Posted: December 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EST
Q: We have a male ferret about 5 months old. We have had him for about two months. About two weeks ago he started biting my wife quite hard on her hands, arms and neck, and he has drawn blood from her lip twice now. It seems to be since she got a bit of eczema on her hands; as soon as he smells it, he goes for the finger and any other body part he can get hold of and won’t let go. He also bites hard onto her hand and then tries to mate it while biting down hard. He only does this with her. As soon as I take him, he is fine and plays like normal. This is really a problem because my wife just wants to play with him and give him some love but can’t, and it’s stressing her out. He has not been neutered yet, going to do that next month. Please help!
A: The eczema could be emitting a smell or some other ferret attractor that your ferret seems to like or hate, and he is biting at that or medication that she may be using. I am glad that you mentioned he is still intact, because I was going to ask about that. Being intact certainly plays a huge role in his biting behavior.
To address the biting issue, first get him to a veterinarian to make sure there is not a medical concern causing the biting. Then get your ferret neutered, because he is reaching sexual maturity and your wife is female (females of any species smell like females, and he can tell). It is entirely possible that he is responding to her pheromones.
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