Message Number: YG628 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Amy and Jim Robbin
Date: 2001-03-03 17:29:00 UTC
Subject: Long Question on Ferret Behavior

Bob C it's great to find you, I missed you on the FML.

I have quite a behavior/social issue that you all may be able
to advise on. I have a 1.5 year old panda girl who has been
an only ferret for all of her life (except for her two brief
abandonments at a shelter), very imprinted on humans. Her
second abandonment within a year told me told me she was meant
to come home with me (or at least that's how I explained it to
my husband). I have six other ferrets, 5 males, 1 female.
Two males have been with me for about 5 years (5 & 4.5 years
old), female close to three years (3 yo), male (6 yo), two
males (less than 1 yo). The oldest of my ferrets was an only
ferret for a few months and is very imprinted on humans as
well (Critter). The new girl (Tequila) has been with me since
the beginning of December.

Tequila, after about a month has accepted Critter, however she
has no idea how to play with a ferret, it scares her. My
others (except Rascal...he's downright mean sometimes) all
treat her reasonably well. However when they try to play with
her (no teeth involved, just hip checking) she screams bloody
murder. She hisses, runs and sometimes has the poop literally
scared out of her. I've tried several different approaches
and have not had much success.

At times when it seems to be normal ferret play, I've tried to
just let it go. But her hissing and screeches usually end up
upsetting the other ferrets and they get too excited and get
rough. Two boys are not descented, one gets so wound up he
poofs on her :-( I've also seen her initiate the attacks or
retaliate. Her biggest downfall is when she just
says pounce on me. Anyway, she shows no signs of stress,
normal appetite and poops, although sometimes she's shaky
after these encounters. I've had suspicions and Bob's post
confirmed that I should probably intervene less, my dilemma is
how far is too far, and what's the best reprimand for the
rough guys. Scruffing just gets them even more excited, I put
them down, they dook, dance and pounce again!

Amy and the house fur fuzzy dysfunction