Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Outta control attack skunk!
We just got a baby skunk about a month ago (so he must be about 10-12 weeks old now) and he's totally out of control! Here's a few of the issues we're dealing with - any advice on how to correct/adjust/discipline/whatever the skunk, please advise. We're trying our best to be loving parents to the lil' critter, but he's a little devil.
1. He bites. A lot. Sometimes it's play-biting, which we discourage, and sometimes it's vicious hissing biting. The play-biting isn't strong, the hissing-biting-masticating monster is strong enough to break skin. He bites hard when he doesn't want to be picked up (when he's digging at a corner, for example, or when he's guarding what he perceives to be food). He also sometimes just charges your hand (if it's hanging there) bites hard, hisses, and then shoots off, especially if we're leaving out the front door and we try to assuage him before leaving (he runs right up to the child-gate when we leave). Disciplinary techniques we've tried to use include the whole 'pick him and say "no biting"' thing, which doesn't really work, squirt bottles, and putting him the tub. The tub usually works for a little bit, but inevitably he returns to masticating mommy and daddy.
2. He defecates and urinates all over creation. Okay, maybe not *all* over the place, but the corners he originally picked (and where the litter boxes reside) seem to have been forgotten, and he prefers to leave his business at the front door and in the kitchen, with occasional forays behind the toilet and a few visits to the corners he used to go to. And he goes outside the litter boxes every time. We've tried moving the litter boxes to his newest locations but he just goes outside the box every time. Sometimes he'll look us right in the eye while peeing somewhere. Trying to discipline him (i.e. picking him up, aiming him at the feces, saying something along the lines of "NO!" and taking him to the litterbox - about 3 inches away - results in biting, hissing, and usually more defecation or urination outside the litterbox.)
Everything we've read indicates this is a sign of an angry or unhappy skunk. We feed him regularly, we vary his diet according to suggestions, we play with him *constantly* and give him attention all the time. We suspect separation anxiety for some of this.
We've tried any number of techniques to stop his behaviour (or at least get him to go in the litterbox!) but nothing seems to work. A friend of ours that raises ferrets claims that they're similar, and has his own ideas about training/disciplining the skunk, but I'm looking for advice from experienced skunk-owners on this.