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Ferret Suddenly Begins Biting Specific Person

Why would a ferret only bite one person in the family?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
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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Reader Comments
Almost all of my ferrets will bite me when my exczema flares up, as soon as they feel the warmth, they bite it.
leen, evanston, WY
Posted: 1/25/2010 7:27:16 AM
I agree with your expert, or you if this goes directly to you, however it doesn't answer my questions about ferrets biting a specific person. I operate a small ferret rescue and some of them, all fixed, male and female bite my daughter. She is over every day and they all know her but some just come up and bite her for no reason. Some have been here quite long and know her well but they bite her just the same as others that have been here for less than a year. Again it's both male and female ferrets and I don't understand because they don't bite me, ever. Also I was wondering where can a person find intact ferrets? I have some theorys that I need babies to test it out so I need to find a pair, un-related of course so I can mate them and use the babies as subjects in the experiments. They will not be harmed in any way, it's about neutering & spaying at an early age verses doing it at the beginning od sexual maturity and also with natural light verses expanding the daylight hours with artificial lighting. If you know where I can purchase a pair of un-altered ferrets and possibly answer the biting question I would be very grateful.
Micheal Forrest,
Ferret Rescue and Adoption of South Texas
Mike, Palacios, TX
Posted: 12/19/2009 11:40:11 AM
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