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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2003, 02:39 PM
NewFerretMom
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Possible Problem?

Hi folks! I was wondering if you guys could help me out. I have 2 ferrets. One is about a year old, named Tigger and I've had him for about 2 months. I rescued him from a very unhappy home (he was living in a cardboard box and being fed cheerios). My other one is a 4 month old named Nibbles who demanded he go home with me from a local Petco where I was buying food and toys for Tigger. Currently, I keep them in seperate cages that are right up against each other. They have been that way for about a month now. Every time I take them out of the cages and let them check each other out, Tigger will first follow the baby around and try to lay on top of him as he moves around the floor. Then, Tigger will suddenly back off, grab the baby by the scruff and shake him until he shrieks and cries. Once I get the two of them separated, Nibbles runs over to me and hides from Tigger behind me. Should I continue separating them when Tigger gets aggressive with Nibbles like that, or I should I let them be to work it out? They are both neutered males, but I had heard that male ferrets will try to kill babies and I am worried that I'll never be able to put them in the same cage safely. Nibbles is quickly outgrowing his "baby" cage, and Tigger has plenty of room in his 4 story penthouse. I'm really worried about Tigger's agression towards Nibbles and am open to any expert advice from more experienced ferret owners. They are both lovely little guys and I really wish they would learn to get along.
 
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2003, 06:24 PM
 
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This is just based on my personal experience. We had gotten our first ferret (Mookie) from a local petco when he was just about 8 wks. old..... a week later we took Mookie with us to a local ferret shelter where we found (Mackey & Meesha) both about a yr. old, they had taken the 3 of them and placed them in an enclosed play area we watched them for about 45 min. and yes mackey did his share of what looked like aggression towards mookie but after the time went on, mookie began to give it right back, this making mackey think twice. My suggestion is let them out as often as you can to play together and just monitor them closely, you will know when the time is right to place them together in the same cage.... Lucky for us it only took about 1 hour, but they stayed in the play area for a total of 2 hours, before we took the other 2 from the shelter home with us and mookie.... All are great now, and actually now Mookie is boss, because he has grown to almost 3x the size of meesha and 2x the size of Mackey..... Mookie is a big boy for only being 5 months old..... I wish you luck!!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2003, 11:28 PM
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Jess I do believe this is normal behavior in male ferrets. He is trying to show dominancy. I also have 4 ferrets; 3 females & 1 male, all of which are fixed & descented. Snoopy (my male) has done this to 2 of the 3 girls. Both girls are much younger & smaller then he is. Of course I think everything is smaller than Snoopy... he is a very BIG boy!
They DO normally outgrow this and eventually stop. Sometimes it just takes longer than others. The most important thing to watch for is if Tigger actually punctures the skin & draws blood. Than he is deffinately being agressive. By the sounds of it though I don't think you are witnessing a case of agression. Does Tigger drag the baby around once he grabs ahold of the scruff? That is what Snoopy did. Be patient and just continue to monitor them... sometimes a spray bottle in the stream setting helps to divert it though.

As for keeping them separate... I never did this with mine just allowed them floor time for a few hours at first & then they were immediately put together. What you can try doing is put Nibbles in Tiggers cage & just watch them. You'd be amazed at how fast they actually adjust to each other! You may try rearranging the shelves a little in Tiggers cage before putting Nibbles in there. This may work as a slight distraction for Tigger at first.

Hope I was able to help! let us know how things go!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2003, 01:33 AM
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Well, I got up the nerve to put Nibbles in with Tigger tonight. There was much scrapping and a lot of noise. Tigger didn't make a sound, but Nibbles was screeching and screaming and hissing as Tig jumped all over him and bit him so much that all the fur on his back is covered from head to tail in Tigger drool, but no blood thank goodness. I also threw Nibbles' blankie/hammock into the cage and some of Nibbles' poo too. Now, Tig's laying on Nibbles' blankie, and Nibbles is in Tig's litter box/bed, and every time Nibbles moves, Tig jumps on him again and they go at it. I also noticed that Nibbles is already as long as Tigger at 4 months old, and got a bigger head though not as much weight just yet. So, I don't think Tigger's bullying will go on much past the time Nibbles outgrows him. We'll see. Thanks for your advice and I will keep you posted.
 
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 06:58 AM
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Talking

Well, as promised, I am posting an update. Tigger and Nibbles seem to have come to some sort of understanding between the two of them. They now sleep in the same hammock and Nibbles even tries to instigate Tigger into playing with him. It was really funny last night because I heard this faint honking noise and thought it was geese outside. When I realized it was coming from inside the house, I went and looked and there was Nibbles making those noises as he rolled and flipped and cavorted all over poor Tigger who was trying to catch some Z's! Thanks again for the advise.
 
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2003, 12:04 AM
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I'm soo glad it is working out ok! All it takes is a little time & determination. So when you gonna get some pictures up here for us to see them?!?!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2003, 01:10 AM
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Sorry I am posting late on this....just been really busy these days. It really is best to let them work it out. If there is no poop from beng scared and no blood then they are just doing what needs to be done to prove to the newbie who is alpha ferret. I know it does get scary, but generally it works itself out. I am glad things are going better now!
 
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2003, 04:10 AM
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Wink

Well there was poop from Nibbles being scared of Tig at first, but he quickly got over that. They act like best friends now and where one is, the other is not far behind. Sometimes they are so tightly curled up together, and so similar in color, that when they both wake up to look at me from their hammie, they look like one two headed ferret. I am gonna try to get a pick of it and post it here because it is just too funny.
 
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2003, 12:55 AM
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Jess, glad to hear they got things worked out! I am sure they are adorable sleeping together too. I would love to see a pic of that!
 
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cardboard box, litter box, neutered male, seperate cages


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