Posted: January 13, 2009, 1:30 p.m. EDT
Q: My husband and I love ferrets. We got our first ferret when she was just a baby, and she is just wonderful. A friend down the road had to give away a female ferret, which was about 3 years old. We took her in. She is doing fine, except she does not like to be held or loved on too much. We would love to hold her and love on her like our baby girl. Is there any way to train her to let us do this?
A: Just like people, ferrets each have a different personality. Some are born cuddlers, some are not. Environment can be a strong factor in shaping a ferret’s personality. If your new ferret was not cuddled or held much by her previous owner, then she has learned to be indifferent to this human behavior. Also, remember that she doesn’t really know you yet. You are still the “stranger from up the street,” and she probably wonders where her original owner is. With persistence and time, she may come to like the attention you lavish on her. Offering her a treat initially when you hold her may help convince her that being in your arms is a great place to be. A small lick of Ferretone or Nutrical once in a while can be a great icebreaker. Just don’t overdo it so she doesn’t get overweight or develop other health problems.
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