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Ferret Becomes A Cuddle Bug

Is it cause for concern if a ferret suddenly likes to cuddle when it didn’t previously?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: November 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EST

Q: My ferret Romeo is 3 years 9 months old and is delightful. When we take him out of his cage, he is anxious to get down on the floor and run around — until recently. Now, he seems content to stay in our arms, often for long periods, licking us and just relaxing. I would think that something is wrong, except for the fact that when we do put him down, he runs and dances and behaves the same as he always has. He's eating and pooping just fine and sees the veterinarian for a yearly check-up. Should I be concerned, or do you think he's just getting more mellow as he ages?

A: I must start by stating that any behavior change, especially in a ferret that is almost 4 years old, is cause for a veterinary visit. The veterinarian can ensure that the ferret is healthy.

If the veterinarian clears your ferret, then it simply could be that, as you suspect, your ferret is getting a little older and is more willing to be cuddled. A young ferret usually has too much energy for cuddling but can start to enjoy it as it slows down with age.

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Reader Comments
After the vet verifies you've got a healthy fuzzy, also consider any changes in his people and fuzzy or other pet family members. Ferrets are incredibly social and will bond to a person or another ferret -- perhaps even another pet, though I haven't seen that myself. If you've suffered any losses recently, Romeo may be depressed about it.

If this is the case, just love on him extra, give him cuddles and talk to him. Depending on how bonded he was to the missing person/animal, he may take a long time to come out of the depression. I've read cases where the ferret just pines away for the lost loved one. I really believe with awareness, we can help our fuzzies over depression.

Good luck!
Anne, Mesa, AZ
Posted: 11/13/2009 5:39:54 PM
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