Posted: July 1, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: I have two ferrets, the boy is older than the girl. They are currently in separate cages. We want them to live together and play together, but the boy tries to bite her every time we get them together to play. We recently purchased the time out. It did not work. He continued to try to bite her. We just gave them a bath so they could smell the same, and he tried to bite her. She is the sweetest thing, but he doesn’t think so. Are we doomed to have them never to play together, or is there hope?
A: The current thinking is to let ferrets meet each other without human interference as soon as possible after a quarantine period.
An intact male can be a bit more aggressive and an illness like adrenal gland disease can alter behavior. If both ferrets are neutered and a veterinarian examined the male and declared him healthy, continue trying to introduce them.
Place both of the ferrets in a neutral room or play space to let them meet. A neutral room is someplace that neither ferret has spent time in previously. The male may bite the female, but female ferrets are very tolerant of this behavior and have thick skin in order to deal with it. Try not to intervene or separate them, unless there is a serious injury. This process can take time. I had two ferrets that took about a year to finally live in peace with each other.