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Ferret Chews His Hammock

Why would a ferret chew fabric?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: August 29, 2008, 6 p.m. EDT

Q: My ferret is 4 years old and just began chewing on the edge of his hammock. He has never done this before, and I am not sure why he is starting now. Any ideas?

A: My initial thought on any behavior change is to have your ferret checked out by a veterinarian, because some behavior changes can be caused by a medical condition. If your ferret’s health checks out, assess his environment. Educate yourself about fun and interactive ways to enrich your ferret’s life, including games you can play and ways to rearrange his cage to keep him interested. It is possible he is bored and chewing on the hammock gives him something to do.

Chewing on the hammock can damage his teeth, so remove any fabric in the cage that he chews on. Also check his diet and make sure he is on a high-protein, high-fat ferret diet, because nutrition can also affect chewing habits.

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Ferret Chews His Hammock

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Reader Comments
I have also learned that aside from boredom, ferrets will chew and tear at a hammock to get inside of it for a darker place to sleep. I used to work at a pet store, and we had groups of ferrets who would tear up the hammocks just to sleep inside them. Unfortunately, in doing that, they also broke the hammock, which got frayed and couldn't support the weight of a bunch of rough housing kits. :(
Elizabeth, Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 9/7/2008 12:16:12 PM
Chewing in a ferret as old as yours can be an indication of pain. Irritable Bowel Syndrom and ulcers causes painful episodes that ferrets will chew to release endorphines from the brain to help ease the pain.

Definitely have your ferret checked by a vet. I would also encourage you to look into a natural diet for the ferret. Offering a proper diet will help ease his digestive discomforts as well as offer him something to do with his teeth!

You could try offering him some dehydrated meats (not ones with sugars, smoke or spices added)like duck or chicken or lamb strips and then graduate to raw chicken necks.

If he spends a lot of time in his cage he may be simply suffering from cage stress and needs more time to roam. Ferrets need way more than one or two hours a day outside of a cage! Ferrets really are NOT the cage pets that shops and books would have you believe!

At 4 years old and if on a kibble diet he needs to be checked for insulinoma issues as well as teeth issues. Things that a healthier diet of whole prey and Raw meaty bones can prevent!
JosiesMom, Ormond Beach, FL
Posted: 8/31/2008 5:08:23 PM
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