Biting!

Asked February 12, 2018, 7:58 PM EST

Hello, My name is Morgan and I’m really hoping that you can help me with a problem that I’m having with my ferret. She’s a female, she’s only 4 months old and I just bought her a few weeks ago. She’s up to date on shots, descented and fixed. The first day I brought her home you could tell she hasn’t been handled much. I gave her space, I didn’t immediately start messing with her I just set her cage up and left her alone for a few hours to get comfortable. That same night I decided to spend some alone time with her to try and gain her trust, I sat outside of her cage and talked to her for about 20 minutes before I tried to get her out. I didn’t reach my hand in to grab her, I opened the door and let her come out on her own. Since her cage is on a platform and far from the ground I cupped my hands and put them in front of the door for her to step on so I could lift her safely to the ground. She sniffed around for a second and then bit the crap out of me, breaking the skin and making me bleed. She actually sunk her teeth into my hand and I had to pry her mouth open to get her off of me. After that I picked her up by the scruff of her neck and told her no. And then put her back in her cage. I tried again about 20 minutes later, this time I used a towel. I successfully picked her up and put her on the floor. I let her run around the room for an hour or two while I sat on the floor talking to her so that she could get to know and trust me. It’s now been almost 3 weeks since I’ve had her. I take her out of her cage and let her play for at least two hours everyday. I would take her out more if it weren’t for her biting problem. She knows who I am by now, I’ve never hit her or scared her to the point where she should feel the need to bite. I’m not talking about a playful nibble, I’m talking about a full forced bite that breaks the skin every time. This is an everyday thing, every time I get her out or put her back in her cage she bites me. If I stick my hand in her cage to tidy up, or fill her food bowl she tries to bite me. When I’m sitting on the floor playing with her, she will walk up to me and sink her teeth into my legs or feet very quickly. It’s coming to the point that I don’t even want to take her out of her cage anymore. I understand she’s a baby and she’s in a new place, but I’ve handled her more than enough since she’s been here, I try discipline by scruffing and time out. Nothing seems to be working and she’s not showing any improvement. She’s adorable and I would love to keep her but if she doesn’t stop biting and leaving marks all over my body for absolutely no reason she’s gonna have to go. I have a toddler that I don’t let near her but would like to in the future. Please help.

Monroe County Michigan exotic companion animal behavior small animals

1 Response

I would contact someone that has trained or breeds ferrets and get their advise. Preuss Pets in Lansing is one place I might contact. Also, there are a number of ferret rescues in the state that may be able to help you. My son got a ferret from one of the rescues many years ago and I was very impressed with the behavior and social interaction or that ferret. Please let me know what happens as a nice ferret is a wonderful pet as our family has had a few over the years.