Posted: September 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: My male tomcat has recently started to bite my male ferret. He only does it when they are in a room where I can't see them. The last time it happened, my cat was trying to drag the ferret away. I took the ferret and put the cat outside but after a day I let him back in and it happened again. I have noticed that the ferret kind of antagonizes the cat. He chases him down the hall and messes with the cat when he's trying to sleep. How can I stop this? I'm scared the cat is going to kill my ferret, but the ferret keeps going back for more! I own five ferrets, and this ferret is the only one my cat has a problem with. I really only cage the ferrets when I am not home. I could swear the ferret picks on the cat on purpose. He is a naughty ferret.
A: It sounds like the cat is antagonizing the ferret as much as the ferret is antagonizing the cat. To some degree, ferrets and cats play in a similar way and communicate in a similar way also, by hissing.
It sounds like neither pet is getting hurt, and they may just like to torment each other. A lot also depends on their ages, as a kitten and a ferret kit are more likely to play like this but can grow out of the excitement as they reach adulthood.
Make sure that the cat and this ferret only play together when you can supervise them to be sure the play never gets out of hand.
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