and when he bit it was hard.

2. Wash your hands after eating. This is common sense for a number of reasons. It keeps nasty germs from the ferret and it washes away the scent of food. Remember ferrets are curious creatures and want to know what everything is. Ferrets also have a great sense of smell and if it smells like food they want a taste.

3. Never startle or scare your ferret. This isn’t always possible. I try hard to make sure Marcuz feels me coming by stomping on the floor but sometimes he is just to intent on what he is doing and I surprise him.

4. Use a bitter tasting agent if your ferret is prone to biting for whatever reason. I had to make a red pepper spray for James as he loved the taste of bitter apple. I also keep hand sanitizer for those that want to pet the boys while we are out in public.

To get a ferret to release its hold you can scruff the ferret and wait for the yawn to happen. This works with most ferrets. Lance never let go when he got a hold of something he wanted. It would always take two people. Me scruffing since I was usually the one with his teeth sunk in and one to gently pry his jaws apart.

Yes I have scars from Lance’s bites but I learned a lot from each episode and the causes. Him being deaf had a great impact on how hard he bit. If you get a young ferret you can train them not to bite by doing like their momma would have done.

You scruff them by the back of the neck and drag them across the floor a short distance while saying NO in a loud firm voice. If I did it you would hear me hissing like a ferret. I’ve been around them to long to change that habit…not that I would want to.

Have a Chittering Good Day,


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