Message Number: YG1532 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-21 05:09:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Spayed and now she's nesting

In a message dated 3/19/01 11:51:17 AM Eastern Standard Time, AGEDOG1@a...

<< History: A one year old Female ferret was turned over to us from the
Humane Society in the middle of Jan. She had her shots and exam. Our vet
told us that there were no markings so to watch if she came in season. She
came in season about the middle of Feb. She was spayed on the 17th and all
has gone well except! Now she is nesting. She steals newspapers and
a nest. I removed the newspapers and she came after me with a vengeance. I
made a nice nest of sheets for her where the newspapers were (she still
insist on stealing more newspapers). This little one name is Jenny-fur.
She loves her shelter dad and hides in his shirts (while he has it on),
sleeps with him and loves him. She use to like me, however since this
nesting has been going on, if I come into the room she attacks. Last night
she latched onto my arm and then my leg and would not let go.

When will this behavior cease? Is it a false pregnancy? Any help from the
vets would be appreciated. She is a darling little girl but currently not
adoptable due to this behavior.

Thank you
Chere McCoy
Shelter Mom, Ferret Friends of Indian River County Ferret Shelter
Hi Chere! So my advice would be to give up and let Jenny-Fur make her
newspaper nest. And while you are at it, please mind invading her territory!

Since she was spayed about 6 weeks or so ago, she could be exhibiting
behavior similar to a falsed pregnancy which is just like a real pregnancy as
far as the jill can discern except no babies appear. Although this would be
unusual since she was spayed......there is a big hormonal difference when
everything is gone. Perhaps her levels dropped more slowly. The other thing
that occurs to me is that she is exhibiting territorial behavior. And you
are invading her territory at the moment. You might also pose a threat
because she percieves you as a rival for your hubby's affections. Go figure.
I live with a bunch of whole and unholy girls who at any given time are in
various states of hormonal disaray.

Since the girls have free roam, things get pretty interesting at my house.
Most of them sleep with me. Most of them have screaming fights with one of
the others as to where they are going to sleep. It was cold last night. I
had eight in bed. Shift kept changing though because of the yelling,
hollaring and chasing. One, Daffy, who is near a false is trying to dominate
me at the moment (along with the other girls) and has been biting rather
hard. When she clamps on, I scruff her and hold her down flat. I get right
in her face and - since I hear it all the time - speak to her in a rapid and
angry sounding eh eh eh dooking noice. I then say "No. Don't Bite" Release
the scruff and stroke her whole body. If she bites again, I repeat it. This
has worked well with most of the girls. I know she will give up this
behavior in short order. Another suggestion - you might want to cage her so
she will feel secure until these feelings pass if they are related to
hormonal shifts. Sometimes a falsing jill only feels secure if she has her
own space.

I also have nesting ferrets that are not preggers or in false. They are just
constant nesters - which means they haul everything from paper towels,
newspaper and magizines under the comforter. Once a day, I clear it, to
their dismay. Also, Phoebe likes to pull the top sheet inward so when I get
in bed - I am short sheeted.
All I can say is Good Luck and for heaven sakes - don't let her get the upper
hand, but I would relent on the newspaper nesting a bit. Cheers, Meg