Common Ferret Behaviour Problems


At LIttle Pet Warehouse we think that Ferrets make fabulous pets, But they (like most small animals) can have some behaviour problems. The good news is that these are easily trained out and ferrets are extremely quick to pick up on what they should and shouldn’t be doing providing you are consistent.

Digging - Ferrets will always try to dig as it is a natural behaviour for them. This however is not helpful when they are digging up your carpet!

For ferrets prone to carpet digging, cover the corners with a carpet runner or mat. For those who dig in their food bowls you can get gravity bin feeders and attach them high with a dish underneath to catch any spilt food.

The best way to cure problem digging is to provide your ferret with a clean, safe area to dig in. This could be a small sand pit, box of shredded paper, box of toy balls etc. A great way to curb boredom is to have several boxes made up and rotate them so your ferret always has something new and exciting to dig in.

Biting - All young ferrets will nip as they play since it is what they do when playing with each other. The easiest way to curb this behaviour is to tackle it in two ways;
• Firstly, when your ferret plays gently praise him and reward him with a treat.
• Secondly, if your ferret does bite you either stop the play session immediately or gently scruff him (holding him by the loose skin on the back of his neck) and say "no". This is how ferrets would discipline each other and scruffing does not hurt the ferret - it needs to be a gentle correction and your intention is to disrupt the behaviour not hurt the ferret in any way.

Chewing the cage - Some ferrets will chew the cage if they are bored. As intelligent animals they do require some out of the cage playtime each day and the more of this they get the happier they are.

There are a few things you can do to alleviate this behaviour all of which centre around more stimulation for your ferret. You can put more toys in their cage or rearrange the toys they have to make the cage new and exciting all the time. You could also allow your ferrets some playtime in the room you are in (but make sure you 'ferret proof' all cables, holes and potential hazards first!)

The other thing you can do is put interactive toys which dispense food into the cage. These keep ferrets happy for hours – we have some brilliant ones here

What behaviour problems has your ferret had and how did you train them? Let us know on the Little Pet Warehouse facebook or twitter pages.