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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2004, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy bad ferret?

I just got my first ferret. She is a two month old girl. She seems as if she is a sickly and mean ferret, even the store I bought her from said the last bach of ferrets acted this way, of course only after I bought her. They offered to return her and I could get money back to get a new one. I have gotten her to stop biting, hard, but it seems that she dosent want anything to do with me but let her out of the cage. Will she grow out of this behavior, or is it possible I have gotten a "bad ferret"? The breader is marshals, does anyone know anything about them? Should I look forsomeone who sells from a differen breader? Please help!


thanks, Exasperated ferret mommy.... =*(
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2004, 08:36 PM
 
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Is her stool normal color ? Is it loose ? Is she acting stressed out ? If she is looking and acting sickly take her to a vet. I have a ferret who is about 6 months old and she likes to bite me. If she bites everytime you try to pick her up. Try bitter end or fooey they are both deterents they don't like the taste.

Go to this website and click on links. they have tons of ferret resources check out a ferrets handbook that too might help you..
www.dookieshouse.org
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 10:56 AM
 
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Different ferrets have different temperments. I have three ferrets of my own and my female Jynx has always acted similar to yours. She bit a lot when I first got her but over time she has learned to not bite so hard. As far as I can tell Jynx will never want to be held or cuddled (unless she's sick) but my males Tweak and Dude LOVE to be held and cuddled. In my opinion you should keep the ferret you have she's still young and will be better behaved with some time and patience. If you want a cuddler I suggest maybe getting a second ferret when your ready. Two ferrets are twice as fun.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 12:26 PM
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Ok, here's my thought. I agree that the most important thing is to make sure she is healthy. Is she eating & drinking? What are you feeding her for food? Ferrets tend to sleep most of the day & play at night so I wouldn't be too alarmed about her sleeping too much. Whenever in doubt ALWAYS take her to the vet. It has to be someone familiar with exotic animals such as ferrets because the needs are much different than that of a cat or dog. If the stools are formed & her urine is yellow, eating & drinking is fine than I can only assume she is a normal young ferret. BUT it would still be a good idea to get a new animal checkup with a qualified vet just to be on the safe side. Especially since you are new to the world of ferrets.

Ferrets take a LOT of patience. There really is a great deal of information that needs to be learned about them. Just because she is nipping does NOT mean you have a "bad" ferret. When they are kits that is normal behavior. As Tweak said each one is individual (just as children are). I have 4 ferts. 2 of them bite, both for different reasons and are doing so less & less as they grow. 2 of my 4 are sorta cuddlers but would much rather run around & play than be bothered.
Ferrets have a lot of energy and if you are looking for a cute & cuddly attention needy animal I wouldn't suggest a ferret. They are a lot of work and as tehy get older can become quite needy in the areas of vet care. This is something you need to be prepared for. While I am certainly NOT saying you shouldn't keep your ferret I am just saying that they are not for everyone. I would strongly suggest buying the book "Ferrets for Dummies" There is a great deal of knowledge & info in there that is beneficial to every ferret owner. (This book was reccommended to me by some of the best ferret owners/breeders out there.)

Now as for the biting issue: If you are willing to have the patience with her & teach her not to bite than it will be more than worth your time. It isn't so much that you are training her NOT to bite, you are teaching her to behave differently. When she bites hold her by the scruff (loose skin on back of neck) away from you & firmly tell her "NO". Do not hit, flick or spank her for doing it as it will only maker her biting worse. Ferrets have a short term memory so if you choose to put her in her cage after she bites only do it for a couple minutes than take her out & love on her for a bit telling her she is a good girl for not biting.
The reason they tend to bite is because ferrets have much thicker skin than we do & they don't know that it hurts us. They naturally rough house with each other so to them the behavior is completely normal.

Try to hang in there with her & good luck with whatever you decide to do!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Smile working on it

Thank you for the suggestions. I have contacted a local ferret shelter and they said that they could take a look at her to see if I need to see a vet. I have controlled the biting problem, quite quickly actually, so I dont think that will be a problem. I think that I was just worried when the pet store lady told me that "the last batch were weaker, smaller, and mean" I am not so worried about the cuddly aspect, but after talking to the store was worried that she was "abnormal". I am also quite sure I am going to find her a playmate, I think that comming from such a crowded cage to being by herself has been hard for her. Still working on the potty training though. Would It be better for a small ferret to be in a smaller cage for a while? Mine has three levels, but I am thinking about moving it to only two to try and controll the "missing" problem. Thanks again for everyones great input. =)
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 01:55 PM
 
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We have had our ferret for almost 8 years. My husband got her and her brother when they were just tiny babies from a breeder. The first *years* with them were a little trying sometimes.
Pocy (Brother Ferret) was like a big teddy bear. He was fat and cuddly and rarely bit. Archangel (Sister Ferret) is exactly the opposite. She liked my husband but would go out of her way to bite me. Oneday, we were sitting on the floor and I had my arm around him. She actually dug behind him just to bite my hand! Now in her old age, she doesn't even like Keith anymore! Remember, yours is still a baby. If she's getting better already, I'm sure she'll continue to get better and better!
One thing that we found with the potty training was that it's not as easy or consistent (or at least it wasn't with ours) as everyone made it out to be. Both of ours would run up to side of the litter box and poop and pee *outside* of it more often than *inside*! What has helped us is a much larger litter box - the cheap plastic cat ones. My husband cut down the side so she could get in easier. Plus, he ties it to the walls of the cage. That way she can't push it around. Another thing that we have noticed is that she won't get in the thing if it's dirty. So keeping it really clean might also help you.
Best of luck!
~Nellie
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Talking Yay!!!

I just wanted to thank everyone again for helping me out. I have had the little girl looked at and she got a clean bill of health. On the way home I accidently took a detour and now I have a little boy ferret too! I noticed that she is MUCH happier and also the crying to be let out of the cage has stopped, ohhh what an annoying habbit (I am glad that didnt last long!). Still no names though... Its very stressfull trying to pick out a good name for them. Soon though, I am tired of calling them him and her.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 05:07 PM
 
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I'm glad everything worked out! How about posting some pictures so we can see your fuzzies.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 05:28 PM
 
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I never posted, but I'm glad things are better for you. It is funny how a "detour" can turn out like that sometimes.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 05:43 PM
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What a relief things worked out the way they did!! You'll notice a big difference in her behavior now that she has a playmate!

I'm terribly sorry I missed your post about the cage size... I would leave it the way it is... the bigger the better! Maybe try what I had to resort to & tie towels or blankies to the cage on each shelf... that way it forces them to go to the litter box or bottom of the cage as intended. I agree with Tweak... we need to see pictures of your fuzz butts!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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ferrets are just very inquisitve creatures, especially the kits, and most wont even think of paying any attention to you untill they have thouroughly explored the room and made sure that theres nothing more interesting.
THought there are some cuddlers, most likely you just gotyourself a mischevious little lady.
Sad part is i found my older male (6yrs) is alot more inclined to wiggle and want down than my 4mth old female! lol

Sorry i missed it when you actually needed the advise.
But now she has a playmate theyll help tire eachother out and you may even find her comming for attention from you!
OOO and a hint
get some ferretone. its the only way to get my male to acmnowledge my existence half the time!
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exotic animals, litter box, pet store, potty train, potty training, teddy bear, vet care


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